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Ukraine continues tanks withdrawal in Luhansk region territories under its control

October 06, 2015, 19:03 UTC+3 KIEV
According to the the press service of the force operation, most of T-64 and T-72 tanks have left the frontline
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© AP Photo/Olexander Shulman

KIEV, October 6. /TASS/. Ukraine is continuing withdrawal of tanks from territories under its control in the Luhansk region, the press service of the force operation said on Tuesday.

"In fulfillment of our liabilities under the peace deal, we continue to withdraw tanks from the frontline positions in the Luhansk region to dedicated areas at a distance at least 15 kilometers off the line of engagement," the press service said on its Facebook account.

Apart from that, the press service reported about continued demining works.

Ukrainian forces plan to complete tanks withdraw in the Luhansk region on Tuesday. "It is known that most of T-64 and T-72 tanks have left the frontline. This stage is expected to be completed today. Then the next stage will begin, namely the withdrawal of D-48 and D-44 antitank guns with 85mm caliber and 82mm mortars," Ruslan Tkachuk, a spokesman for the operation, said.

Earlier, Vladislav Seleznev, a spokesman for Ukraine’s General Staff, told TASS that Ukrainian troops had started to withdraw tanks at 9 a.m. on Monday and plan to complete the effort within two days. Tanks withdrawal, according to Seleznev, will be followed by the withdrawal of artillery systems.

Under the Minsk peace deal, the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) began withdrawal of tanks from the engagement line on Saturday. The neighboring Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said it would start weapons pullout after October 18 on condition that ceasefire was observed.

On Tuesday, September 29, the Trilateral Contact Group initialled a document envisaging withdrawal of weapons under 100mm calibre to a distance of 15 kilometers for the line of engagement. On the following day, the document was signed by the leaders of the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Luhansk, Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky. Weapons will be pulled out in two stages. First tanks would be pulled back, then artillery and then mortars. The first stage of 15 days will be followed by a 24-day second stage. Thus, the entire weapons withdrawal process will take 41 days. The process will be monitored by the Joint Centre for Coordinate and Control (JCCC).

The Contact Group signed the key package of measures for peaceful settlement in Donbas, known as Minsk-2, on February 12. Under the document, the sides are to withdraw heavy weapons from the contact line, namely artillery systems of 100 mm caliber or more to the distance of at least 50 km, multiple rocket launcher systems (MLRS) to the distance of 70 km and most powerful Tornado-S, Uragan and Smerch MLRS, as well as tactical missile systems Tochka/Tochka U to the distance of 140 km.

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