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Kiev forces complete artillery withdrawal on Donetsk direction

October 30, 2015, 14:45 UTC+3 KIEV

Ukrainian Armed Forces earlier withdrew weapons on the Artemivsk and Mariupol direction

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Ukrainian troops (archive)

Ukrainian troops (archive)

© AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

KIEV, October 30. /TASS/. Ukrainian forces have completed artillery withdrawal in the Donetsk Region, the military operation’s headquarters spokesman Leonid Matyukhin said on Friday.

"Withdrawing artillery of less than 100mm caliber has been completed in the Donetsk Region. Today we have finished on the last direction — Donetsk direction," Matyukhin said.

Ukrainian Armed Forces earlier withdrew weapons on the Artemivsk and Mariupol direction. Matyukhin said that "the next stage is withdrawing mortars of less than 120mm caliber." "We plan to start on November 5," he noted.

The process of withdrawal is being monitored by specialists from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) and Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC).

The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has also completed withdrawing artillery of less than 100mm caliber.

The supplement to the Package of measures on implementing the Minsk Agreements from 12 February 2015 was agreed upon on September 29 at the negotiations of the Contact Group in Minsk. The supplement envisages withdrawal of tanks, artillery weapons of less than 100mm caliber, and mortars of equal to or less than 120mm caliber to a distance of 15 kilometers from the contact line in Donbas. On September 30, the document was signed by DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko and LPR head Igor Plotnitsky.

In accordance with the reached agreement, tanks are withdrawn first, followed by artillery weapons of less than 100mm caliber and mortars. The first stage should start two days after the complete ceasefire and finish in 15 days. The second stage will take 24 days to complete. The withdrawal will start in the "North" sector on the LPR territory and will continue in the "South" sector in DPR. The whole process of withdrawal is expected to take a total of 41 days.

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