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Lugansk completes demolition of its fortifications in disengagement zone

MOSCOW, November 26. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) in eastern Ukraine completed the demolition of fortifications and other military facilities in the disengagement zone near the village of Zolotoye, LPR Foreign Minister Vladislav Deinego said in the Rossiya-24 TV channel broadcast on Monday night.

"We have already completed this demolition. We had 24 hours remaining, and today we notified the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) that we had completed the demolition of those fortification objects designated by the OSCE SMM," he said. "In line with the procedure, we are now waiting for the Ukrainian side’s response <...> We are also waiting for the SMM OSCE to verify the results of the demolition."

"So far, we have no complete picture. We don’t know yet what happens on Ukraine’s side, and we have received no notification or information from them so far," he said.

A framework agreement on the disengagement of forces in Donbass was signed by Ukraine, Russia, the OSCE and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics back in September 2016.

The document set up security zones near the Zolotoye and Stanitsa Luganskaya settlements in the LPR, as well as near the Petrovskoye settlement in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). The disengagement of forces was completed in the Zolotoye and Petrovskoye zones in October 2016 but Ukrainian troops later returned to their positions in those areas. The parties resumed efforts to implement the 2016 agreement after the 2019 presidential election in Ukraine.

On October 29, the sides began the pullback of their troops in the area of Zolotoye. The process was completed on November 1 and confirmed by both sides and OSCE observers.

The mine clearing effort and tearing down of fortifications in LPR began on November 4.