Ukraine military to pull back artillery

KIEV – Ukraine is preparing to withdraw heavy weaponry away from separatist rebel lines in the east, the military says.

The two sides agreed on Saturday to set up a buffer zone in eastern Ukraine, more than a fortnight after a shaky ceasefire came into force.

Although the truce is still in place, clashes have continued around the cities of Donetsk and Mariupol.

More than 3000 people have died since fighting broke out in the two regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in April.

Ukraine’s parliament passed a Bill last week granting three-year “self-rule” to parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, a decision condemned by some MPs as “capitulation”.

Under the terms of the nine-point deal agreed in Belarus, both the pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian forces are to pull back their heavy artillery 15km (9.5 miles) from the line of engagement, creating a 30km buffer zone.

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