Ukraine: Cease-fire being upheld on both sides

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Ukraine: Cease-fire being upheld on both sides
Street musicians perform in the town of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. A cease-fire was called on Sept. 5 but has been violated repeatedly. Negotiators from Ukraine, Russia, the rebels and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe last week tried to further the peace process with an agreement calling for both sides to halt their advances and for pulling back heavy artillery in order to create a buffer zone. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia -backed rebels in east Ukraine say that they are pulling back heavy artillery from front-line positions in response to similar moves by the Ukrainian army, a first step toward satisfying a truce agreement signed last week.

Rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko told Interfax news agency Tuesday that his forces were withdrawing heavy artillery from certain areas on the front line, but said that “in those places where Ukraine does not withdraw its artillery, we also will not withdraw.”

The withdrawal would be an important step toward implementing a new peace agreement signed Saturday, which requires both sides to remove heavy artillery from the front line. The withdrawals would create a buffer zone and allow a Sept. 5 cease-fire, which has been riddled by violations, to be more effectively enforced.


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