Graphic shows separatist-held area of Ukraine, disengagement areas, and details of moves towards peace.
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MILITARY

Ukraine, separatists both pull back heavy weapons from east

By Mike Tyler

October 30, 2019 - Ukrainian government troops and Russian-backed separatists have begun pulling back weapons from the front line in Ukraine’s war-torn east, a step they hope will unblock a stalled peace process.

The reports follow Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s visit to the area, where he confronted armed veterans who came there to try to hamper the weapons pullback.

The heavy weapons disengagement in eastern Ukraine, which was delayed for weeks, is seen as the final hurdle before the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany can get together to discuss a peace settlement for the conflict that has claimed more than 13,000 lives since 2014.

The commitment of Zelenskiy’s government to pull back heavy weapons in the east has triggered streets protests in the capital of Kiev and other Ukrainian cities. Many Ukrainians fear the move opens the door to concessions to Russia, which has been funding the rebels and regularly sending its troops across the border.

Russia denies these claims.

PUBLISHED: 30/10/2019; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Associated Press
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