The withdrawal of forces along the third, Petrivske-Bohdanivka stretch is scheduled to begin on November 8, as long as there are no ceasefire violations over the course of the week, said Volodymyr Kravchenko, Commander of Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation, at a press conference, as cited by Ukrinform.
“We have already submitted a letter to the OSCE. On the 7th (of November) we will begin, and on the 8th we will effectively withdraw, if there is no breach of the silence regime,” he said.
At the same time, Kravchenko said that the statements made by the pro-Russian forces and the signal rockets that were launched in Petrivske, supposedly as a symbol of the disengagement process beginning, constituted provocation.
Oleksandr Borshchevsky, Ukraine’s chief representative in the Joint Center for Control and Coordination, emphasized that a withdrawal of forces will only take place once there have been seven days of silence since the last shot was fired.
“Since there were extreme shellings on the 29th and 30th (of October), which was confirmed in the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission’s report for October 31, counting from the 30th, the end of seven days will be November 6… On the 7th there will be a verification of the ceasefire for seven days and an OSCE SMM notice, and from 12:00 on November 8, the Armed Forces, if the ceasefire is adhered to, will be able to effectively start withdrawing the forces and weaponry along this disengagement section,” said Borshchevsky.
He also pointed out that the operations to withdraw forces and weapons along stretch No. 1 in Stanytsia Luhanska have already been concluded, and the second stage of disengagement is underway in Zolote. Work is also being done to stabilize the ceasefire along the Petrivske-Bohdanivka stretch.
At the press conference, Kravchenko said that there will be no threat to settlements once the forces and weapons have been withdrawn along the third agreed stretch of the demarcation line in the region of Bohdanivka and Petrivske.