Ukraine begins preparation for withdrawal of forces from the Donbas

The withdrawal of troops and weapons along three areas of the contact line has started, said Yevhen Marchuk, the Ukrainian Special Representative in one of the subgroups of the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine. He hopes that withdrawal along the remaining four areas will follow.

Ukraine started preparations for the withdrawal of the troops and weapons along the frontline in the Donbas region. Withdrawal will take place along three areas defined in the framework agreement of the Tripartite Contact Group, Marchuk said.

"The main goal is to withdraw along the entire contact line. Work starts today along three areas,” he said at a briefing in the Ukrainian Parliament on Thursday, September 22nd, according to a report from Interfax-Ukraine.

Marchuk explained that on the 5th of October, 2016 the withdrawal of weapons and troops along the remaining four areas will continue.

Earlier, on Thursday, September 22nd, Ukrainian spokesman Andriy Lysenko said that the units and equipment of the Armed Forces and the representatives of the pro-Russian separatists in the next 13 days will be withdrawn from the contact line at the villages of Stanytsia Luhanska, Zolote and Petrovske.

Lysenko said that "the count of these 13 days will start after a week of the strict observance of the ceasefire" in these areas and that if the enemy follows the ceasefire "the number of forces withdrawal points can be increased."

As previously reported on the 21st of September, the participants of the Tripartite Contact Group signed a framework document on the withdrawal of troops and weapons of the parties involved in the conflict in the Donbass region along three areas. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier welcomed the signing agreement on the withdrawal of troops and weapons in Minsk. However, full compliance with the ceasefire, despite the significant decrease in attacks by the separatists in the Donbas region, has not been observed. During the 21st of September, the pro-Russian separatists fired 14 times on the positions of the Ukrainian Military in the conflict zone in the Donbas region, Lysenko reported. Nonetheless, officials in Kyiv consider that in general the ceasefire has not been broken, the DPA News reports.

  Ukraine, Donbas, Trilateral Contact Group