Ukraine and the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) have begun to separate manpower and materiel in the DPR zone of responsibility near the village of Petrovskoye, the Donetsk News Agency reported on Friday.
“The troops have just been ordered to pull back,” Ruslan Yakubov, the Chief of Staff of the DPR Operational Command, said.
In accordance with the agreements, at 11:00 the Ukrainian armed forces and the DPR military fired a green flare to begin the withdrawal. Immediately after that, DPR forces in the Petrovskoye area were ordered to pull two kilometers back, setting into motion the withdrawal of personnel, light armaments and ammunition.
Observers from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM), representatives of the Joint Center for Ceasefire Control (JCCC), the Deputy Commander of the DPR Operational Command Eduard Basurin and DPR Defense Ministry officials were present at the scene.
For his part, Pavel Zhebrovsky, the head of the Donetsk civil-military administration, also confirmed that the withdrawal had begun, adding that the Ukrainian army would return its troops and military equipment to their former positions in the event of violations of the agreements. “The separation of troops is the right course of action,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
According to a representative of the military authority in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), the Ukrainian side has confirmed its withdrawal of forces and weapons from the Petrovskoye settlement area.
“From representatives of the JCCCM we know that the Ukrainian side has confirmed withdrawal of forces and weapons on its side,” the Donetsk News Agency quoted Basurin.