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Ukraine Rebels Withdraw Heavy Artillery09/23 06:18

   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.

   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.


(KA)


 
 
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