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Donetsk militia says Kiev not preparing to withdraw military hardware

The leadership of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) sees no preparation by the Ukrainian servicemen to withdraw heavy weaponry 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the frontline, DPR's First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Purgin said on Monday.

"There have been no reports that this process has been launched. But when there is no firing in Donetsk, this will serve as evidence that the Ukrainian side has started withdrawing hardware," Purgin said.

Earlier on Monday, a spokesman for the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Andriy Lysenko said Kiev's forces had started preparations to withdraw heavy weaponry from frontline positions.

"The army and other law enforcement units have started preparations to fulfil the agreements reached in Minsk. In particular, there is a preparation to withdraw heavy weaponry 15 kilometers from the settlements," Lysenko said.

He explained that heavy equipment is to be moved to "other areas" while the servicemen will stay.

The Contact Group on Ukraine on September 20 adopted a memorandum outlining the parameters for the implementation of the ceasefire commitments envisaged by the Minsk Protocol of September 5.

The five-point memorandum in particular bans the use of all the types of equipment. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has been tasked with controlling the implementation of the memorandum.

The document was signed by OSCE envoy to Ukraine Heidi Tagliavini, former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, Russia's Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov, the prime minister of DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko, and the head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), Igor Plotnitsky.

[Source: Itar Tass, Donetsk, 22Sep14]

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