Ukraine troop pullback postponed until Saturday

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A Ukrainian serviceman patrols by a destroyed coal mine of Butovka at the front line with Russia-backed separatists not far from the town of Avdiivka, Donetsk region on November 7, 2019. – Ukraine’s army and Kremlin-backed separatists on November 8, 2019 postponed the planned pullback of troops in the war-torn east by 24 hours, international monitors said. “The withdrawal of forces and hardware will start on Saturday, 9 November 2019, at 12:00” Kiev time (1000 GMT), Martin Sajdik, an Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) envoy, said in a statement. (Photo by Anatolii STEPANOV / AFP)

Ukraine’s army and Kremlin-backed separatists on Friday postponed the planned pullback of troops in the war-torn east by 24 hours, international monitors said.

“The withdrawal of forces and hardware will start on Saturday, 9 November 2019, at 12:00” Kiev time (1000 GMT), Martin Sajdik, an Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) envoy, said in a statement.

Kiev said earlier it was ready to begin the troop pullback near the village of Petrivske in the Donetsk region on Friday but the separatists insisted that the withdrawal be delayed until Saturday.

The long-awaited move is a pre-condition for the first face-to-face talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky.

The summit, date of which has yet to be set, will be mediated by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The warring sides held two similar pullbacks in June and October.

Since coming to power in May, comedian-turned-president Zelensky, 41, has sought to revive a peace process to end a separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine that has claimed some 13,000 lives since 2014.

Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Moscow of giving financial and military backing to separatists, which Russia denies.



Source:

https://guardian.ng/news/world/ukraine-troop-pullback-postponed-until-saturday/

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