Kiev says cannot withdraw heavy weapons as attacks persist

by
February 23, 2015

KIEV/DONETSK, Ukraine | Ukraine’s military said on Monday it could not start withdrawing heavy weapons from the front line in the east as required under a tenuous ceasefire because pro-Russian separatists who advanced last week were still attacking its positions.

A truce to end fighting that has killed more than 5,600 people appeared stillborn last week after rebels ignored it to capture the strategic town of Debaltseve in a punishing defeat for Kiev.

Nevertheless, the peace deal’s European sponsors still hold out hope it can be salvaged, now that the Moscow-backed separatists have achieved that objective.

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