Donbas conflict: Withdrawal of troops thwarted by militants - Ukraine

20:34 Oct. 3, 2016

Withdrawal of troops thwarted by militants - Ukraine

Ukrainian forces withdrawing from contact line, February 27, 2015 (UNIAN Photo)

Kyiv wants reaction from OSCE

The Russian-backed separatist forces attacked Ukrainian soldiers at a key area near Petrovske village, Ukraine's military said Monday, October 3.

The attack took place right after the government forces were signaled to withdraw in accordance with the deal, reached by Ukraine, Russia and OSCE earlier. 

Read also: Donbas militants refuse to pull back their troops from the contact line

'From 16:02 to 16:08 Ukrainian positions near Petrovske were shot at by the combatants, using automatic grenade launchers and assault rifles. The attack was registered by OSCE and the Joint Center for coordination and control, and the withdrawal was thwarted by the illegal military groups', the statement said.

Kyiv also said that an alleged militant drone was spotted prior to the attack.

Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Ministry has demanded reaction from the international monitors, after numerous violations of truce have been reported during the last several days.

‘We expect that SMM OSCE will immediately examine the ceasefire violations and will inform the members of the Normandy Format and the OSCE states', the Ministry said in a statement.

Read also: Troop withdrawal fails to happen

Kyiv says that the separatists have also been violating the truce at a key location near Stanytsia Luhanska, where the withdrawal is planned to take place. 

Ukraine also states that 'conditions for withdrawal' were fulfilled at another location near Zolote village, and their troops there were successfully pulled back on October 1. 

The Trilateral Contact group is expected to discuss the issues at the next session in Minsk which is scheduled for October 5. 

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