09:54 Oct. 10, 2016
Russian-backed forces disregard truce and continue shelling, Ukraine's defence ministry says
Ukraine's military on Sunday postponed a planned parallel withdrawal with pro-Russian separatists from Stanytsia Luhanska, a town on the eastern frontline, saying militants had disregarded the agreement by firing artillery at Ukrainian positions.
In September, the two sides agreed a pilot de-escalation project in three small towns - part of a push to revive a much-violated ceasefire and end a conflict that has killed about 10,000 since early 2014.
"The separation of forces and equipment which was planned for today was postponed," said General Borys Kremenetsky, Ukraine's representative to the ceasefire coordination center.
"The main reason is the continuation of shelling along the line of separation. I would say there has been an increase over the last few days and use of heavy artillery," he told journalists.
The delay is yet another setback for the struggling peace process. Both sides accuse the other of violating the 18-month-old 'Minsk' ceasefire agreement on a near-daily basis.
On Sunday, Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said militants had used heavy artillery in a "major" attack in part of the Luhansk region. Meanwhile separatist officials accused Ukrainian troops of firing at a residential district in southern Donetsk region.
Nevertheless, both sides have said they have withdrawn from Petrovske in Donetsk region and Zolote in Luhansk region - the other two areas listed in the latest de-escalation pact.