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Preparations underway for heavy weapon withdrawal in Ukraine

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Preparations underway for heavy weapon withdrawal in Ukraine


Separatist rebels have said they would begin to pull-back heavy artillery from the the front line in eastern Ukraine, as Kyiv reports armoured columns crossing from Russia to reinforce the separatists in clear breach of the truce agreed in Minsk.

As the truce hangs by a thread, the Ukrainian military said the rebels continued attacks on their forces near Mariupol raising fears it will become the next flashpoint.

In the last 24 hours the military have reported a total of 44 attacks across the conflict zone.

However, a prisoner exchange overnight proved both sides were complying with parts of the internationally-brokered peace deal, with new swaps to occur in the near future.

The swap of around 200 prisoners is being seen as the first positive sign that the peace deal may hold, at the end of a week which saw the Ukrainian army’s biggest defeat in months when rebels captured the town of Debaltseve.

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