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Ukraine troops prepare to pullback as truce holds

Ukraine troops prepare to pullback as truce holds
Ukraine said it lost two soldiers in sporadic overnight raids by ‘armed gangs’ on small towns surrounding the main rebel stronghold of Donetsk, but that nevertheless the military was preparing to pull back, as agreed under a new ceasefire deal.

The toll brings to 39 the number of Ukrainian troops and civilians killed since the warring sides signed a September 5 truce that NATO’s top military commander warned at the weekend was holding ‘in name only’. The original ceasefire was reinforced Saturday by another Kremlin-backed deal setting out the terms of a mutual troop withdrawal and establishment of a 30-kilometre (20-mile) buffer zone along the frontline.

The nine-point memorandum signed in the Belarussian capital Minsk appears to have brought down the level of daily violence across the Russian-speaking industrial heartland and calmed security fears in the largest rebel-held cities and towns.

The Donetsk city government said the coal mining hub -- abandoned by nearly half its one million residents since hostilities first erupted in April -- experienced ‘no active combat’ for the second day running.
Agencies

Agencies

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