The year-long conflict in eastern Ukraine seems to be on the move: the Ukrainian army today announced the beginning of the withdrawal of government forces and pro-Russian rebel units from a key sector on the front line in the eastern Luhansk region.
„Today, at 12:20 pm, the process of retreating troops near the village of Solote has begun,“ said army spokesman Andrei Ageyev of the AFP news agency. At the beginning of October, there was a first rapprochement between Kiev and the rebels in the dispute over the future status of the territories controlled by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.
Summit aimed at detachment of troops
These are troop detachments. Both government forces and rebels are to withdraw their soldiers including weapons by at least one kilometer. By contrast, there were larger demonstrations nationwide.
The goal of demilitarization is to activate the deadlocked peace process that has been going on since 2014 and to facilitate a Normandy-style summit meeting (Russia, France, Germany, Ukraine). The medium-term goal is elections in eastern Ukraine – under what conditions these are to take place is, of course, controversial.