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Ukraine's military readies to pull back big guns after fall-off in separatist fire

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[September 22, 2014]  KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian government forces prepared on Monday to withdraw artillery and heavy armoured vehicles within a proposed 30-km (19-mile) buffer zone after detecting a lessening of fire from Russian-backed separatists, a military spokesman said.

The spokesman, Andri Lysenko, told journalists two Ukrainian soldiers had been killed in the past 24 hours despite the Sept. 5 ceasefire, but that separatist artillery attacks had diminished and there had been no firing from Russian territory.

These factors allowed Ukraine to begin implementing an agreement, reached between Ukrainian and Russian envoys with separatists last Friday, under which the warring sides would pull artillery and other heavy equipment 15 km back on either side of their battle-line to create a buffer zone.

(Writing By Richard Balmforth; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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