Both sides refuse to withdraw heavy weapons as Ukraine cease-fire fails

Ukraine’s military spokesperson shattered remaining hopes for peace in the country’s embattled Donbas region on February 17 when he announced that Ukrainian forces would not be withdrawing its heavy weapons today in line with the February 12 Minsk agreement. The separatist leadership also said it planned to keep its big guns in place for now.

Lieutenant-Colonel Andriy Lysenko, the spokesman for Ukraine’s military, said that continued separatist and Russian artillery and rocket attacks were preventing a planned Ukrainian withdrawal, adding that the February 15 cease-fire had not come into effect.

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(Archive photo: Ukraine defence ministry)