First ever successful troop pullback completed in eastern Ukraine

The opponent side has completed the first stage of troop pullback in the area of Stanitsa Luganskaya in eastern Ukraine, the Joint Force Operation (JFO) press center reported on Thursday.

It was followed by the withdrawal of the Ukrainian armed forces on Wednesday according to the peace plan.

This was “in accordance with the peace plan and the implementation of the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group agreement from September 20, 2016,” the JFO press center wrote on its official Facebook page, adding that the separatist forces “completed the first stage of its units withdrawal in the Stanitsa Luganskaya district and moved away from the pedestrian bridge.”

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which monitors adherence to the Minsk agreements between both sides, welcomed the move.

Yasar Halit Cevik, the OSCE’s chief monitor in Ukraine, expressed his team’s full readiness to monitor the disengagement process.

The violence in Donbas in east Ukraine broke out in March 2014 as separatist forces clashed with government forces. There have been dozens of ceasefires after the conflict erupted.