Kiev claims partial withdrawal of militia's heavy weaponry, relocation of forces

The heavy arms withdrawal by the Donbass militia from the line of contact has been only partial, and militia forces are being regrouped and bolstered, Kiev said.

The heavy arms withdrawal by the Donbass militia from the line of contact has been only partial, and militia forces are being regrouped and bolstered, Kiev said.

"The militants are pulling back their hardware only partially and to distances which can be covered within 30 minutes. Besides, in the words of spokesman for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Michael Bociurkiw, the mission has yet to acquire baseline information about the type of military hardware and its prospective deployment, which makes impossible the monitoring of withdrawing militia armaments," Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for the army operation in southeastern Ukraine, said at a press briefing in Kiev on Friday.

He quoted Ukrainian intelligence sources, according to which, militia forces were being regrouped and rotated, defense lines were being reinforced, units were being bolstered and a ground was being prepared for frontline reconnaissance under the disguise of the heavy arms pullout.

For instance, military hardware and soldiers are being moved from Debaltseve to Pisky, Mariinka and Shyrokyne, Lysenko said. At the same time, a convoy of about 100 vehicles has left Brianka for Debaltsevo, Lysenko said.

Besides, a convoy of Grad rocket launchers and other military systems, in all, up to 50 vehicles, has moved from Donetsk towards Mariupol, he said.

"Trains carrying military hardware, ammunition, fuel and lubricants keep arriving from the Russian territory via the Ilovaisk station," Lysenko said.

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