UKRAINIAN ARMY AND RUSSIAN-BACKED SEPARATISTS WITHDRAW TO PEACE TALKS




Serhat TUNAR -TDO- The separatists, backed by the Ukrainian army and Russia, have begun withdrawing their armed forces based in the city of Zolote, Lugansk region in the east of the country. The development comes ahead of talks the Russian and Ukrainian president’s plan to hold in November, a key touchstone for a permanent ceasefire in the region.

Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next month for peace in the region. Zelensky, who took office in May, will be the first Ukrainian leader to meet with Putin during the five-year-old civil war.

The withdrawal of armed troops would be the first step for Ukraine and Russia to begin peace talks, brokered by Germany and France. But Russia said it had received complex signals from Ukraine on the issue recently, saying it had not yet made the necessary moves to hold an international summit after the Ukrainian side approved the peace plan.

As is known, 13 thousand people lost their lives in Ukraine during the civil war that began in 2014. Russia, which supports the separatists, had annexed Crimea in March 2014 despite international backlash.