Ukraine Troops, Separatists Withdraw From Town as Ceasefire Holds

Ukraine FM says another disengagement could happen in November

With a negotiated ceasefire in eastern Ukraine continuing to hold, troops loyal to the Ukrainian military and those loyal to the separatist movement began a Tuesday pullback from the town of Zolote.

Zolote itself isn’t a huge town, but with the OSCE confirming that the ceasefire is holding well, it was a very positive move. Ukrainian officials also indicated that another disengagement on the border might be coming soon.

This is all part of a deal negotiated between Ukraine factions, Russia, France, and Germany, on taking steps to disengage from contested areas. Ukraine’s FM Vadym Prystaiko indicated that the city of Petrovske could be the next disengagement site, in November.

Russia has expressed concern that Ukraine is sending mixed messages and has not made progress on organizing an international summit. Previous ceasefires have held only to collapse with one side or the other, but usually the government, just suddenly launching a new offensive.

It’s a difficult position for the still relatively new President Zelenskiy in Ukraine, as anti-Russia sentiment in the country’s west means efforts at making peace are condemned as tantamount to surrender, and making moves to restore ties with the ethnic Russian east is ultimately going to require moves to reverse discriminatory legislation, which among the pro-discrimination factions in the west is a politically dicey proposition.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.