Pro-Russia rebels sappers stand on a tank as they search for explosive devices in destroyed Donetsk international airport on October 13, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ALEKSEY FILIPPOV
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Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian insurgents said Tuesday they had begun withdrawing tanks and smaller weapons from the frontline splitting the devastated Donetsk region in the ex-Soviet state's eastern war zone.The militias seized the strategic village in a daring February offensive that left Ukrainian troops surrounded and forced to beat a humiliating retreat.Debaltseve controls transport links between the two separatist regions and had been fiercely defended by Ukrainian troops throughout the war.The February Minsk deal required both sides to immediately pull back their heavy weapons from the 500-kilometer (300-mile) front – a withdrawal that was never fully enforced.
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