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Ukrainian Forces, Rebels Pull Back Tanks In Donetsk

Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russia rebels say they have begun withdrawing tanks and smaller weapons from the front line in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk.

"The withdrawal has already started," Ukrainian military spokesman Leonid Matyukhin said in a statement on October 20.

"At this very moment, we are withdrawing from around Debaltseve."

Sitting on a key rail link between the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, Debatlseve witnessed heavy fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia separatists at the beginning of the year.

Mostly destroyed and deserted, Debaltseve remains under rebel control.

A rebel leader in Donetsk, Eduard Basurin, told the AFP news agency that the "pullback has begun with Debaltseve" and would continue in other locations on October 19.

Fighting has large subsidied in eastern Ukraine over recent weeks with a fresh truce reached in September largely holding.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax