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Ukraine Rebels Withdraw From Front-Line Villages Near Mariupol

Separatists Withdraw From Ukrainian Coastal Towns
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WATCH: Separatists Withdraw From Ukrainian Coastal Towns

Pro-Russian rebels have withdrawn from front-line villages near the strategic port city of Mariupol.

Ukrainian military spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk said on July 3 that the separatists “withdrew to the east, leaving the settlement of Shyrokyne completely destroyed."

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine said it observed that all positions and bunkers previously occupied by the rebels in the village were "vacant."

Meanwhile, separatist leader Denis Pushilin was quoted as saying the rebels are “waiting for a similar step [from Kyiv].”

Lying 10 kilometers east of Mariupol, Shyrokyne has been the scene of fierce clashes between government forces and the rebels.

More than 6,400 people have been killed since fighting erupted in eastern Ukraine in April 2014.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax

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