MOSCOW (AP) — Ukraine's Russia-backed separatist rebels say they are ready to pull back smaller-caliber weapons from much of the front line in eastern Ukraine.
Under a February armistice, both the rebels and the Ukrainian forces they are fighting were to pull back heavy weapons to create a buffer zone, but violations have been frequent and fighting continues. Ukrainian military spokesman Col. Andriy Lysenko said Saturday three civilians were killed in shelling of the town of Avdiivka.
Alexander Zakharchenko, leader of the Donetsk rebels, said Saturday his forces are ready to pull back their tanks and armored vehicles with weapons under 100mm 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) from the front line except in "problem areas," the rebel Donetsk News Agency reported.
Rebels in the Luhansk region are ready for a similar move, it said.