Ukraine Deadline Passes for Withdrawal

Shelling continued in eastern Ukraine through early Tuesday as a deadline to begin withdrawing weapons passed. The Ukrainian military and Russia-backed separatists were set to begin pulling back heavy weapons from the front line Tuesday as a part of a ceasefire agreement brokered last week, but both groups said they would only do so if the other side did it first. “As soon as the militants cease fire, the Ukrainian side will begin to withdraw heavy weaponry from the front line,” Ukrainian military spokesman Anatoliy Stelmakh said Tuesday. Stelmakh said the separatists attacked their positions and Kiev reported artillery strikes around transportation hub Debaltseve overnight. Rebel leader Andrei Purgin said his group plans to discuss possible a pullback of weapons later Tuesday with officials from Ukraine, Russia, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, according to Russian news agency RIA Novosti.