World

Kiev notes progress on eastern Ukraine cease-fire, say rebels withdrawing some heavy artillery

  • Smoke rises over a residential area in the north of the rebel-held city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. A cease-fire was called on Sept. 5 but has been violated repeatedly. Negotiators from Ukraine, Russia, the rebels and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe last week tried to further the peace process with an agreement calling for both sides to halt their advances and for pulling back heavy artillery in order to create a buffer zone. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

    Smoke rises over a residential area in the north of the rebel-held city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. A cease-fire was called on Sept. 5 but has been violated repeatedly. Negotiators from Ukraine, Russia, the rebels and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe last week tried to further the peace process with an agreement calling for both sides to halt their advances and for pulling back heavy artillery in order to create a buffer zone. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)  (The Associated Press)

  • Smoke rises over a residential area in the north of the rebel-held city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. A cease-fire was called on Sept. 5 but has been violated repeatedly. Negotiators from Ukraine, Russia, the rebels and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe last week tried to further the peace process with an agreement calling for both sides to halt their advances and for pulling back heavy artillery in order to create a buffer zone. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

    Smoke rises over a residential area in the north of the rebel-held city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. A cease-fire was called on Sept. 5 but has been violated repeatedly. Negotiators from Ukraine, Russia, the rebels and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe last week tried to further the peace process with an agreement calling for both sides to halt their advances and for pulling back heavy artillery in order to create a buffer zone. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)  (The Associated Press)

  • Street musicians perform in the town of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. A cease-fire was called on Sept. 5 but has been violated repeatedly. Negotiators from Ukraine, Russia, the rebels and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe last week tried to further the peace process with an agreement calling for both sides to halt their advances and for pulling back heavy artillery in order to create a buffer zone. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

    Street musicians perform in the town of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. A cease-fire was called on Sept. 5 but has been violated repeatedly. Negotiators from Ukraine, Russia, the rebels and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe last week tried to further the peace process with an agreement calling for both sides to halt their advances and for pulling back heavy artillery in order to create a buffer zone. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)  (The Associated Press)

Ukrainian officials say government troops have begun withdrawing heavy artillery in the east of the country, as have pro-Russian rebels in the region.

Col. Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, said Monday that Kiev's forces had started withdrawing from frontline positions. He said the rebels had also begun their withdrawal of heavy artillery, although it was "not as massive as we expected."

A cease-fire imposed Sept. 5 has been riddled by violations from the start. On Monday, smoke rose over a residential area in the north of the rebel-held city of Donetsk. Lysenko said two Ukrainian servicemen had been killed in the past day.

Last week, an agreement was signed calling for both sides to halt advances and pull back heavy artillery, creating a buffer zone.