World

Ukraine army and rebels miss deadline to start withdrawing heavy weapons

  • A Ukrainian army's truck with a Smerch missile launcher passes on a road stretching away from the town of Artemivsk, Ukraine, towards Debaltseve, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. Ukrainian government troops and Russia-backed rebels failed Tuesday to start pulling back heavy weaponry from the front line in eastern Ukraine as a deadline passed to do so. Under a cease-fire agreement negotiated by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France last week, the warring sides were to begin withdrawing heavy weapons from the front line on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

    A Ukrainian army's truck with a Smerch missile launcher passes on a road stretching away from the town of Artemivsk, Ukraine, towards Debaltseve, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. Ukrainian government troops and Russia-backed rebels failed Tuesday to start pulling back heavy weaponry from the front line in eastern Ukraine as a deadline passed to do so. Under a cease-fire agreement negotiated by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France last week, the warring sides were to begin withdrawing heavy weapons from the front line on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Ukrainian armored vehicle passes on a road stretching away from the town of Artemivsk, Ukraine, towards Debaltseve, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. Ukrainian government troops and Russia-backed rebels failed Tuesday to start pulling back heavy weaponry from the front line in eastern Ukraine as a deadline passed to do so. Under a cease-fire agreement negotiated by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France last week, the warring sides were to begin withdrawing heavy weapons from the front line on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

    A Ukrainian armored vehicle passes on a road stretching away from the town of Artemivsk, Ukraine, towards Debaltseve, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. Ukrainian government troops and Russia-backed rebels failed Tuesday to start pulling back heavy weaponry from the front line in eastern Ukraine as a deadline passed to do so. Under a cease-fire agreement negotiated by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France last week, the warring sides were to begin withdrawing heavy weapons from the front line on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ukrainian government soldiers sit on top of their vehicle driving on a road stretching away from the town of Artemivsk, Ukraine, towards Debaltseve, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. Ukrainian government troops and Russia-backed rebels failed Tuesday to start pulling back heavy weaponry from the front line in eastern Ukraine as a deadline passed to do so. Under a cease-fire agreement negotiated by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France last week, the warring sides were to begin withdrawing heavy weapons from the front line on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

    Ukrainian government soldiers sit on top of their vehicle driving on a road stretching away from the town of Artemivsk, Ukraine, towards Debaltseve, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. Ukrainian government troops and Russia-backed rebels failed Tuesday to start pulling back heavy weaponry from the front line in eastern Ukraine as a deadline passed to do so. Under a cease-fire agreement negotiated by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France last week, the warring sides were to begin withdrawing heavy weapons from the front line on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)  (The Associated Press)

Ukrainian government troops and Russia-backed rebels have failed to start pulling back heavy weaponry from the front line in eastern Ukraine as a deadline passed to do so.

Under a cease-fire agreement signed last week, the warring sides were to begin withdrawing heavy weapons from the front line on Tuesday. Both sides indicated Monday, however, that they would begin the pullout only after the other party does so.

The Russian news agency RIA Novosti quoted rebel leader Andrei Purgin as saying that the separatists plan to discuss the possible withdrawal of the weaponry later Tuesday with representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the group charged with monitoring the ceasefire, the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe.