Ukraine army and rebels miss deadline to start withdrawing heavy weapons

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.