Newsdeck

Russian convoy to Kyiv evaporates

Not clear Russian convoy to Kyiv exists anymore, Pentagon says

A convoy of pro-Russian separatist tanks drive on a road during, as pro-Russian separatists said, withdrawing their heavy weapons from the front line, in Aleksandrovsk town, near Luhansk, Ukraine, 03 October 2015. Leaders from four countries defended a long-flouted ceasefire agreement for eastern Ukraine on Friday, as withdrawal of small-calibre arms was set to go into effect over the weekend. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the Ukrainian military would begin withdrawing guns with a calibre of less than 100 millimetres from the front lines on Saturday, describing the agreement as the most significant achievement of the talks. Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, confirmed that the sides agreed that the withdrawal would begin 'tomorrow at midnight.' While no major breakthroughs were announced after talks lasting nearly five hours, both French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the region was on the right track toward meeting a peace accord signed in Minsk in February. Local elections in rebel-held areas will be postponed until observers could ensure that they would proceed legally, Hollande said after the talks in Paris. The rebel governments in Donetsk and Luhansk had planned to hold elections on October 18 and November 1, respectively. The regular regional elections in Ukraine are scheduled for October 25. EPA/ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO

WASHINGTON, March 31 (Reuters) - The Pentagon said on Thursday it was not clear that Russia's convoy of military vehicles to Kyiv, which once stretched some 40 miles, even exists anymore after failing to accomplish its mission.

“I don’t even know if it still exists at this point… They never really accomplished their mission,” said Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby.

The stalled convoy became a symbol of Russia’s battlefield difficulties and had been repeatedly attacked by Ukrainian forces during the first weeks of the more than month-long invasion.

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