KIEV, Mar 10 : Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says pro-Russian rebels in the east have withdrawn a "significant" amount of heavy weapons.
Speaking on TV, Poroshenko said his government forces had also pulled back "the lion's share" of their rocket and heavy artillery systems.
Under a ceasefire reached in February both sides were due to pull back heavy weapons by the beginning of March.
The ceasefire appears to be taking hold despite continuing clashes.
The opposing sides have accused each other of breaking the truce or using it as a cover to regroup.
At least 6,000 people are believed to have been killed and more than one million have fled their homes since conflict erupted last April in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
In another development, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted for the first time that the plan to annex Ukraine's Crimea region last March was ordered weeks before the referendum on self-determination. Crimea was formally absorbed into Russia on 18 March, to international condemnation, after unidentified gunmen took over the peninsula.
Putin said on TV he had ordered work on "returning Crimea" to begin at an all-night meeting on 22 February. The meeting was called after Ukraine's pro-Russian President, Viktor Yanukovych, was ousted from power in Kiev.
UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond will warn in a speech on Tuesday that President Putin's policies "fundamentally undermine the security of sovereign nations in Eastern Europe".?BBC Online