Ukrainian military officials and separatist leaders announced on Tuesday, October 29, that both sides have begun withdrawing soldiers from Zolote (Luhansk oblast). The withdrawals are part of the Steinmeier Formula, an agreement intended to revive peace negotiations between Kyiv and the separatists. According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, similar procedures may take place in other locations along the contact line if the current ceasefire is maintained.
Nationalist groups organized a protest in opposition to the withdrawal in Kyiv on Tuesday evening (local time). Demonstrators gathered near the President’s office to denounce the move, claiming that Zelensky was surrendering territory to Russia and the separatists. Further protests are possible in Kyiv and other major cities in the coming days. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are expected around all demonstrations.
Ultra-nationalist groups have organized multiple protests in Kyiv since President Zelensky signed the Steinmeier Formula on October 1. Under the agreement, territory under separatist control in the Donbas region will receive special status if free and fair elections are conducted under the Ukrainian constitution.
Individuals in Kyiv, and Ukraine more generally, are advised to monitor the situation for potential gatherings and protests, avoid all public demonstrations as a precaution, anticipate localized disruption and a heightened security presence in the event of any demonstrations, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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