Pro-government Ukrainian forces have started to “pull out” of the rebel-held city of Debaltseve according to a commander of one of the pro-Kyiv volunteer battalions. Semen Semenchenko said on “Facebook”: Post by Семен Семенченко. that the withdrawal is taking place in a planned and organised manner. The reports have not been confirmed by the government. Both sides are telling a different story with rebel sources claiming the government troops surrendered while the Ukrainian army says they were captured after running out of ammunition. Debaltseve spans a railway line linking two rebel strongholds – Donetsk and Luhansk – and the separatists claim it’s not covered by the ceasefire agreement reached last week in Minsk.
That deal has all but unraveled, with both sides failing to pull back heavy guns after the rebels refused to halt their advance.
The destruction around is testament to the heavy fighting that has taken place here. Despite the ceasefire, reporters on the ground say that fighting never really stopped.