Heavy Fighting Between Ukrainian Troops and Militia in Debaltsevo

February 18, 2015 12:24 am

, Heavy fighting was reported today in the
frontline between the Ukrainian troops and the Donetsk and Lugansk
unified militias around , despite the ceasefire declared 48
hours ago.

Last-hour information reports of clashes in the bordering areas of the
cities of Artiomovsk, controlled by the forces of Kiev, and Debaltsevo,
where about five thousand Ukrainian soldiers are surrounded.

The
defense spokesman of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic
(DPR) Eduard Basurin told the local agency that the unified army of
the DPR and Lugansk control 80 percent of this strategic city,
including the train station.

The Ukrainian military has only control over the western sector of the city, pointed Basurin.

According to the source, another group of about 20 soldiers laid down
weapons and voluntarily surrendered to the militia. Even so, an estimate
of five thousand are still surrounded, made harder in the last hours by
the unified armies of the two insurgent regions.

In Kiev, the
spokesman of the command of the military operation in southeast ,
Andrei Lysenko, confirmed that heavy fighting is taking place at the
periphery of Debaltsevo, but said that regular forces maintain their
positions.

Our men have full right to open fire in response and
retain the positions they occupied in recent months, said Lysenko during
a press conference.

48 hours away from entry into force of the
ceasefire, none of the warring parties has pronounced itself for the
start of the withdrawal of heavy weaponry, one of the main points of the
February 12 Minsk agreements.

The militias reiterated on
Tuesday that they respect the commitments made in the Belarusian
capital, but the process of moving the weapons into the containment area
is reciprocal, they warned.

Sources of the alternative power in
Donetsk confirmed the completion in the afternoon of the Contact Group
video conference, whose results have not transcended so far.


up-to-date statistics estimate in at least 5,665 the victims of the
Ukrainian conflict, plus 13,961 wounded as a result of the Ukrainian
conflict.

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