Millennium Post

Ukrainian rebels claim control of strategic town

Pro-independence rebels in the eastern Ukraine Tuesday claimed to have taken control of parts of the strategic town of Debaltseve, where fighting with government forces continues despite the ceasefire that came into force Sunday.

Debaltseve railway station is partly in the hands of the rebels and there is fighting in the city, a senior official of the Ukrainian interior ministry admitted. A rebel spokesperson said fighting was going on and that separatist militias had wrested control over most of the city, including the railway station and police station, from the Kiev govt forces that were defending it.

An insurgent militia commander said that more than a hundred Ukrainian govt soldiers have surrendered in the besieged city. Spokesperson for the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, Andrei Lysenko, declined to comment.

A separatist spokesperson said the ceasefire did not extend to Debaltseve, where fighting did not stop at any time since the truce came into force. Vladimir Putin has warned that the main threat to the ceasefire accord signed by the leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine Feb 13 in Minsk, was the situation in Debaltseve.



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