ARTEMIVSK/VUHLEHIRSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Fighting raged in eastern Ukraine on Thursday despite European efforts to resurrect a stillborn ceasefire, a day after pro-Russian separatists spurned the truce by forcing thousands of government troops out of a strategic town.
Western nations are refusing to give up on a peace deal brokered by France and Germany last week even though the rebels disavowed it to seize the important railway hub of Debaltseve.
ARTEMIVSK/VUHLEHIRSK, Ukraine, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Fighting
raged in eastern Ukraine on Thursday despite European efforts to
resurrect a still-born ceasefire, a day after pro-Russian
separatists who spurned the truce forced thousands of government
troops out of a strategic town.
Western nations have refused to give up on a peace deal
negotiated last week even though rebels disavowed it to seize
the strategic railway hub of Debaltseve. Thousands of besieged
Ukrainian troops pulled out of the town on Wednesday in one of
the worst defeats for the Kiev government of a 10-month war that
has killed more than 5,000 people.
ARTEMIVSK/BULAVYNE, Ukraine, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Ukraine
pulled thousands of troops out of an encircled town on Wednesday
after a massive assault by pro-Russian rebels, who ignored a new
ceasefire to seize the strategic railway junction.
The fall of the besieged town of Debaltseve was one of the
worst defeats of the war for Ukraine’s troops, who proved unable
to stop an advance by Moscow-backed rebels fighting for
territory the Kremlin calls “New Russia”.
ARTEMIVSK/KONDRATYEVKA, Ukraine, Feb 18 (Reuters) –
G overnment forces started pulling out of a town in eastern
Ukraine on Wednesday after a fierce assault by Russian-backed
separatists which Europe said violated a crumbling ceasefire.
President Petro Poroshenko said before flying to the town of
Debaltseve that more than 80 percent of his troops in the rail
hub had already left following a heavy bombardment and
street-by-street fighting despite the truce that took effect on
DONETSK/ARTEMIVSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukraine’s rebels disavowed a new truce on Sunday hours after it took effect, saying it did not apply to the town where most fighting has taken place in recent weeks.
Guns fell abruptly silent at midnight across much of eastern Ukraine in line with the ceasefire agreement, but the pro-Russian rebels announced that they would not observe the truce at Debaltseve, where Ukraine army forces have been encircled.
VUHLEHIRSK/KRAMATORSK, Ukraine, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Rockets
killed civilians and soldiers deep in Ukrainian government-held
territory on Tuesday and rebels pushed on with an assault to cut
off an army-held rail junction, setbacks that showed Kiev’s
position worsening on the eve of peace talks.
Advances by pro-Russian rebels diminished hopes of a deal
when Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany hold a summit in Minsk
on Wednesday under a new Franco-German initiative to halt
fighting in a war that has killed more than 5,000 people.
VUHLEHIRSK/KRAMATORSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Rebel fighters made a push on Tuesday to cut off a government-held road and rail junction in east Ukraine, vowing on the eve of peace talks that they would not cease fire until they had achieved their aim of taking more territory.
Some 30 km (50 miles) north of the front line, in government-held Kramatorsk, rockets slammed into the headquarters of Ukraine’s local military operation and a nearby district of residential apartment blocks. The rebels denied firing on the town.
DEBALTSEVE, Ukraine/MOSCOW (Reuters) – The leaders of France and Germany flew out of Moscow in the dead of night after five hours of talks with Vladimir Putin on Friday, with little to announce to end fighting in Ukraine beyond a promise to keep talking.
None of the leaders spoke publicly after the meeting, which ended around midnight with President Francois Hollande and Chancellor Angela Merkel whisked straight from the Kremlin back to the airport.
DEBALTSEVE, Ukraine/MOSCOW, (Reuters) – The leaders of France and Germany flew to Moscow on Friday in a last-ditch effort to negotiate a peace deal for Ukraine, but expectations of a breakthrough were low after gains on the battlefield by pro-Russian rebels.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Francois Hollande met Russia’s Vladimir Putin on Friday evening, a day after five hours of late-night talks with Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko.
DEBALTSEVE, Ukraine, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Convoys of buses
carrying many local residents to safety left the besieged town
of Debaltseve in eastern Ukraine on Friday as government forces
kept up artillery fire to defend their positions against
The two convoys of empty buses, one of around 20 vehicles
coming from territory controlled by the Ukrainian army and
another of more than 30 from the rebel-held city of Donetsk
converged in Debaltseve town centre’s narrow streets and a small
square near the district administration building.