UKRAINE’S army is on the brink of a major defeat as Russian-backed separatists rebound refreshed from a short ceasefire to encircle the defenders of a key city.
Russian President Vladimir Putin overnight demanded the Kiev government tell its soldiers in the city of Debaltseve to lay down their weapons and surrender to pro-Moscow rebels.
Rebel commander Vladimir Kononov echoed President Putin’s surrender call on Russian television. He insisted that most of Debaltseve was under his control.
“Their only choice is to leave behind weaponry, lay down arms, and surrender,” he said.
The commander insisted that his troops were complying with the ceasefire, which did not include the city of Debaltseve.
The rebels claim they have entirely surrounded the city and so it should be considered part of their territory and therefore, not covered by the ceasefire.
Full article: Ukraine crisis: Fighting erupts around vital city of Debaltseve (news.com.au)