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Published in Stream:
Ukraine Live Day 364
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
International Concern Mounting As Attacks on Debaltsevo Escalate
7 years
Is The Ceasefire 'Largely Holding'? Heavy Fighting Reported In Some Areas
The Guardian's Alex Luhn has filed a new report, "Ukraine ceasefire in tatters as clashes escalate in east."

Luhn reports:

Debaltseve has been virtually cut off from the rest of the Ukrainian forces. A group of Ukrainian soldiers who broke out of Debaltseve on Sunday told the Guardian their column of seven trucks had come under heavy fire from rebel positions despite the ceasefire, and two of thevehicles were destroyed. They said that more than 60% of the city has been ruined by near-constant fires and shelling, and Kiev’s troops are trapped there with dwindling ammunition and supplies.

Ambulance drivers who have been trying to make it through to Debaltseve said both the highway connecting it to the main Ukrainian lines and the nearby fields have been mined, and rebel guns shoot at any vehicles moving across the 10-mile stretch of no man’s land. It has been impossible to use the highway since 8 February, said a national guard medic, Alla Neschadym, whose son Oleg is fighting in Debaltseve.

The national guard in Artemivsk has only four ambulances after four were destroyed by shelling and two were hit by mines in recent weeks, Neschadym said. Thousands of Ukrainian troops remain pinned down in the city, she added.

Meanwhile, the OSCE reports that Russian-backed rebels have prevented international monitors from reaching the embattled city, and the leaders of Germany and France, who, helped negotiate the latest ceasefire in Minsk, are calling on the OSCE to be provided with "free access" to the city, as is Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

As we've pointed out, though, the Russian-supported forces do not believe that fighting in Debaltsevo is a violation of the Minsk agreement because they believe that, according to that agreement, Debaltsevo is theirs.

So far our analysis of the Minsk agreement, posted just hours after the deal was signed last week, is proving prescient.

-- James Miller