Monday 24 January 2022, 12:17 PM
Ukraine withdraws government troops from strategic town
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 2/18/2015 12:00:00 AM

Kiev: The Ukraine government has started pulling back its military troops from the strategic town of Debaltseve in Donetsk region that was reportedly under siege by pro-independence rebels, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Wednesday.

"The Ukrainian armed forces together with the National Guard are completing an operation to withdraw their troops from Debaltseve," Poroshenko told reporters at the Boryspil International Airport before his departure to the restive frontline town.

He said about 80 percent of Ukrainian military units has withdrawn from Debaltseve, a regional strategic transport hub.

The withdrawal is under way in a "planned and organised way", Poroshenko said, emphasising that the Ukrainian forces "were not encircled by the rebels".

"Debaltseve was under our control, and there was no besiegement," Poroshenko said, without giving an exact reason for the pullback.

Ukrainian soldiers left the town with weaponry, tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other military equipment, he added.

The fighting in Debaltseve was raging over the past few days despite the ceasefire agreement reached last Thursday between the government troops and the rebel forces.

Insurgents claimed that the truce, reached in Minsk, capital of Belarus, did not apply to Debaltseve, as rebel leadership consider the town as "an internal territory" of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic.

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Ukraine withdraws government troops from strategic town

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