Ukraine: Russian-backed rebels claim to capture Debaltseve, key ukrainian town
Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine claimed Tuesday to have taken the key transportation hub of Debaltseve as both parties faced a deadline to start pulling back heavy weapons from the front line.
Fierce fighting on Tuesday appeared to be focused on Debaltseve, a government-held town surrounded by rebel forces that both sides claim to be on their side of the cease-fire line. The issue was not resolved under a cease-fire agreement negotiated last week by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France.
Separatist leaders said in remarks carried by the rebel mouthpiece Donetsk News Agency on Tuesday afternoon that their forces have pushed the Ukrainian army out of Debaltseve, gaining control over most of the town.