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Ukraine begins to withdraw from Debaltseve

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - 01:41

Ukrainian forces begin pulling out from the town of Debaltseve under siege by Russian-backed separatists. Nathan Frandino reports.

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Ukrainian troops are moving out of Debaltseve. Tanks and armored personnel carriers, many carrying troops weary from fighting, are leaving behind an ongoing conflict that threatens an international ceasefire deal struck last week. President Petro Poroshenko blames pro-Russian rebels for threatening the peace. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT, PETRO POROSHENKO, SAYING: "We managed to show to the whole world a real face of the bandits, separatists who are supported by Russia which serves as a guarantor and a direct participant of Minsk talks." From the beginning, rebels have said the ceasefire does not apply to Debaltseve, which they have mostly surrounded. In Russia, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the situation in Debaltseve is well known - even to Poroshenko. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SERGEI LAVROV, SAYING: "And what happened happened. At the midnight stroke from Saturday to Sunday, the encirclement was a fact as we suspected all along, and therefore the actual ceasefire line was beyond Debaltseve, because that line is controlled by the rebels." And even as troops withdraw from Debaltseve, the peace remains fragile. Across eastern Ukraine, both sides in the 10 month old conflict are standing by to see what happens next.

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Ukraine begins to withdraw from Debaltseve

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - 01:41