Russian militants are storming Debaltseve. They already have a part of the city under their control, and the city is surrounded, reported ATO spokesman Vladyslav Sleznov, who in on the scene of battle, as reported by Ukrainska Pravda, February 17.
“An assault on the ATO base camp is taking place in Debaltseve. Militants are attacking with artillery and armored vehicles. Street battles are taking place. In fact, a part of the city is controlled by the militants, the other part by ATO forces,” he said.
Additionally, Seleznov reported that one of the (ATO) convoys that was moving to the encirclement has been overwhelmed.
On Tuesday it was reported that a convoy with cargo never made it to the soldiers.
“The convoy has been broken up. The soldiers have been captured. The militants have already started a campaign that the men surrendered voluntarily. But this is not true. They were captured during battle,” Selenzov said.
“We are surrounded. No one has been able to get through,” one soldier said.
“The situation is very bad. We are in a blockade. There is no lifeline,” another soldier reported.
At the same time, the deputy head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Donetsk Oblast, Illia Kiva, has confirmed that militants are clearing out parts of Debaltseve.
“The militants have penetrated into the city. They are clearing out parts of the city. It is becoming more and more difficult to maintain our positions. Every minute works against us,” he told channel 5 by phone.
“We must assess the situation fully and allow the artillery to function without hindrance, which would give us the possibility of pushing the militants from our positions … Because, well, we are … fighting with them in direct contact,” he said.
According to Seleznov, talks are taking place in Soledar with the participation of the directors of the ceasefire working group — Major General Oleksandr Rozmaznin from Ukraine; Alexander Vyasnikov from Russia; Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinega from the militants.
Representatives of the militants and Russia are blocking entry of the OSCE to Debaltseve, stating that fighting is taking place.