DONETSK (Sputnik) — Donetsk militia is ready to cease fire in the contested Debaltseve area immediately and allow surrounded Kiev soldiers to leave the area "on respectful conditions," a senior DPR commander said Thursday.
"We know that all [Kiev] military units in Debaltsevo are totally disorganized. People are depressed and desire that it would be over as soon as possible," deputy head of the self-proclaimed Dontesk People's Republic's (DPR) militia Eduard Basurin said at a news briefing in Donetsk.
"We are ready to spare their lives and organize their withdrawal from the Debaltseve cauldron on respectful conditions. Let them surrender their weapons and leave," Basurin said.
On Thursday, the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine struck a deal in the Belarusian capital of Minsk to implement a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine between rebels and Ukrainian government forces that could pave the way for a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. The truce is to come into force at midnight on February 15.
An earlier ceasefire agreement reached by the warring sides last September broke down, with clashes intensifying in recent weeks. Debaltseve, one of Ukraine's biggest railroad junctions, has become the site of intense fighting. According to reports, up to 10,000 Ukrainian troops remain surrounded after attempting to recapture the contested town.