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Some 5,000 Kiev Troops Blocked in Debaltseve, Hundreds Surrender – Donetsk

© REUTERS / Gleb GaranichA Ukrainian serviceman is pictured at his position near Debaltseve, eastern Ukraine, February 8, 2015
A Ukrainian serviceman is pictured at his position near Debaltseve, eastern Ukraine, February 8, 2015 - Sputnik International
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5,000 Ukrainian servicemen were blocked in Debaltseve, according to the deputy commander of Donetsk militia Eduard Basurin.

Members of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic army collect parts of a destroyed Ukrainian army tank in the town of Vuhlehirsk, about 10 km (6 miles) to the west of Debaltseve, February 16, 2015 - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW, (Sputnik) – About 5,000 Ukrainian servicemen have been encircled near the Ukrainian town of Debaltseve, hundreds of them have already surrendered, the deputy commander of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People"s Republic (DPR) militia said Tuesday.

"According to our information, more than 5,000 Ukrainian servicemen have been blocked in Debaltseve," Eduard Basurin said. "Hundreds of armed soldiers have already surrendered to DPR units near Debaltseve."

DPR logistics units have deployed additional mobile kitchens to feed the captives, Basurin said, adding that the militia will start handing the servicemen over to family members "once the Ukrainian army stops shooting."

Buildings damaged by fighting are pictured in the village of Nikishine, south east of Debaltseve February 17, 2015 - Sputnik International
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According to Basurin, hostilities are ongoing round the clock as Kiev troops try to escape the encirclement.

Earlier in the day, a Kiev official estimated the number of Ukrainian troops surrounded in Debaltseve to be around 2,000.

The town of Debaltseve, located between Ukraine's two breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, has, in recent weeks, become a hot spot for heavy fighting between Kiev-led troops and local militia. The hostilities in Debaltseve are continuing despite the ceasefire that came into force on February 15.

The ceasefire agreement was outlined when the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany met in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, to discuss the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis.

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