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    Ukrainian servicemen stand near a building damaged during fighting between militia and Ukrainian government forces in the eastern Ukrainian town of Debaltseve in Donetsk region, December 24, 2014

    Evacuation of Civilians Underway From East Ukraine's Debaltseve

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    Situation in Ukraine After Ceasefire Agreement (450)
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    Residents of Debaltseve were given a choice of being evacuated to the eastern regions or to the western regions of Ukraine.

    DONETSK (Sputnik) – The evacuation of civilians has begun in the eastern Ukrainian city of Debaltseve, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported from the scene Friday.

    A total of 15 buses with civilians are currently departing the center of Debaltsevo heading toward Slaviansk and Donetsk, the capital of the eastern Ukrainian self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, the correspondent said.

    Residents of Debaltseve were given a choice of being evacuated to the eastern regions or to the western regions of Ukraine.

    On Thursday, the DPR leadership offered a full-fledged ceasefire to ensure the safe evacuation of civilians from the crisis-hit town of Debaltseve.

    The temporary truce, accepted by Kiev, came into force Friday at 11:00 a.m. local time (09:00 GMT).

    However, reports later emerged that civilians leaving Debaltseve came under fire from the Ukraine's Aidar Battallion. Kiev disputed these reports, claiming that the attack was carried out by "sabotage and reconnaissance forces of illegal armed groups" under the guise of Kiev-led troops.

    Kiev has been involved in a prolonged armed conflict with independence supporters in eastern Ukraine since April 2014.

    Hostilities in the region have intensified in recent weeks despite the warring parties agreeing to a ceasefire in the Belarusian capital of Minsk in September 2014.

    Topic:
    Situation in Ukraine After Ceasefire Agreement (450)

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    evacuation, Debaltseve, Donetsk, Ukraine
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