Steve Lendman – Kiev Surrenders Debaltsevo: A Key Strategic Victory For Rebel Forces – 18 February 2015

StevelendmanUkraine’s Unian information agency announced it headlining “Ukraine withdrawing troops from Debaltseve.”

Kiev’s battalion commander Semen Semenchenko announced it on Facebook.
Saying “(a) planned and organized withdrawal of troops from Debaltseve is being carried out.”
“All the stories about (Ukraine) regaining control in Logvinovo have proved to be false.”
“We have no control over Debaltseve-Artemivsk highway either, because of Logvinovo situation.”

“Other roads are controlled by the National Guard, Donbas and part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”
“The enemy is trying to cut the roads and prevent the exit of the groups (of soldiers).
“Our artillery does not allow the enemy to gather in a striking force, pressing its firing points. Howitzers, MLRS Grads, Hurricanes, mortars, tanks are being used.”
“P.S: It is a pity that such scenario has been chosen. The enemy redeployed all the reserves available out of Horlivka and Stakhanov.”
“No defenses there, while we have everything available. One hit and the front would crumble and the terrorists and Russian mercenaries would be surrounded. All this is beyond my comprehension.”
RT International reported Kiev’s surrender saying Ukrainian troops “surrender(ed) en masse.”
Poroshenko ordered their withdrawal. He lied saying “(w)e stated and proved that Debaltsevo was under our control and that there was no encirclement.”
“Our units withdrew according to plan in an organized manner. They took military hardware with them – tanks, APCs, artillery pieces, tow-tracks, cars.”
Rebel spokesman Eduard Basurin said Ukrainian forces surrendered. They “la(id) down their arms ‘in the hundreds.’ “
Donetsk People’s Republic administration head Maksim Leshchenko said “Debaltsevo is currently being swept.”
“Ukrainian troops there are demoralized. The commanders have left, and there is practically no mobile phone service because the communications tower was destroyed.”
“A mass turnover of weapons by Ukrainian forces is underway in Debaltsevo. The number of (soldiers surrendering is) in the hundreds.”
Sputnik News reported DPR forces withdrawing heavy weapons from frontline positions.
It’s ongoing in areas where junta forces refrain from fighting. A Donetsk New Agency statement said:
“The armed forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic have begun the withdrawal of heavy artillery systems from the frontline in accordance with the Minsk agreement dated September 19, 2014.”
Separately, Sputnik News confirmed other reports indicating junta forces withdrawing from Debaltsevo.
Hundreds of Kiev troops are handing over their weapons and surrendering. An estimated 5,000 were trapped in Debaltsevo.
“A mass turnover of weapons” continues, said Sputnik News. Rebels achieved a strategic victory. Junta forces were decisively defeated.
Poroshenko said he’s “heading for the frontline to meet those who fled Debeltseve.”
He “called for a (Wednesday evening) meeting…with national security council and defense” officials.
Postmortems won’t turn defeat into victory. It remains to be seen what scheme Kiev putschists and Washington have in mind next.
On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey issued a statement. He discussed Joe Biden threatening new sanctions, saying:
“We treat (his) statement as a pronouncement traditional for Joe Biden containing new threats.”
“Probably, he means that the US will demand from Russia to pay the price, including by forcing EU states to toughen their position.”
“Debaltsevo is a pretext, and we have signaled the need to settle this problem back on February 11 but we were told that this problem did not exist.”
“But as it turns out, it does exist. That is why, I would treat this as a new confirmation of Washington’s unconstructive approach, in this case displayed by the US vice-president.”
Rebels showed their clear superiority. Junta forces are no match for their determination to prevail for freedom.
At the same time, conflict by no means ended. Expect Kiev together with Washington plotting their next moves. Expect war, not peace, ahead.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at
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