Rebels 'destroying' key Ukraine town

2015-02-14 14:33
A tank crew drives past displaying the Ukrainian flag near the eastern Ukrainian town of Luganske in the Donetsk region. (Volodymyr Shuvayev, AFP)

A tank crew drives past displaying the Ukrainian flag near the eastern Ukrainian town of Luganske in the Donetsk region. (Volodymyr Shuvayev, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kiev - Ferocious rebel bombardments on Saturday were levelling the key government-held town of Debaltseve in east Ukraine, hours before a ceasefire was due to start, the local police boss said.

"The rebels are destroying the town of Debaltseve. There are non-stop artillery bombardments of residential areas and buildings. The town is in flames," pro-Kiev police chief Vyacheslav Abroskin said on Facebook.

Abroskin said that Grad missiles had hit the town's police headquarters.

Debaltseve, a strategic railway hub between rebel strongholds Donetsk and Lugansk, has been the epicentre of fierce fighting in recent days and thousands of civilians have fled.

Rebels have been battling to encircle government forces in the town but Kiev denies claims that thousands of its troops have been surrounded.

The onslaught comes hours before a truce deal agreed by insurgents and Kiev following marathon talks between the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France comes into force at 2200 GMT Saturday.

Ukraine and the US have accused Russia of pouring in weapons to fuel a frenzied rebel offensive to grab territory before the truce started.

Read more on:    ukraine

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.