Vladimir Putin asks Ukraine to forego strategic town of Debaltseve

London : Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly asked the Ukrainian government to allow its troops to stand down and surrender to rebels in the strategic town of Debaltseve. Putin also added that he hoped that the rebels would allow any captured government troops to go back to their families, reported the BBC.

Despite a ceasefire deal that took effect last week, fierce clashes continued in the town with rebels claiming that they controlled most of the areas. The town has become a key prize for the battling forces as it is located on a strategic railway line linking rebel-held Donetsk and Luhansk.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko described the rebel attempts to take the town as a “cynical attack” on the truce deal. He called on the permanent members of the UN Security Council to prevent further violation of “fundamental principles and rules of the UN and the unleashing of a full-scale war in the very centre of Europe.” The UN Security Council too urged both the sides to immediately end hostilities.

A resolution prepared by Russia, urging all sides to abide by the ceasefire agreement, signed in the Belarusian capital Minsk last week, was adopted unanimously by the council on Tuesday.

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