Civilians Return to Debaltseve: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 96) – Vice News Published on Feb 27, 2015


After a month of heavy fighting, the pro-Russia separatists of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) finally took the strategically important rail hub town of Debaltseve in eastern Ukraine.

In early January, the DNR had launched a winter offensive on Ukrainian positions, seizing the Donetsk airport and attacking Ukrainian checkpoints across the line of control separating the two sides. Once the airport had fallen, the DNR focused its attention on Debaltseve, surrounding the town on three sides and pounding it with artillery for four straight weeks. The attack killed dozens and forced thousands of residents to flee.

VICE News traveled to Debaltseve a few days after it fell to the DNR to speak to some of the civilians who were slowly returning to their town, which now lies in ruins.

Civilians Return to Debaltseve: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 96) – Vice News Published on Feb 27, 2015


After a month of heavy fighting, the pro-Russia separatists of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) finally took the strategically important rail hub town of Debaltseve in eastern Ukraine.

In early January, the DNR had launched a winter offensive on Ukrainian positions, seizing the Donetsk airport and attacking Ukrainian checkpoints across the line of control separating the two sides. Once the airport had fallen, the DNR focused its attention on Debaltseve, surrounding the town on three sides and pounding it with artillery for four straight weeks. The attack killed dozens and forced thousands of residents to flee.

VICE News traveled to Debaltseve a few days after it fell to the DNR to speak to some of the civilians who were slowly returning to their town, which now lies in ruins.

Trying to Flee Debaltseve: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 90) – Vice News Published on Feb 3, 2015


After two weeks of shelling, the situation in the Ukrainian-controlled town of Debaltseve has become extremely dire. For 10 days, the civilians in the town have been without water, gas, or electricity in freezing temperatures. The hardship — coupled with the constant shelling — has forced thousands of residents to flee.

On Saturday, the forces of the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic took control of the town of Vuhlehirsk, around 10 kilometers east of Debaltseve, giving the separatists a chance to block the only road leading north to Artemivsk, the nearest point of safety.

In this dispatch, VICE News travels to Debaltseve to meet civilians hoping to evacuate the war-ravaged town and others who have been forced to stay. We also visit a hospital in Artemivsk to see how the staff is coping with the influx of wounded civilians and soldiers.

Watch “On the Front Lines with the Ukrainian Army: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 89)” – http://bit.ly/1F2roAy