It was only one week ago in Minsk where Ukraine President Poroshenko denied the existence of the Debaltsevo cauldron. The entire world knew that Ukraine’s army was encircled with no way out, and yet Poroehnko refused to see the facts on the ground.
Debaltsevo was not mentioned in the Minsk 2 agreement for the very reason that Poroshenko could not bring himself to discuss reality. The corrupt, oligarch chocolate king preferred to live in his American protected Willy Wonka fantasy world.
Even US propaganda news outlets had to finally admit that the Debaltsevo lid had closed, and the cauldron was now cooking with 5,000 – 8,000 of Ukraine’s best men trapped inside. Bloomberg reported…
There are plenty of authoritative Western press reports (here’s one from The New York Times and one from The Wall Street Journal), as well as Ukrainian reports citing military sources in the area, confirming that a sizable Ukrainian contingent — up to 8,000 troops — has been encircled by separatist forces. (To use military parlance, Ukraine’s forces were originally positioned as a salient — a fragile extension into rebel territory — but now they are completely surrounded, forced into what Russians call a kotyol, or cauldron.)
Now we have news breaking that…
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has confirmed the planned withdrawal of troops out of the Debaltseve area.
Sputnik News Agency reports Poroshenko as saying on Twitter…
“Our units have withdrawn in a planned and organized manner. Completely, with their combat hardware, battle tanks, artillery and trucks”
This morning several Ukraine’s Armed Forces and National Guard units withdrew from Debaltseve in an orderly and pre-planned manner.
— Петро Порошенко (@poroshenko) February 18, 2015
US/EU backed Ukraine Donbas battalion commander, and parliament member Semen Semenchenko said on his Facebook page…
“The withdrawal of troops from Debaltsevo is underway as planned and organized. All of the stories about the control over Logvinovo turned out to be fairy tales and the pumpkin didn’t turn into a carriage.”
Now the US PR spin begins, as Poroshenko is trapped in a web of lies with no other choice but to convince the world that his troops are not surrendering (they are), but rather voluntarily leaving with equipment in hand. Unfortunately video evidence paints a different picture. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTBGJaRqkU0
— Novorossiya Lives (@Novorossiyan) February 18, 2015
The Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic’s administration, Maksim Leshchenko, said Ukrainian military commanders had ditched Debaltseve, leaving regular Ukrainian troops demoralised. Leshchenko also added that hundreds of Ukrainian military personnel were turning over their weapons in one of the last hot spots of Debaltseve.
“Debaltseve is currently being swept, the 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 numbers of people are in the hundreds,”
And no matter how you slice it or dice it, Debaltsevo was a convincing defeat for Poroshenko and his US commanders.