Ukraine: Debaltsevo troops surrender

by our European Affairs correspondent

NOVOROSSIYAN forces have liberated Debaltsevo following a final push into the town that led to the complete collapse of all puppet army resistance. It followed an appeal by Russian President Vladimir Putin urging the besieged Ukraine’s troops in Debaltsevo to surrender and save their lives.

Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg said the offensive had put the renewed Minsk peace agreement at risk and urged Russia withdraw its forces, which he claimed were assisting the partisans, and to use all its influence on the “separatists” to make them respect the ceasefire. But the Russians and the Novorossiyans argue that as the town had been completely surrounded it was not covered by the truce.

At the United Nations the Security Council unanimously endorsed a Russian resolution approving the 13-point accord on ending the crisis agreed in the Belarusian capital last week. Meanwhile Russia had pledged even more help to rebuild war-torn eastern Ukraine. “We are already helping the residents of Donbas, first of all with humanitarian aid,” the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament told the media on Wednesday.

Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin, a prominent supporter of Vladimir Putin, said: “I believe that Russia won’t stand on the side-lines and will of course help rebuild Donbas, but this will be a large and common task for both Russia and Ukraine.” Somewhat optimistically he added the hope that “European partners would also join” in rebuilding the shattered regions of Ukraine.

At the moment there’s not much sign of a change of heart in the imperialist camp but across the front-line in Ukraine the ceasefire is now holding as negotiations start for an “all for all” exchange of prisoners-of-war taken in the recent round of fighting in eastern Ukraine.

The Novorossiyan flag was raised over the centre of Debaltsevo on Wednesday following the collapse of all Ukrainian puppet army resistance in the town that is the road and railway hub to the flow of coal from the Donbas.

The Ukrainian army and fascist “Naziguard” militiamen had vowed to defend Debaltsevo to the death. But when the troops discovered that their commanders had fled leaving them in the lurch all organised resistance ended. Most of the besieged garrison were allowed to withdraw to the Ukrainian lines. Hundreds of others surrendered to the partisans.

In Moscow the Russian communist leader Gennady Zyuganov told the American ambassador that he was surprised at continuation of the current US policy in post-Soviet countries as it was not bringing any dividends to the United States but only creating new division lines that, in Zyuganov’s words, “were already bleeding”. The leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation warned that the “worst times of the Cold War” could return if the United States continued to pursue its current role in the Ukrainian crisis during talks with John Tefft last week.

Zyuganov told the US envoy that it was wrong to call the armed resistance in southeast Ukraine “separatists” as these people only wanted to maintain economic ties with Russia and defended their right to speak their own language. He stressed that people from Donbas had never attacked anyone in Kiev or Lvov. “They simply defend their motherland, their homes, their families,” Zyuganov declared. “This is why the Russian Communist Party is sending humanitarian aid to the people of Donbas.”