Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

US Supreme Court Justice Breyer urges Americans to 'participate in public life'

Read more

FOCUS

Syria's Armenian minority building new life in Yerevan

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: On the red carpet for the world premiere of 'Fantastic Beasts 2'

Read more

ACCESS ASIA

Chinese 're-education' camps: Muslim Uighurs speak out

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Secret screenings: Director Sam Abbas brings LGBTQ film to Middle Eastern audience

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Onion-gate? Australian hardware store sparks anger over changes to hot dog stand

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's anti-Macron Twitter tirade

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Men's health in 'Movember': Raising awareness of male wellbeing

Read more

ENCORE!

She's alive: Discovering Mary Shelley, 200 years after Frankenstein was published

Read more

Europe

Video: The fight to defend Ukraine’s strategic Debaltseve

© FRANCE 24 I A truck drives down the road to Debaltseve

Video by Gulliver CRAGG , Marine COURTADE

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2015-01-23

As fighting in eastern Ukraine continues, the country’s military is struggling to defend the town of Debaltseve, which lies on a strategic road 70 km northeast of Donetsk. FRANCE 24’s Gulliver Cragg and Marine Courtade report from the front lines.

Pro-Russian separatists have surrounded the town on three sides, regularly battering it with artillery fire. There is only one road into Debaltseve from Ukrainian-held territory.

“The bombardment is ongoing, as you've heard,” Yevgeny Yukhanov, Debaltseve’s chief of police, told FRANCE 24 on Thursday. “We've had two people wounded already this morning.”

Despite the heavy artillery fire, the town’s main police station remains open to the public. It is now mandatory for residents to request a travel pass if they want to cross over into separatist-held territory.

While Ukraine’s government has insisted that the measure is necessary to track people’s movements for security reasons, it is unpopular among many who find it inhibitive.

“I can’t go home without a pass. I’ve been waiting three days and today they started bombing us at 5 a.m.,” said Lyudmila (who did not give her last name), a resident in the separatist-held city of Krasnyi Luch.

Meanwhile, Debaltseve’s inhabitants are living in a town under siege.

“I live in a five-storey building. The fifth storey got hit and collapsed. At my age I have to take shelter in someone else’s home,” Lyubov (who did not give her last name), a local resident, said. “I blame both sides [for the fighting].”

Date created : 2015-01-23

  • UKRAINE

    Ukrainian troops ‘retake’ Donetsk airport from rebels

    Read more

  • UKRAINE

    Russia, Ukraine agree to partial weapons withdrawal

    Read more

  • UKRAINE

    Ukrainian troops forced to withdraw from Donetsk airport

    Read more

COMMENT(S)