Hero’s welcome: Ukraine soldiers escape hell for home

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KIEV, Ukraine — The Ukrainian soldiers, thousands of them, were encircled for days by Russia-backed separatists who rained down death upon them. Mortars and missiles slammed into the troops’ redoubts atop a bluff near Debaltseve, a town with a population 25,000 before the war. 

Months of fighting decimated the place, reducing entire blocks to rubble and killing scores of civilians, not to mention dozens of government troops. 

In the end, with their “road of life” to provide them with reinforcements and supplies cut off, they were forced to withdraw, giving the separatists yet another symbolic victory in the 10-month-long conflict and granting them control of a strategic transport hub. The Ukrainian’s retreat was hasty, humiliating and deadly.  Read more…

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