Russian and pro-Russian forces appear to have gained the upper hand in Debaltseve, a strategically located railroad hub in eastern Ukraine:
The Wall Street Journal reported that Semyon Semenchenko, a member of parliament and commander of a pro-Kiev volunteer battalion, wrote on Facebook that “the withdrawal for forces from Debaltseve is being conducted in a planned and organized way.”
However, a military spokesman in Kiev said troops were “regrouping” and continuing to fight in Debaltseve. “The enemy, grossly violating the peace agreements, began to storm Debaltseve after a massive artillery assault.”
The separatists have claimed that the area around Debaltseve isn’t covered by the cease-fire deal. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who helped broker the agreement last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested while visiting Budapest last week that Ukrainian forces should lay down their arms.
The next part is classic Putin:
“Of course, it’s always bad to lose,” Mr. Putin told reporters, according to The Journal. “Of course it’s always a hardship when you lose to yesterday’s miners or yesterday’s tractor drivers. But life is life. It’ll surely go on.”
It’s not just that Putin is lying — of course Putin is lying. And it’s not just that Putin’s gives cover to the Russian Army forces doing the real fighting under the guise of local separatists. It’s that his lie does that and impugns the fighting abilities, even the manliness, of the Ukraine Army forces opposite him. And then he wraps it all up with the implication that these girly Ukrainian men should lay down their arms so that they might go back to their homes and live quiet girly man lives. Meanwhile, Manly Man Vlad will take what he wants.
Good thing we have President Look At Me Looking At Me on top of the situation.