Two pro-Russian seperatists stop a man holding his arms up in the eastern Ukrainian city of Uglegorsk, 6 kms southwest of Debaltseve, February 19, 2015. AFP/VASILY MAXIMOV
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Fighting raged in eastern Ukraine Thursday despite European efforts to resurrect a stillborn cease-fire, a day after pro-Russian separatists spurned the truce by forcing thousands of government troops out of a strategic town.The Kiev government's biggest fear is of a rebel assault on Mariupol, a port of 500,000 people and by far the biggest government-held city in the two rebellious eastern provinces.Some blamed commanders for leaving them trapped in the besieged town after it became impossible to resupply it.The rebels have maintained that the cease-fire did not apply to Debaltseve, suggesting they may begin to observe it now that they have captured the town. They have said they are pulling back heavy guns as required under the truce.
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