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MOSCOW, February 17. /TASS/. Ukraine’s army is pulling heavy weapons closer to Debaltsevo with obvious aim to unblock troops trapped in the Debaltsevo pocket, Eduard Basurin, a spokesman for the defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), said on Tuesday.
"According to reconnaissance data, after dark Ukraine’s troops are pulling heavy artillery systems and multiple launch rocket systems to their positions near the settlements of Artemovsk, Svetodarskoye and Luganskoye," the Donetsk News Agency quoted him as saying.
He said it indicated that the Ukrainian side was preparing another attempt to unblock troops entrapped in the Debaltsevo pocket.
Also, Basurin said hundreds of Ukrainian troops had surrendered to DPR militias over the past 24 hours. He said he refrained from citing the exact number of surrendered Ukrainian servicemen and their names due to security considerations.
"According to our information, the Ukrainian army command declares those who surrender ‘traitors to the country’ with relevant legal consequences," he said.