MOSCOW, April 6. /TASS/. Life in Ukraine’s strategic railway hub Debaltsevo that came under control of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic after fierce battles in January-February 2015 is returning to normal, the DPR’s press service said on Monday.
"Heating, power and water supply has been 100% restored at medical facilities of the city, and the windows at these facilities are 90% glazed," the press service said.
Power supply is restored in 99 high-rise apartment buildings and 267 private houses. Schools, hospitals, buildings of public prosecution, police and emergencies ministry have been "100% switched to necessities systems," it says.
Electricity is partly restored at the railway station, and communications systems have been established at 70% According to the DPR’s emergencies ministry, mobile phone operators MTS and Life are again providing services in the city.
In late January, Ukrainian troops were trapped by militias during a standoff in Debaltsevo, an important highway between Donetsk and Luhansk. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ordered the troops to withdraw from the so-called Debaltsevo pocket only on February 17.
Poroshenko later said 2,475 Ukrainian troops were pulled out, and only 6 were killed and another 100 were wounded. According to DPR’s head Alexander Zakharchenko, between 3,000 and 3,500 Ukrainian forces were killed in the Debaltsevo pocket.
Debaltsevo has been under control of the Donetsk republic since February 18. According to the DPR’s defense ministry, during the retreat the Ukrainian forces mined all the key facilities of the city. Some local communication lines were blown up.
In late February, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) monitors visited Debaltsevo and confirmed that the city was affected by a humanitarian crisis.
The Donetsk republic’s authorities said restoring Debaltsevo was one of the key tasks.