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Kiev troops may be allowed to leave Debaltsevo trap with no arms — LPR leader

Luhansk republic leader is not sure the leader of the DPR will be willing to let encircled Ukrainian servicemen go

MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. The leaders of the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk republics will consider a possibility of providing a corridor to Kiev troops trapped in the Debaltsevo pocket, but they will not be able to leave with arms or hardware, LPR leader Igor Plotnitsky said on Wednesday.

Plotnitsky told reporters at the LuganskInformCentre that he would discuss the issue with the leader of the Donetsk people’s republic, adding that he is not sure that Alexander Zakharchenko "still has such a wish."

"If the army lays down arms and hardware and leaves the Debaltsevo pocket, then I think that I will manage to agree [with Zakharchenko] on releasing them," Plotnitsky said.

Zakharchenko, who was injured in combat near Debaltsevo on Tuesday and taken to a hospital in Luhansk, is currently undergoing rehabilitation in Donetsk. The DPR defense ministry confirmed that Zakharchenko had received an exit gunshot wound to his leg.

On Tuesday, DPR defense ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin told journalists that around 5,000 Ukrainian servicemen were encircled in Debaltsevo. The head of administration of the self-proclaimed Donetsk republic's leader on Wednesday reported that the government forces trapped near Debaltsevoare en masse laying down arms to militias.