(New York Times) As violence continued to plague eastern Ukraine on Thursday, demoralized Ukrainian soldiers straggled into the town of Artemivsk, griping about incompetent leadership and recounting desperate conditions and gruesome killing as they beat a haphazard retreat from the strategic town of Debaltseve.
Gunshots rang out on the central square, as many soldiers began drinking heavily. One soldier stood, swaying, on the sidewalk mumbling to himself. Others, who had escaped from Debaltseve after weeks of shelling, were seizing taxicabs without payment. It was not clear that all of them had been given places to sleep, and one group stood silently, shivering on a street outside the Hotel Ukraine.
At Biblios, an upscale restaurant, soldiers tramped about the dining room, ordering brandy that they could not afford, then firing shots into the ceiling as the paying guests quietly fled the premises.
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