(FOX NEWS) Ukrainian separatists dubbed by Russian President Vladimir Putin as "yesterday’s miners or yesterday’s tractor drivers" drove Ukraine's army from a key rail hub in the eastern part of the country in what was branded a "crushing defeat" just days after a short-lived cease-fire agreement.
Fierce fighting around the town of Debaltseve, through which railroads linking the two major separatist cities of Donetsk and Luhansk pass, had been raging for days despite a cease-fire deal brokered by European leaders and signed by Putin to take effect Sunday. The past was supposed to be followed by the withdrawal of heavy weaponry beginning Tuesday, but the fighting barely paused.
On Wednesday, multiple sources told Fox News that the pro-Russian rebels were holding 300 Ukrainian troops prisoner, but officials in Kiev insist that the number is lower. Russian state-owned television on Wednesday showed images of several dozen Ukrainian troops being escorted along a village road by the rebels.
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