Cossack fighters laugh, hug, pose for pictures as they take control of key east Ukrainian town

February 19, 2015 2:47 PM

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Cossack fighters laugh, hug, pose for pictures as they take control of key east Ukrainian town

DEBALTSEVE, Ukraine — Rebel fighters, many of them Cossacks, roamed the streets of Debaltseve on Thursday, a day after Ukrainian forces began withdrawing from the besieged town. The mood was celebratory, with fighters laughing, hugging each other and posing for photos.

Associated Press journalists drove Thursday around half of the town that has been a focal point for weeks of fierce fighting in eastern Ukraine, finding all its neighborhoods under the control of rebel fighters.

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