Ukraine forces' withdrawal from Debaltseve makes Cossacks celebrate

February 19, 2015 5:58 PM

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Ukraine forces' withdrawal from Debaltseve makes Cossacks celebrate

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 about half of the key rail hub that has been the focus of weeks of fighting in eastern Ukraine between Russia-backed separatists and government troops. They found all its neighborhoods under the control of rebel fighters.

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