From mid-January 2015 during the war in the Donbass region of Ukraine, the separatist forces of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) tried to recapture the city of Debaltseve in Donetsk Oblast, which had been under Ukrainian control since a counter-offensive by government forces in July 2014. The city lay in a "wedge" of Ukrainian-held territory bordered by the DPR on one side, and the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) on the other, and is a vital road and railway junction. Separatists began a concerted effort to force Ukrainian troops out of the city on 16–17 January, sparking the Battle of Debaltseve. Heavy fighting went on until 18 February 2015, when Ukrainian forces were forced to withdraw.
Battle of DebaltsevePart of the War in Donbass
Map showing the encirclement and withdrawal of Ukrainian forces from Debaltseve and its surrounding areas.Date14 January – 20 February 2015
(as of 19 February)58 kille[(separatist claim)
70 killed (Russian opposition claim)500+ civilians killed (separatist claim)* Number updated to 269 confirmed killed after dozens of bodies were recovered.
** 104 prisoners were released.[
*** Subsequently the bodies of the missing soldiers were recovered.