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Kyiv says Debaltseve not yet encircled

    20 January 2021 Wednesday

    Militants have launched five attacks on Ukrainian positions in Debaltseve in the past 24 hours and every attack was repelled, Ukrainian army spokesman Andriy Lysenko said.

    "The city has not been encircled. The Ukrainian army is holding its positions. Units, which have arrived to reinforce our fighters in Debaltseve, are repelling hostile attacks and preventing the closure of the so-called pocket," he said at a press briefing in Kyiv on February 2.Militants tried to attack Ukrainian positions from the side of Faschivka, Kirovske, Vuhlehirsk, Alchevsk and Pervomaisk on Sunday, Lysenko said.

    More than 2,000 people have been evacuated from the towns of Debaltseve and Avdiyivka in Donetsk region, Head of the State Service for Emergency Situations Serhiy Bochkovsky has said."To date, 2,240 people have been evacuated. A mobile rescue team, which consists of six cars, is currently working there," he said at a visiting session of the State Commission for Emergency Situations in Kyiv on February 2.

    In particular, a train carrying 157 evacuees, including 24 children, arrived in Kyiv on Februry 2 morning.Meanwhile, illegal armed groups continued to shell cars which were evacuating civilians, including wounded and traumatized individuals, from the area, Bochkovsky said.Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk, who headed the session, ordered the emergencies agency to provide armored trucks to the evacuation team.

    Nearly 900,000 refugees from the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone in eastern Ukraine have received pensions in other regions of the country, Social Policy Minister Pavlo Rozenko said at a briefing in Kyiv.

    "As of today, according to the Pension Fund, nearly 900,000 retirees from the parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions controlled by Ukrainian government already receive pensions," Rozenko said. The minister said that social protection facilities had already registered almost 950,000 temporarily displaced citizens. Rozenko promised that the state would continue doing everything possible to provide the refugees with social benefits and other necessities.

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