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Debaltseve – Life in the Ruins - 01 Mar 2015
One of the biggest battles of the Ukraine war ended in a humiliating defeat for government troops, thousands of whom pulled out of this town after a siege and onslaught by separatist fighters. Most of Debaltseve's 26,000 residents fled during the fighting. But according to the Red Cross as many as 5,000 stayed behind, many too elderly to flee. No one has attempted to tally the civilian deaths. Reuters photographer Baz Ratner photographed damaged homes in the towns of Debaltseve and Vuhlehirsk.
UKRAINE-CRISIS/DEBALTSEVE-WIDERIMAGE
RTR4RITH
February 28, 2015
A house damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Debaltseve February 25, 2015. Fighting over the railway...
Debaltseve, Ukraine
A house damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Debaltseve
A house damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Debaltseve February 25, 2015. Fighting over the railway hub of Debaltseve intensified in the days following a ceasefire deal meant to have taken effect on Feb. 15. Rebels who had encircled the town launched a massive assault, routing all Ukrainian forces by Feb. 18. The battle for the town caught civilians in the crossfire on a scale not yet seen in the war that has killed nearly 6,000 people. Most residential buildings in the town have been damaged by shelling or are burnt out. Picture taken February 25. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT MILITARY SOCIETY)

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UKRAINE-CRISIS/DEBALTSEVE-WIDERIMAGE
RTR4RITL
February 28, 2015
A house damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Vuhlehirsk February 25, 2015. Picture taken February...
Vuhlehirsk, Ukraine
A house damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Vuhlehirsk
A house damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Vuhlehirsk February 25, 2015. Picture taken February 25. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT MILITARY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY SOCIETY)

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UKRAINE-CRISIS/DEBALTSEVE-WIDERIMAGE
RTR4RITI
February 28, 2015
A shop which was damaged in fighting is seen in the town of Debaltseve February 25, 2015. Fighting over...
Debaltseve, Ukraine
A shop which was damaged in fighting is seen in the town of Debaltseve
A shop which was damaged in fighting is seen in the town of Debaltseve February 25, 2015. Fighting over the railway hub of Debaltseve intensified in the days following a ceasefire deal meant to have taken effect on Feb. 15. Rebels who had encircled the town launched a massive assault, routing all Ukrainian forces by Feb. 18. The battle for the town caught civilians in the crossfire on a scale not yet seen in the war that has killed nearly 6,000 people. Most residential buildings in the town have been damaged by shelling or are burnt out. Picture taken February 25. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT MILITARY SOCIETY)

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UKRAINE-CRISIS/DEBALTSEVE-WIDERIMAGE
RTR4RITK
February 28, 2015
A house which was damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Debaltseve February 25, 2015. Fighting over...
Debaltseve, Ukraine
A house which was damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Debaltseve
A house which was damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Debaltseve February 25, 2015. Fighting over the railway hub of Debaltseve intensified in the days following a ceasefire deal meant to have taken effect on Feb. 15. Rebels who had encircled the town launched a massive assault, routing all Ukrainian forces by Feb. 18. The battle for the town caught civilians in the crossfire on a scale not yet seen in the war that has killed nearly 6,000 people. Most residential buildings in the town have been damaged by shelling or are burnt out. Picture taken February 25. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT MILITARY SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

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UKRAINE-CRISIS/DEBALTSEVE-WIDERIMAGE
RTR4RITM
February 28, 2015
A window of a house which was damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Vuhlehirsk February 25, 2015....
Vuhlehirsk, Ukraine
A window of a house which was damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Vuhlehirsk
A window of a house which was damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Vuhlehirsk February 25, 2015. Picture taken February 25. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT MILITARY SOCIETY)

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UKRAINE-CRISIS/DEBALTSEVE-WIDERIMAGE
RTR4RITT
February 28, 2015
A house which was damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Vuhlehirsk February 25, 2015. Picture taken...
Vuhlehirsk, Ukraine
A house which was damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Vuhlehirsk
A house which was damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Vuhlehirsk February 25, 2015. Picture taken February 25. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT MILITARY SOCIETY)

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UKRAINE-CRISIS/DEBALTSEVE-WIDERIMAGE
RTR4RITU
February 28, 2015
Peeling wallpaper is seen in a house which was damaged by fighting in the town of Vuhlehirsk February...
Vuhlehirsk, Ukraine
Peeling wallpaper is seen in a house which was damaged by fighting in the town of Vuhlehirsk
Peeling wallpaper is seen in a house which was damaged by fighting in the town of Vuhlehirsk February 25, 2015. Picture taken February 25. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT MILITARY SOCIETY)

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UKRAINE-CRISIS/DEBALTSEVE-WIDERIMAGE
RTR4RITV
February 28, 2015
A house which was damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Debaltseve February 25, 2015. Fighting over...
Debaltseve, Ukraine
A house which was damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Debaltseve
A house which was damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Debaltseve February 25, 2015. Fighting over the railway hub of Debaltseve intensified in the days following a ceasefire deal meant to have taken effect on Feb. 15. Rebels who had encircled the town launched a massive assault, routing all Ukrainian forces by Feb. 18. The battle for the town caught civilians in the crossfire on a scale not yet seen in the war that has killed nearly 6,000 people. Most residential buildings in the town have been damaged by shelling or are burnt out. Picture taken February 25. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT MILITARY SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

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UKRAINE-CRISIS/DEBALTSEVE-WIDERIMAGE
RTR4RITZ
February 28, 2015
A photograph lies on the floor in a house which was damaged by fighting in the town of Debaltseve February...
Debaltseve, Ukraine
A photograph lies on the floor in a house which was damaged by fighting in the town of Debaltseve
A photograph lies on the floor in a house which was damaged by fighting in the town of Debaltseve February 25, 2015. Fighting over the railway hub of Debaltseve intensified in the days following a ceasefire deal meant to have taken effect on Feb. 15. Rebels who had encircled the town launched a massive assault, routing all Ukrainian forces by Feb. 18. The battle for the town caught civilians in the crossfire on a scale not yet seen in the war that has killed nearly 6,000 people. Most residential buildings in the town have been damaged by shelling or are burnt out. Picture taken February 25. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT MILITARY SOCIETY)

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UKRAINE-CRISIS/DEBALTSEVE-WIDERIMAGE
RTR4RITY
February 28, 2015
A dog stands near a building which was damaged by fighting in the town of Debaltseve February 25, 2015....
Debaltseve, Ukraine
A dog stands near a building which was damaged by fighting in the town of Debaltseve
A dog stands near a building which was damaged by fighting in the town of Debaltseve February 25, 2015. Fighting over the railway hub of Debaltseve intensified in the days following a ceasefire deal meant to have taken effect on Feb. 15. Rebels who had encircled the town launched a massive assault, routing all Ukrainian forces by Feb. 18. The battle for the town caught civilians in the crossfire on a scale not yet seen in the war that has killed nearly 6,000 people. Most residential buildings in the town have been damaged by shelling or are burnt out. Picture taken February 25. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST ANIMALS CONFLICT MILITARY SOCIETY)

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UKRAINE-CRISIS/DEBALTSEVE-WIDERIMAGE
RTR4RIU5
February 28, 2015
A man pulls a wheelbarrow past a house damaged by fighting in the town of Debaltseve February 25, 2015....
Debaltseve, Ukraine
A man pushes a wheelbarrow past a house damaged by fighting in the town of Debaltseve
A man pulls a wheelbarrow past a house damaged by fighting in the town of Debaltseve February 25, 2015. Fighting over the railway hub of Debaltseve intensified in the days following a ceasefire deal meant to have taken effect on Feb. 15. Rebels who had encircled the town launched a massive assault, routing all Ukrainian forces by Feb. 18. The battle for the town caught civilians in the crossfire on a scale not yet seen in the war that has killed nearly 6,000 people. Most residential buildings in the town have been damaged by shelling or are burnt out. Picture taken February 25, 2015. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT MILITARY SOCIETY)

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UKRAINE-CRISIS/DEBALTSEVE-WIDERIMAGE
RTR4RIU7
February 28, 2015
A house which was damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Vuhlehirsk February 25, 2015. Picture taken...
Vuhlehirsk, Ukraine
A house which was damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Vuhlehirsk
A house which was damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Vuhlehirsk February 25, 2015. Picture taken February 25, 2015. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT MILITARY SOCIETY)

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UKRAINE-CRISIS/DEBALTSEVE-WIDERIMAGE
RTR4RIU1
February 28, 2015
Woman walks past a house which was damaged by fighting in the town of Debaltseve February 25, 2015. Fighting...
Debaltseve, Ukraine
Woman walks past a house which was damaged by fighting in the town of Debaltseve
Woman walks past a house which was damaged by fighting in the town of Debaltseve February 25, 2015. Fighting over the railway hub of Debaltseve intensified in the days following a ceasefire deal meant to have taken effect on Feb. 15. Rebels who had encircled the town launched a massive assault, routing all Ukrainian forces by Feb. 18. The battle for the town caught civilians in the crossfire on a scale not yet seen in the war that has killed nearly 6,000 people. Most residential buildings in the town have been damaged by shelling or are burnt out. Picture taken February 25, 2015. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT MILITARY SOCIETY)

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UKRAINE-CRISIS/DEBALTSEVE-WIDERIMAGE
RTR4RIU2
February 28, 2015
A house which was damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Vuhlehirsk February 25, 2015. REUTERS/Baz...
Vuhlehirsk, Ukraine
A house which was damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Vuhlehirsk
A house which was damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Vuhlehirsk February 25, 2015. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT MILITARY SOCIETY)

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UKRAINE-CRISIS/DEBALTSEVE-WIDERIMAGE
RTR4RIU9
February 28, 2015
A house which was damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Debaltseve February 25, 2015. Fighting over...
Debaltseve, Ukraine
A house which was damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Debaltseve
A house which was damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Debaltseve February 25, 2015. Fighting over the railway hub of Debaltseve intensified in the days following a ceasefire deal meant to have taken effect on Feb. 15. Rebels who had encircled the town launched a massive assault, routing all Ukrainian forces by Feb. 18. The battle for the town caught civilians in the crossfire on a scale not yet seen in the war that has killed nearly 6,000 people. Most residential buildings in the town have been damaged by shelling or are burnt out. Picture taken February 25, 2015. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT MILITARY SOCIETY)

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UKRAINE-CRISIS/DEBALTSEVE-WIDERIMAGE
RTR4RIU8
February 28, 2015
A house which was damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Vuhlehirsk February 25, 2015. REUTERS/Baz...
Vuhlehirsk, Ukraine
A house which was damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Vuhlehirsk
A house which was damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Vuhlehirsk February 25, 2015. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT MILITARY SOCIETY)

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UKRAINE-CRISIS/DEBALTSEVE-WIDERIMAGE
RTR4RIUG
February 28, 2015
A house damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Vuhlehirsk February 25, 2015. Picture taken February...
Vuhlehirsk, Ukraine
A house damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Vuhlehirsk
A house damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Vuhlehirsk February 25, 2015. Picture taken February 25, 2015. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT MILITARY SOCIETY)

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UKRAINE-CRISIS/DEBALTSEVE-WIDERIMAGE
RTR4RIUE
February 28, 2015
Men ride bicycles past a building which was damaged by fighting in the town of Debaltseve February 23,...
Debaltseve, Ukraine
Men ride bicycles past a building which was damaged by fighting in the town of Debaltseve
Men ride bicycles past a building which was damaged by fighting in the town of Debaltseve February 23, 2015. Fighting over the railway hub of Debaltseve intensified in the days following a ceasefire deal meant to have taken effect on Feb. 15. Rebels who had encircled the town launched a massive assault, routing all Ukrainian forces by Feb. 18. The battle for the town caught civilians in the crossfire on a scale not yet seen in the war that has killed nearly 6,000 people. Most residential buildings in the town have been damaged by shelling or are burnt out. Picture taken February 23, 2015. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT MILITARY SOCIETY)

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UKRAINE-CRISIS/DEBALTSEVE-WIDERIMAGE
RTR4RIUH
February 28, 2015
The broken window of a house damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Vuhlehirsk February 25, 2015....
Vuhlehirsk, Ukraine
The broken window of a house damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Vuhlehirsk
The broken window of a house damaged by fighting is seen in the town of Vuhlehirsk February 25, 2015. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT MILITARY SOCIETY)

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