In an example of cooperation not seen between the two sides throughout the civil war, Ukraine’s government and eastern rebels have cooperated to evacuate Debaltseve, a front-line town currently contested in their fighting.
Debaltseve is considered a strategically valuable site, along the highway between Luhansk and Donetsk. It is currently held by the military, though the rebels have been making progress on it.
Rebels said the deal to evacuate Debaltseve was crucial, as it allowed the residents of the mostly ethnic Russian town to decide whether they want to go to rebel territory or government territory.
That the two sides were willing to cooperate at all on the matter could be a hugely positive sign for a new round of negotiations, aimed at restoring the ceasefire that collapsed last month.