Drone footage shows one of Ukraine's bloodiest battlefields, Debaltsevo, 1yr on
RT's Ruptly drone footage captured decaying heavy military machinery scattered all over what was known during the height of the Ukrainian conflict as the "Debaltsevo Cauldron" – exactly as it was one year ago, when fighting ceased in the area.
A strategic railway hub connecting the breakaway regions of Lugansk and Donetsk, Debaltsevo became a stumbling block during the Minsk peace talks, and even after the ceasefire, remained a battlefield where around 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers were surrounded by forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic.
One of the most violent clashes during the whole conflict lasted for over a month in Debaltsevo and nearby villages, claiming the lives of nearly 200 Ukrainian soldiers and leaving some 500 injured, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. However, the precise number of casualties remains unknown, with self-defense forces' estimates suggesting over 3,000 pro-Kiev fighters lost their lives in the battle.
Civilians had to suffer in shelters and then flee their native land. One year later, the grim images suggest the badly destroyed homes remain abandoned and unrepaired.