Drone footage shows the war-scarred landscape and damaged villages around what became known, during the height of the Ukrainian conflict, as the “Debaltsevo Cauldron.” Almost exactly one year since the end of the battle, armoured vehicles still litter the battlefield and destroyed homes remain abandoned and unrepaired.

Forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR/DPR) occupied Debaltsevo after a month-long battle against pro-Kiev forces. It was one of the bloodiest and most violent clashes between the DNR/DPR and Kiev forces during the whole conflict, with the precise number of casualties remaining unknown.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence estimated that by February 20, 2015, over 190 Ukrainian service personnel had been killed and over 500 were wounded in Debaltsevo. However, the day before that announcement, Deputy Chairman of the DNR National Council, Denis Pushilin, said at least 3,008 pro-Kiev fighters had lost their lives in the battle.

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