Residents of the besieged town of Debaltseve in eastern Ukraine are taken to safety by convoys of buses but some 3,000 people are reportedly staying behind. Mana Rabiee reports.
In the besieged town of Debalsteve in eastern Ukrainian, residents scurry away with their humanitarian aid .... as government shelling pounds the area nearby. Hundreds of others wait in the town's center for two convoys of nearly 50 buses --- that will take them away from here to safety. One convoy has come from government controlled territory -- the other, from areas controlled by pro-Russian armed rebels. And of the 25,000 who once lived in this bustling town, 3,000 say they're staying put. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) DEBALTSEVE RESIDENT VLADIMIR, SAYING: "We have two elders, one is 84, another one is 81. They can barely walk. How are we going to take them? We've been sitting in the cellar for two weeks without electricity or water. Where can we go? They have to be carried." The evaucation is being monitored by European officals with the cooperation of the government and rebels. ..and comes amid intensive talks in Moscow, where the leaders of France and Germany are appealing to Russia's Prisdent Putin to support and secure a Ukraine peace deal. But pro-Russian rebels have made gains on the battlefield in recent weeks and expectations of a breakthrough at the meeting in Moscow -- are low.