‘Surrender now’ Putin tells KievUkraine’s  army is on the brink of a major defeat as Russian-backed separatists rebound refreshed from a short ceasefire to encircle the defenders of a key city. Russian President Vladimir Putin overnight demanded the Kiev government tell its soldiers in the city of Debaltseve to lay down their weapons and surrender to pro-Moscow rebels. “I hope that the Ukrainian authorities are not going to prevent the Ukrainian soldiers from laying down their weapons,” Putin said in a press conference in Budapest. Putin went on to say the Ukraine conflict could not be solved by “military means”, though the loss of the central rail-hub city would be a devastating blow to Ukrainian infrastructure and communications. The UN Security Council responded by calling for an immediate end to Ukraine hostilities. Ukraine on Tuesday accused rebels and Russia of scuppering a fragile three-day-old ceasefire after insurgents stormed the flashpoint town and engaged thousands of troops in intense combat. Heavy artillery fire had been directed at the defenders to remove any opportunity to organise a defence. Fierce fighting is now raging in the streets of Debaltseve, a strategic railway hub between the main rebel-held cities of Donetsk and Lugansk. More