“The president has actually left for the [‘anti-terrorism’ operation] zone. A National Security Council and Ukrainian Defense meeting is planned in the evening,” the press service said.
President Poroshenko left for eastern Ukraine from an airport in Boryspil, 18 miles away from the Ukrainian capital Kiev, according to local 112 Ukraina TV channel.
Speaking before his departure, Poroshenko confirmed the planned withdrawal of troops from the heavily contested Debaltseve area.
The town of Debaltseve sits on a key transport hub between the two breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, in eastern Ukraine.
The television added that the troops “are leaving with all of their weapons to demonstrate to the world and Russia that Debaltsevo is not surrounded.”
Militias in the area said on Tuesday they had completely encircled and “swept” the town, leaving Ukrainian troops there demoralized. They said Ukrainian personnel were surrendering in hundreds, and turning their weapons over to self-defense forces there.
The United States, Britain and Ukraine condemned the hostilities around Debaltseve at a UN Security Council session, which convened on Tuesday to endorse a Russia-drafted resolution urging the warring parties in eastern Ukraine to abide by the Minsk ceasefire deal.
The Minsk accords were agreed on in Belarus last week. They outlined steps needed to be taken to bring peace to Ukraine, including a ceasefire and pullout of heavy weapons from the line of contact.