MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Almost 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers left the city of Debaltseve in southeastern Ukraine, President Petro Poroshenko said Wednesday.
Debaltseve is a key transport hub in eastern Ukraine, where thousands of Kiev soldiers have been encircled by Donbas militia for weeks.
"At the moment, 2,475 Ukrainian soldiers left Debaltseve…Nearly 200 units of weaponry were completely withdrawn from the Debaltseve area," Poroshenko said at a meeting of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council.
Earlier on Wednesday, Poroshenko said the operation to withdraw Kiev troops from the encirclement in Debaltseve had been completed.
Following the ceasefire between Kiev forces and independence supporters, agreed on last week by the leaders of Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia, intense fighting between the warring sides continued in Debaltseve.
The head of OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine said on Wednesday the monitors are still unable to get to Debaltseve because of continuing clashes in the area.