"I can say that our withdrawal from Debaltseve is one of the best operations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. When Putin deemed that he had surrounded 8,000 Ukrainian soldiers, when he delivered an ultimatum that they hoisted the white flag, surrendered their weapons, and abandoned themselves to the conqueror's mercy, I reached out to each brigade and battalion commander (or the Chief of General Staff was onto them on my behalf). I was proud that the commanders said they would not surrender," he said.
According to him, the Ukrainian servicemen, holding the line near Debaltseve, provided him with the necessary support during talks with the leaders of Germany, France, and Russia in Minsk (Belarus). "And I have already got strong support of our soldiers, when I was heading to Minsk," Poroshenko said.