This was stated by terrorist leader Igor Girkin on the militants' site "Russian Spring". The information was also confirmed by Ukrainska Pravda citing the soldiers in the ATO area, Censor.NET reports.
"We abandoned Karlivka last night as well as Netailove and Pervomaiske due to the threat of further encirclement and destruction of the small forces we had there," he said.
"The first to retreat was a unit of the Vostok battalion followed by a company of the Kalmius battalion. It was in accordance with an order, with no loss of equipment and small losses in people," he added.
He acknowledged that the Ukrainian troops unblocked the Donetsk airport and came up to the north-western outskirts of Donetsk.
"They will try and cut us off and make us retreat as in Sloviansk. If they are dumb enough to come on, we "welcome" them," he added.
The Ukrainian soldiers report that there is no one in Karlivka or near it.
The fight in Karlivka and its outskirts had lasted for over a week.
Girkin also said that the militants were driven from the border villages of Kozhevnia and Chervona Zaria.