MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko could not order the Ukrainian forces to leave Debaltsevo as communication is disabled there, the defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said on Wednesday.
"How could Poroshenko order them to leave? How can they deliver such information there? Communication is completely blocked there — cell phones don’t work, radio stations don’t broadcast," DPR defense minister Vladimir Kononov said.
"The circle is tight. There is no way to get in or out," Kononov said. He reminded that the self-defense forces are ready to provide a "green corridor" only for those servicemen who laid down their arms. "Without that, no one will let them leave," he stressed.
"One hundred and four people surrendered as prisoners yesterday. Today in the morning we continued receiving information that people surrender, they don’t try to leave, they just surrender in groups. Those who tried to break through the encirclement were destroyed," Kononov told the Russian News Service.
Today Poroshenko announced that Ukrainian servicemen began retreating with military equipment before setting off for the conflict zone. "Eighty percent of Ukrainian servicemen with military equipment were already pulled out from the town [Debaltsevo]," he said. "The pullout is evidence that there was no encirclement in Debaltsevo," he added.