Kyiv, March 4, 2015. Ukraine lost 19 servicemen in the course of the planned operation to withdraw from the Debaltseve foothold. Around 3,000 Ukrainian troops left the area, stated Vladyslav Seleznyov, acting spokesman for the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, at a briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. Moreover, 135 servicemen were wounded and the whereabouts of 20 soldiers are being clarified. Nine Ukrainian soldiers who were leaving Debaltseve remain in captivity. Ukrainian Armed Forces puts all of its efforts to release our soldiers. Within the last week, the remains of 81 persons killed in the period of January-February were collected territories temporarily not under control of the Ukrainian government. “We have identified 19 bodies so far. Their names will be placed on the Ministry of Defence web site www.mil.gov.ua”, added the General Staff representative. Forensic experts are working to identify the rest of the remains. A total of 195 persons remain in captivity of the pro-Russian insurgents; the fate of 340 servicemen is being clarified.
New recruits of the “Aidar” battalion are soon to take an oath of allegiance. The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the “Aidar” battalion work closely to integrate the latter according to the military statute standards. “The battalion is engaged in combat missions in the areas of Shchastya, Stanytsia Luhanska, Lysychansk, Tryokhizbenka, Zolote, Starobilsk, Severodonetsk,” noted Vladyslav Seleznyov.