President Petro Poroshenko arrives in eastern Ukraine to thank his fighters who pulled out of Debaltseve following a rebel offensive. Nathan Frandino reports.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko tours Kramatorsk to meet soldiers, forced back to camp by intense fighting in nearby Debaltseve. A rebel offensive intensified there over the weekend, despite a peace deal struck last week. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT POROSHENKO, SAYING: "I am saying thank you for the exemplary performance of your combat mission, for courage, for heroism, which you have shown though six months as you were holding the defence of Debaltseve." Aerial drone video taken by Ukraine's charity fund Army SOS shortly after last week's peace talks, shows what the city looks like... a countryside marked by the scars of war. It was this that ultimately drove Ukrainian troops from the city Tuesday. Many of the wounded are now in Artemivsk, telling tales of a relentless assault. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN SERVICEMAN OLEH VOITSEHOVSKY, SAYING: "Our armed forces came under attack by separatists when they were trying to leave Debaltseve. They were being shot at from all types of weapons from Grad rockets to firearms." Poroshenko says more than 80 percent of his troops have left the city, trying to escape the same fate that's claimed more than 5,000 lives in the past year.