Donetsk, Feb 18 – DAN. The operation to liberate Debaltsevo and Chernukhino in 2015 was one of the most important joint victories of the Republics, DPR Head Denis Pushilin said in his speech to commemorate the events that was read at a rally in Chernukhino on Monday.

"The liberation of Debaltsevo and Chernukhino is one of the most important joint victories of the Republics," he said. "Our soldiers showed resilience and power of spirit, courage and bravery, faith in their ideals during tough and bloody fighting".

LPR Head Leonid Pasechnik said speaking at the rally that it was a historic victory  over Ukrainian radicals, and it closed the road to Donbass for Ukraine.

The rally consisting of 300 people commemorated the memory of all the 34 residents of Chernukhino who were killed in 2014-2015. Children released white balloons in their honor. The minute of silence was observed, followed by laying flowers to a memorial to residents who were killed in the war.

Chernukhino is located eight km away from Debaltsevo, in the DPR south. It was a strategic location during the times of the DPR and LPR joint operation to surround a large group of Ukrainian forces and to liberate Debaltsevo, one of the major railway nodes of Donbass. The battle of Debaltsevo lasted for nearly three weeks and ended on February 18, 2015 by liberation of the city from Ukrainial occupational forces. *ot