"Today is a requiem (act of remembrance) for all those who died in eastern Ukraine. It is to all men who gave their lives defending our peaceful Ukraine. It is to all men who gave their lives, which is the most valuable thing."
A vigil was held in Kiev on Friday to commemorate those who lost their lives in the fighting in eastern Ukraine.
Dozens gathered at a makeshift memorial in Independence Square to lay flowers and light up candles for the victims.
More than 5,300 people have been killed in the conflict, according to a United Nations count.
The vigil was taking place as the leaders of France, Germany and Russia were holding talks in Moscow on a new proposal to try to bring an end to the deaths and start the long process of finding a lasting peace in the region.
A ceasefire deal was reached in September, but both sides violated it and the fighting has risen sharply in the past two weeks.