Ukraine’s Commander in Chief President Petro Poroshenko allegedly ordered an offensive in Russian occupied Donbas in order to save lives. This is how RIA Novosti, Moskovskyi Komsomolets, Novorossiya, Izvestia, the Federal News Agency, IRNET.ru and others interpreted President Poroshenko’s October 11 speech during a visit to the Clear Sky military exercise in the western Ukrainian Khmelnytsky region.
President Poroshenko did address the troops during the military exercise and he did call on Ukraine’s military to save people’s lives. Russian media distorted his words however, claiming that in order to achieve this goal, he was calling on soldiers to open fire. In fact, Poroshenko spoke only of opening fire to prevent the loss of life lives.
“We must be prepared for every situation, both defensive and offensive. We must not give in to provocation in the war zone. However I allow and order the use of all force available to you as return fire to save the lives of our people, Poroshenko said.
On February 14, 2018 Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers amended the protocol for the use of weapons and military equipment in eastern Ukraine.
The new guidelines state that opening fire is permitted only when absolutely unavoidable and when defense is not possible by other means. Any response should be proportionate to the firepower used by the aggressor and casualties kept to the minimum required for a successful defense.