Ukraine’s president has said he will declare martial law if any offensive is launched against his armed forces.
“If the ceasefire is violated, if the front line crossed and if an attack is organized against Ukrainian armed forces… at that moment I will decide to declare martial law in the country,” Petro Poroshenko said in a Wednesday interview to mark the first year of his presidency.
A Feb. 12 Minsk cease-fire agreement includes the withdrawal of heavy weaponry from combat areas, and of all foreign armed formations; the release of all hostages and unlawfully detained persons as well as political reforms and decentralization in the eastern Ukrainian regions.
However, the agreement has failed to be implemented fully, with daily reports of breaches and clashes, and both parties blaming each other for violating the accord.
Poroshenko claimed that Russia wanted to gather nine regions of Ukraine – including Donetsk, Crimea, Luhansk and Odessa – under the roof of a “New Russia.”
However, the president claimed this “New Russia” project had failed: “This is the Ukrainians’ biggest success in the last year.”
More than 6,000 people have lost their lives in the conflict between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists since April 2014, according to the UN. (Anadolu Ajansi)