Ukrainian President: New Russian special forces units arrived in the Donbas

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that the detrioration of the situation on the front line in eastern Ukraine is due to the arrival of new Russian special forces units in the Donbass.

He made this statement at a press conference while answering a question about the reasons for the increased level of violence in the Donbas.

“The first reason is that according to [Ukrainian] intelligence, new units of spetsnaz [Russian special forces] have entered the territory. We know the names of the brigades, their number, and their permanent locations. We have forwarded this information to our partners. Russia is using the eastern Ukraine as a testing ground for their new weaponry, their new communication facilities and also their means of suppressing our artillery reconnaissance,” he said.

At the same time Poroshenko assured that Ukraine has sufficient power to stop any potential Russian offensive.

The President also denied reports that the Ukrainian military has been ordered not to return fire on the front line. 

“It is up to the commander to decide whether to return fire. The commander does not need any approvals to make a decision whether to return fire. Moreover, if the lives of the Ukrainian personnel are in danger, it is the duty of the commander to return fire. The commander is not allowed to respond only if there is no visible target,” Poroshenko said.

  Ukraine, Donbas, Poroshenko