17:03 GMT28 January 2020
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    Ukraine's former president Viktor Yushchenko told a Ukrainian TV channel that Kiev authorities must take an approach of "active defense" in the southeast of the country.

    KIEV (Sputnik) – Kiev authorities must take an approach of "active defense" in southeastern Ukraine (Donbas), where a ceasefire is currently in force, the country's former president, Viktor Yushchenko, has told the Ukrainian 112 TV channel.

    "When we are talking about a military component, it's a must. We have to switch to active defense," Yushchenko, who was president of Ukraine before Viktor Yanukovych, said, explaining that diplomacy alone is not enough to regulate the situation in Donbas because assuming that diplomacy has no alternative is detrimental in the current situation.

    "When declarations are made not only in Ukraine but in Europe and in the United States as well that a diplomatic component [in resolving the conflict in southeastern Ukraine] has no alternative, I think it's a big mistake," Yushchenko stressed.

    The former Ukrainian president added that there is a "linear war" in his country, emphasizing that Kiev needs Western countries to provide it with aid packages.

    On Thursday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced that Ukraine continues to build up its military potential and defense capability, having resumed regular military training, while at the same time adhering to the Minsk truce, agreed upon between Kiev forces and Donbas independence fighters in February.

    A number of European countries, including the United Kingdom and Poland, have promised to send military instructors to Ukraine to train Kiev forces, which launched a military operation against Donbas residents, who refused to recognize the new coup-installed government, in mid-April, 2014.

    Ukraine has been building up its military muscle using funds and non-lethal aid from the United States, although it has so far been denied any arms deliveries for fear that more guns in the conflict zone will escalate tensions in Donbas, where a ceasefire has been in force since February 15.

    The ceasefire is part of the Minsk agreements, signed on February 12 after talks between the leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine.


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