The Armed Forces of Ukraine use weapons only to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state and only in response to ceasefire violations by Russian-backed militants, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said while commenting on the use of the Bayraktar TB2 drone by the Ukrainian army in the Joint Forces Operation area in Donbas.
“Ukraine protects its territory and its sovereignty in accordance with the duty and oath of everyone who serves today and who defends Ukrainian statehood. We are not executing an offensive, we are just responding,” the Head of State stressed.
Zelensky also noted that the use of the Bayraktar UAV by the Ukrainian military did not contradict any agreements.
As a reminder, after the use of a strike drone by the Armed Forces of Ukraine against artillery that fired at Ukrainian military positions, in violation of the ceasefire, the German Federal Foreign Office expressed concern about the increase in the number of ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine. The German diplomats also noted that they were concerned about the use of drones by all parties to the conflict.
The French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs also expressed concern about the intensification of hostilities in Donbas and information about the use of the Bayraktar drone by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
At the same time, the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine noted in the commentary that the Russia-led side had repeatedly deployed howitzer artillery and drones against Ukrainian forces, in direct violation of the enhanced measures agreed last year, and recently killed a Ukrainian soldier. “Official Russian rhetoric suggesting Ukraine is aggravating the situation is not only misleading, it serves to escalate tensions,” the U.S. diplomats said.