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You're reading: English-language translation of Poroshenko’s message to Ukraine ending ceasefire against Kremlin-backed separatists

Editor's Note: The following is an unofficial English-language translation of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's statement on July 1 ending a unilateral 10-day ceasefire and restarting military attacks against the Kremlin-backed separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

A ceasefire announced by Ukrainian government on June 20th on the peaceful settlement of the situation in Donetsk Oblast ended at 10 p.m. June 30. Ukraine extended the ceasefire for 3 more days on June 27. 

For 10 days we have demonstrated to the Donbass, Ukraine, and to the world our commitment to peacefully settle the conflict triggered externally. 

We have demonstrated the goodwill of Ukrainian authorities to Donetsk and Luhansk citizens. 

Hardworking and peaceful people, which is the vast majority of the citizens of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, feel our sympathy, love and respect. They saw a sincere willingness of Kyiv government to take into account their opinions and interests. And they realized their safety is our top priority. 

Ukraine got even more international support as I signed the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the EU during the ceasefire (on June 27). 

However, with a unique opportunity to implement the peace plan it has not been implemented. This happened because of the criminal actions of militants. They have publicly declared their unwillingness to support the peace plan as a whole and particularly the ceasefire. Militants violated the truce for more than a hundred times. 

The political leadership of the separatists demonstrated unwillingness and inability to control the actions of their departments and the terrorist gangs of looters. 

The Russian Federation Council defense and security committee revoked the permission to send Russian troops in Ukraine; it was positive, but symbolic action. We haven’t seen concrete steps to de-escalation of the situation. Despite all this, the peace was, is and will be my goal. Only the tools to achieve it have changed. 

We held a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine. After discussing the situation as Commander-in-Chief I have decided to end the ceasefire.

Protection of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, safety and life of civilians requires not only defensive but also offensive operations against gunmen.

Ukraine’s Armed Forces, National Guard, the State Border Guard Service, Security Service received appropriate instructions. 

In achieving the objectives of the present protection of territorial integrity are no longer limited ceasefire. 

We will attack and we will liberate our land. The end of the ceasefire is our response to terrorists, rebels, looters, all those who mock the civilians who paralyze the economy of the region; who rip the payment of salaries, pensions, stipends; who undermine the railroads, destroy water pipes, those who deprive a normal peaceful life.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine, National Guard, other units will not allow themselves to use force against peaceful people. They never attack residential neighborhoods. 

Ukrainian soldiers and guards will risk their life, just not to expose threats to women, children and elderly men. 

I call on every citizen of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts to understand my decision and to become our allies in return for the security of Donbass. 

You can not resist the bandits’ physical strength. But your willpower and fortitude, your civil disobedience to the so-called “people’s republics,” the intolerance and contempt for those who took the path of banditry, looting and terror, bring the day when your homes, your streets back lasting peace . 

Everyone who stood in the way of armed resistance to lawful authority, but realizing that mistake and wants to correct it, as president, I guarantee (non-prosecution)… the only condition is to lay down the arms voluntarily. 

Our peace plan as a strategy for Ukraine and Donbass remains in force. And disarmament. And decentralization. And free use of the Russian language. And the restoration of housing by the state. And together with the European Union program to create new jobs. 

And even before the ceasefire, we are ready to return at any moment. When we see that all parties adhere to performing the basic points of the peace plan. What gunmen freed the hostages. What and beyond the eastern border of red light on fire for saboteurs and arms supplier, and for adherence to the OSCE border monitors. 

Dear compatriots! 

The road to peace was somewhat more complex than desired. Do not want to embellish reality. It will be hard and difficult. 

Now we should unite to protect Ukraine more than ever. It requires dedication and discipline not only at the front but in the rear.

But there was not a single war after which the peace didn’t come. 

So it happens this time. 

Glory to Ukraine!

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