Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that the war against pro-Russian ‘separatists’ in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk cannot be won by military means alone since Russia would send in as many of its troops as needed to counter any assault on the rebel capitals by Ukrainian forces.
Speaking in a pre-recorded interview with representatives of major Ukrainian TV channels broadcast by state UT1 on the evening of 21 September, Poroshenko said: “I stress that the war in the city of Donetsk and in the city of Luhansk cannot be won by military means alone. This is the first point. Some see this as a good slogan. Some believe that we should gather three or four battalions, enter [terrorist-held areas], create a concentrated force under cover of artillery support, send special-purpose units to the front-line, liquidate or blow up the governing bodies, and we will quickly succeed. This is not true. We will not be allowed to do it. The more battalion-tactical groups or brigades of the Ukrainian army that we have there, the more Russian troops will be there. No-one has illusions about this.”