Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says he’s sorry for giving the nation false hope that the Russian-Ukrainian war would be over in hours. Ending it "in hours" was famously promised by Poroshenko on May 26, 2014, the next day after the election that brought him to presidency.
Наш головний обов’язок і велика відповідальність перед загиблими, перед нинішнім та прийдешніми поколіннями – зробити усе можливе, щоб синьо-жовтий прапор одвічно майорів над усією Україною. Разом ми гідно здолаємо усі труднощі. Щиро вітаю усіх із Днем Державного Прапора! pic.twitter.com/8RXZsXFz4O— Петро Порошенко (@poroshenko) August 23, 2018
“Over four years ago, I stated that the [Anti-Terrorist Operation, the former official title for the government’s military actions in the Donbas] would last hours, not months. These days it’s not important what context these words were said in [or] the wording I used. People saw it as an opportunity to see the war end very very quickly,” the president said during a celebration of the National Flag Day in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro on August 23.
“I regret setting expectations so high. And I’m sincerely sorry for providing the hope that I did not fulfill. I’m sorry for promising something that did not actualize. And I ask you to forgive me,” he said.
This is the first time Poroshenko has addressed his 2014 statement. The president also added that a statement like this is a lesson learnt to approach his own language and promises with greater care and responsibility.
It has now been almost 4.5 years since the start of the war in Donbas. Over 10,000 people were killed in the war and a further one million displaced.
/By Maria Romanenko