The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has denied that the military personnel participating in the Joint Forces Operation have been ordered not to respond to shelling by militants in the Donbas.\r\nThe Ukrainian Armed Forces’ Chief of General Staff Ruslan Khomchak stated this in an interview with the Ukrainian service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the Ukrainian News Agency reports.\r\n"No orders were given. There is a war there, and all the commanders are there. The squad commander commands the squadron, the platoon commander the platoon, and the company commander the company. They have no commands not to respond [to enemy fire]," he said.\r\nAccording to him, nobody who understands anything about war will give such a command.\r\n"There are no such orders, I have not received such orders from our military-political leadership, and I have not issued such orders. I know for sure that the commanders in the Joint Forces Operation have not issued such orders and will not issue them," he said.\r\nKhomchak stressed that the Ukrainian military will respond to enemy fire, but it will not provoke it.\r\nAs Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, former president (1994-2005) Leonid Kuchma, who is Ukraine’s representative in the Trilateral Contact Group on resolution of the conflict in the Donbas (Ukraine, Russia, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe), has said that the initiative to ban response to shelling in the Donbas applies to obvious provocations from areas in which civilian facilities are located.