Practice Relating to Rule 139. Respect for International Humanitarian Law
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
Any commander, commanding officer or staff, while organizing combat operations and in the course of hostilities, is obliged to take into account the rules of international humanitarian law as required by the international obligations of Ukraine.
Servicemen and employees of the Armed Forces of Ukraine must be fully aware of the imperatives of international humanitarian law and comply with them strictly.
In 2009, Ukraine’s president adopted the Strategy for the international peace-making activities of Ukraine, which states:
3. Priorities, tasks and mechanisms of attaining Ukraine’s national interests in international peace-making actions
… [I]t is necessary to:
pay primary attention to the emergence of the peace-makers’ [pride] for their peace-making mission accomplished on behalf of Ukraine, [and to ensure] respect for international humanitarian law …
5. Organization of the implementation of the Strategy of the international peace-making activities of Ukraine
The goals defined by the Strategy of the international peace-making activities of Ukraine can be achieved by the exercise of their respective powers by the bodies responsible for ensuring the national security of Ukraine, viz. the President of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the Council for National Security and Defence of Ukraine, ministries and other central governmental agencies, in accordance with the Constitution and laws of Ukraine.
Ukraine’s Act on the Internal Service Statute of the Armed Forces (1999), as amended in 2005, provides: “Members of the military service must know and firmly comply with the rules of international humanitarian law undertaken by Ukraine.”