High-Level commander explains disengagement scenario in eastern Ukraine war zone

In course of disengagement of troops in the war zone in eastern Ukraine both the towns controlled by Russia-backed militants and the ones controlled by Ukrainian troops may enter the “grey zone”.

It results from what the Deputy Commander of Staff within the Joint Forces’ Operation Bohdan Bondar told Radio Liberty during the radio show “Vasha Svoboda” (Your Freedom).

Earlier Radio Liberty’s “Donbas.Realii” project said they’ve received from sources a possible scenario of troops’ disengagement in Donbas. It says Shyrokyne, Pisky, Hranitne and other government-controlled towns may become part of the “grey zone”. The demilitarized area will also include Opytne, Svitlodarsk, Krymske, Pavlopil, Katerynivka and Luhanske; Talakivka, Berdianske, Starohnativka and Zaitseve will be partly demilitarized.   

“For now it is one of the scenarios that are being considered,” Bohdan Bondar said.

“We also have to take note that the adversary will also retreat from Yasynuvata, partly from Donetsk and Sokilnyky – from the towns that are currently out of control by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. All these issues will have to be considered at least by three parties and in the ‘Normandy format’,” he emphasized.

“We now plan to complete (the disengagement on) three sites and later possibly move to other options as soon as they are suggested by the Ukrainian side or by the opposite side. There have been no discussions concerning other sites,” Bondar said.

He also said that residents of Zolote were invited to come to Stanytsia Luhanska to see how disengagement was handled there and how civilians cross the contact line.   

“On the sites in Zolote and Petrivske we are ready to the disengagement, ready to implement our commitments. At the same time the adversary is constantly firing. Even yesterday (on October 7) when our officials were outside Zolote several provocative shots were fired demonstrating that Russian occupation forces do not want this disengagement to happen,” Bondar said.

“We are following the situation. We are also informing OSCE representatives who monitor the future disengagement sites. If shooting attacks continue, disengagement of troops and weapons will be postponed until all conditions are met including the ones set by the Defense Minister,” the Deputy Commander said.

The official also mentioned that “we have the experience of working in Stanytsia Luhanska where several streets became part of the disengagement site.”

“Same concerns Katerynivka. About 120 persons will remain in the disengagement area. All state agencies will be working there including the national police, it will be monitored respectively. OSCE has committed to monitoring and verification of these areas. The Ukrainian and the Russian sides committed to symmetrically withdraw their troops for one kilometer each side respectively,” Bondar said. 


Source: Ukrainska Pravda


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