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8 October 2019, 16:18

MILITARY&DEFENCE

Minsk-2

“Azov” nationalists arrive at Zolotoye to sabotage disengagement of forces

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LUGANSK, October 8 (Lugansk Media Centre) - “Azov” nationalistic regiment members arrived in the Zolotoye area to sabotage the disengagement of forces and hardware, Lugansk People’s Republic People’s Militia press service officer Ivan Filiponenko said.

“Following the incumbent Ukrainian leadership’s statements on the disengagement of forces and hardware and the solution of the Donbass conflict, protest sentiment increased in Ukrainian armed formations deployed in the punitive operation zone, which the opponents to the incumbent authorities immediately exploited,” Filiponenko said.

He said that “nationalistic organisations were striving to unsettle the situation in the country presenting the disengagement as Ukraine’s defeat in the Donbass war.”

“To sabotage the disengagement of armaments, the “Azov” regiment arrived in the Zolotoye area; its representatives said they were ready to defend the settlement in case the Ukrainian troops withdrew,” the press service officer said.

“Ukrainian Defence Minister (Andrey) Zagorodnyuk who arrived in Zolotoye on October 7 and chief of the General Staff (Ruslan) Khomchak were unable to influence the nationalists who occupied the settlement,” Filiponenko added.

“The Ukrainian army command had to issue a statement that “Azov” would stay in Zolotoye to perform ‘volunteer function’ without elaborating. At the same time, National Corps leader (Andrey) Belitsky said that “Azov” units had taken up new positions on the frontline and gained a foothold in Zolotoye in which they would stay after the withdrawal of the Ukrainian armed forces,” he said.

“Such actions by nationalists are fully aimed at sabotaging the disengagement of troops and disrupting the incumbent Ukrainian government’s peace initiatives,” the press service officer said.

The Contact Group participants at the meeting in Minsk on October 1 agreed the resumption of the disengagement process in Zolotoye and Petrovskoye. Contact Group coordinator for OSCE Martin Sajdik said that the parties had named October 7, 2019 as the date for resuming the disengagement of forces and hardware in the Zolotoye and Petrovskoye areas. However, on October 7, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadim Pristaiko said that the Ukrainian army would not begin disengagement until seven days had passed since the last recorded ceasefire violation. In response, the LPR Foreign Minister, the Republic's envoy to the Minsk talks Vladislav Deinego said that “no seven days mentioned by Mr Pristaiko are envisioned this time, and that regardless of the provocations, the disengagement must take place.”

The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements was adopted by the Contact Group on Ukraine on February 12, 2015 and supported by member states of the Normandy Four (Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France). The UN Security Council approved the document by Resolution 2202 and called upon all the sides to ensure full implementation of the Package of Measures.

The document provides for comprehensive ceasefire, withdrawal of all heavy weapons from the contact line, starting a dialog on reconstruction of social and economic ties between Kiev and Donbass. It also envisages carrying out constitutional reform in Ukraine providing for decentralization and adopting permanent legislation on a special status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

LuganskMediaCentre — 08 October — Lugansk