MPs will be officially allowed to command battalions in the ATO zone


People’s Front faction has proposed an initiative to the Verkhovna Rada to allow members of the parliament to participate in the anti-terrorist operation. «This is a totally normal proposal expressed by battalion commanders of our faction. Battalion commanders that are members of our faction regularly go to ATO and spend a lot of time there during the non-session weeks. So a proposal has been made to allow deputies to participate in the ATO on the legislative level,» said MP Viktoria Syumar (People’s Front) during today’s Coordination Board meeting. She also asked to introduce the corresponding draft law No. 1771 to this week’s agenda.

«I’m hoping that the draft law will be put to vote on Thursday. The thing is that there is too much speculation on this issue and many parliament members have said they want to fight. Well, let’s give them this opportunity,» one of the draft law’s co-authors Serhiy Pashynskiy commented for Capital.

In drafting of the law Pashynskiy was joined by MPs Ivan Vinnyk (PPB), Andriy Antonyshchak (PPB), Andriy Teteruk (PF), Yuriy Bereza (PF), Andriy Levus (PF), Ihor Lapin (PF) and Yulia Tymoshenko (Batkivshchyna).

The document envisages introduction of corresponding changes to the Laws of Ukraine On the Status of a People’s Deputy of Ukraine, On Mobilization Training and Mobilization and On Military Conscription and Service. In particular, it is proposed that they are supplemented with a norm specifying that people’s deputies can participate in the ATO at their own will during the off-session periods and on the days, when no plenary sessions are being held. The people’s deputies will be able to combine their work in the parliament with the service in the ATO, Bereza explained to Capital. «For me personally this draft law means that if I have personal and quite successfully experience in ATO, in case of aggravation of the situation in the east and if the country requires it, I can return to combat actions,» the battalion commander explained.

He specified that people deputies will be able to hold official military positions parallel with their work in the VR. «If an MP has enough experience and education and he can be useful for the country there, I don’t see any problems with this,» he said.

As a reminder, several battalion commanders participating in the ATO were elected to the Verkhovna Rada as a result of recent snap parliamentary elections. These include authors of the draft law commander of the special battalion of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Myrotvorets (Peacekeeper) Andriy Teteruk, Commander of MIA special battalion Dnipro-1 Yuriy Bereza, company commander of Aidar regiment Ihor Lapin. Also commander of MIA special battalion Artemivsk Kostyantyn Mateichenko, commander of the battalion of the National Guard Donbas Semen Semenchenko, commander of Azov regiment of the MIA Serhiy Biletskiy and commander of the Aidar regiment of the Ministry of Defense Serhiy Melnychuk were elected to the parliament.

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