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Kyiv and Moscow agreed to a new truce in the Donbas region

Kyiv and Moscow agreed to a new truce in the Donbas region
Photo: Reuters

Representatives of the general staffs of Ukraine and Russia renewed talks that were interrupted in October on the conditions of cease fire in the Donbas region. The previous day Ukraine changed the leader of its negotiation group. The new representatives of the country are ready to agree to the conditions of an armistice proposed by Russia.

Final stage

Yesterday, the press service of the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) informed that a working group of the joint Ukrainian-Russian cease fire center is travelling to the area of the Donetsk Airport. The Ukrainian side is represented by Lieutenant-General Volodymyr Askarov, who replaced the former main negotiator and deputy head of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Yuriy Dumanskiy, while the Russian side is represented by Assistant Commander of Land Forces of Russia Lieutenant General Aleksandr Lentsov. “The goal of the trip is to cut off the storming of the strategic object and tone down the pressure from both sides,” it is written in the notification of the press center of the ATO.

In its turn, a source of Capital in the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine stated that last week Russian military forces initiated the signing of a document on a full-fledged cease fire within the framework of the group.

A source of the publication said this is the first contact made with the Russian General Staff since October, when the agreement on creation of the 30-kilometer security zone between the forces of the ATO and the illegal military formations in the Donbas was signed. “Negotiations are in the final stage. In the foreseeable future the signing of the corresponding document will be announced. Official statements are expected,” the source stated.

As a reminder, the joint center was created in the last two weeks of September 2014 in order to implement the clauses of the Minsk agreements. Representatives of general staffs of Ukraine and Russia became members of the center and representatives of the OSCE fulfilled their mission observing the negotiation process.

Noteworthy is that representatives of the self-proclaimed republics were the first to issue a statement on the agreement about a full-fledged cease fire. Indeed, Acting Defense Minister of the LPR Oleh Bugrov announced the cease fire last weekend. A source of Capital in the Cabinet of Ministers said the truce may be declared on December 5.

Changing of the negotiator

A source of Capital in the Ministry of Defense noted that the work of the joint center is not directly related to the headquarters of the ATO and that it holds talks on a political level. The source said Dumanskiy was replaced by Askarov due to the position of Defense Minister Valeriy Poltorak.

The source affirms that the minister took into account the fact that Dumanskiy appealed to ex-president Viktor Yanukovych with a request to take emergency measures in order to “bring back order and avoid extremism in the country” in January 2014. “He was totally alienated from negotiations and command, though in view of his authority in the military he was not subject to lustration,” he said.

Former advisor to the Minister of Defense Oleksandr Danylyuk told Capital that he knows about the proposals of Russian military forces regarding the cease fire. He says the suspension of military actions until next spring was one option.

The commanders of volunteer battalions that were elected people’s deputies are skeptical about the prospects of peace in the Donbas region. Commander of the Dnipro-1 Regiment Yuriy Bereza (People’s Front) says this is a political statement that will not be fulfilled, just as the Minsk agreements. He said this is associated with the fact that there is no unified military-political center in the country that makes decisions and takes responsibility for this. “Politicians sign agreements and soldiers continue to die. After the Minsk agreements were signed, we lost six of my men in the regiment,” Bereza told Capital.

Also, Commander of the Myrotvorets (Peacekeeper) battalion Andriy Teteruk (Peoples’s Front) told the publication that if we can achieve a truce, this will be beneficial for Ukraine as it will allow to mitigate the losses of the lives of soldiers and peaceful citizens. Noteworthy, earlier the leadership of the ATO and representatives of the Ukrainian government announced agreements with the DPR and the LPR on declaring a cease fire several times. However, these agreements are not being fulfilled for which both sides are blaming one another.

Comments (1)
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Михаил Власенко 02 December 2014, 18:07

Большего бреда в жизни не слышал. "Прекращение военных действий до весны следующего года". Это у меня что-то с головой или в ГШ ВСУ попросту невменяемые пассажиры?!