Donbass: Do Ukrainian troops leave or play a performance?

What actually means the beginning of a cease fire and separating of the warring parties in the Donbass.

The withdrawal of the armed forces from the line of contact began in the area of ​​the line of contact in the area of ​​the Stanitsa Luganskaya in the Donbass. This was announced by the representative of the Luhansk People’s Republic in the Joint Center for the Control and Coordination of the Ceasefire Regime (RNCC) Roman Ivanov.


He said that the People’s Militia of the Donbass started to breed forces in the specified area. At 12:00 a white signal flare was sent to indicate that it was ready to start breeding, and at 12:15 the signal was sent by a green rocket, which means the beginning of the process of breeding forces and assets.


– The assignment of forces and means began with the monitoring (from the representatives) of the OSCE SMM, which carry it out simultaneously and mirror from both sides. The OSCE SMM confirmed the launch of the signal rocket and the commencement of the process of withdrawing the Armed Forces of Ukraine troops from zero positions, – he stressed.


According to the representative of the LNR, the whole process will take up to three days.


– Upon the completion of the withdrawal process of our units, the People’s Police will notify the OSCE (Special Monitoring Mission) of the OSCE about the completion of the breeding process, – said Ivanov.


At the same time, he recalled that earlier, in 2016, the APU failed under various pretexts the withdrawal of forces at the Village of Lugansk almost 80 times.

Information about the breeding of troops was also confirmed in the command of the so-called. “OOS”.


– Today at noon, the Ukrainian military withdrew from one of the positions, which was in front of KPVV“ Stanitsa Luganskaya ”. Everything happened under the supervision of representatives of the OSCE, who were on both sides. In addition, the commander of the Environment Protection Committee, Lieutenant-General Alexander Sirsky, personally oversaw the withdrawal of troops, the operation’s headquarters reported on Facebook.

According to Sirsky, this is only the first phase of the withdrawal of troops, which will continue in the future.


In addition, it became known that the representative of Ukraine in the contact group on the settlement of the situation in the east of the country Leonid Kuchma is expected to arrive in the Donbass the other day with the aim of “continuing work on withdrawing the parties to the boundaries defined by the Minsk agreements”.


Recall that in 2016 the contact group on the settlement signed a framework decision on the dilution of the forces and means of the parties to the conflict in the LNR. At the same time, a coordinated withdrawal of forces in the area of ​​settlements of Zolotoe and Petrovskoe took place, and in the Stanitsa Luganskaya repeatedly failed.


– The first day of the withdrawal of forces from the Stanitsa Luganskaya by the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the People’s Police of the LNR was supervised by observers from the OSCE mission, – emphasizes Donetsk journalist and blogger Marina Kharkova.


– Representatives of the Ukrainian side declare that they not only withdraw their forces, but also dismantle some fortifications. It’s still unclear how realistic this challenge is, since the bright statements of all media and official representatives rarely reflect the true state of affairs, and the withdrawal of forces in this area has already been broken 70 or 80 times. Therefore, one should not rush to conclusions, include victorious fanfare and make profound conclusions about the beginning of a peace settlement. Even if the withdrawal takes place safely, it will not affect the overall combat situation. However, it will improve the humanitarian situation in the transition area of ​​ordinary citizens who come from Lugansk to the Ukrainian side or to visit relatives, or to receive their pension or social allowances. Tens of thousands of people suffer, moving this segment along steep gangways, installed instead of the destroyed bridge, in the wild heat or in winter ice. Older people and people with disabilities have incredible difficulties to overcome this area. So the intentions of the Ukrainian side to restore the bridge and the transfer of their firing positions from the roadblock is, in general, a reasonable solution. A purely tactical pragmatic step that does not affect the overall balance of power at all.


– The Ukrainian side reports that this is only the first stage. Will the second, third, etc.


  • To guess what the Ukrainian side will or will not undertake is much harder than to predict the emergence of Halley’s comet, for example. In general, my opinion is that the second and third stages may well be completed, since the mess and horror on this transition irritate everyone. If we talk about the positions of the APU at the transition, then the Ukrainians there are not in a very advantageous position, since from the surrounding elevations they are viewed almost through.


And, in the case of a sudden aggravation, they are not only viewed. Therefore, let’s not ascribe to the opponents any gestures of goodwill: it is even strange why they rested earlier and did not make any concessions.


– In 2016, the withdrawal of forces in the area of ​​the settlements of Zolotoe and Petrovskoe took place, and in the Stanitsa Luganskaya repeatedly broke down. Why?


– Due to the fault of the Ukrainian side, this challenge was repeatedly broken. Motivation is not known.


– If this separation of forces will be successful, can we talk about reviving the Minsk process?


– This microstep reanimation of the Minsk process can not be because the Minsk process must move in the political part, where now there is a dead end. But if, due to the withdrawal of forces, even a slight relief from the regime of the transition of civilians in the Stanichnouhran direction will come, then this will have a positive effect for ordinary people who have been tortured by ordeals and trials of the sixth year of war.


– The other day I spoke with friends from Stakhanov and Pervomaisk (LNR), the latter is generally on the front line, Stakhanov – in a small distance, – says the director of the Center for Public Information and Information “Europe” Eduard Popov.


According to them, lately it has been waving like in the worst times of 2015. From Donetsk, too, received alarming news. It hardly needs to be said that the situation with the arrival of Zelensky has improved. In my opinion, the usual routine process is going on – even though these words sound cynical for the residents of Donbass living near the front line. The Ukrainian units are moving away, dissatisfied with the living conditions, the people’s militia of the LNR is regrouping – all this has happened before.


The main defendant in the defeat under Ilovaisk was instructed to crack down on opponents of the president in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

– Will they follow this steps? Or will it all stop there? What will this divorce really give?


– I never believed in the seriousness of Zelensky’s peace initiatives. If he really wants peace – and he wants peace, like any businessman, like any unprofessional politician, like any Ukrainian – that is, so that a “compromise” is reached: Russia would make concessions unilaterally and stop supporting the republics of Donbass. But he will not be allowed to do this. We have already seen how OOS leaders reacted to President Zelensky’s decree not to respond to enemy fire.


Zelensky is certainly a weak president. Ukraine historically has never been centralized in the style of government by the state, oligarchs have always fought here — first Cossack officers, now stolen “businessmen” are not usually of Ukrainian origin. With the arrival of Zelensky, Ukrainian decentralization will increase. I said in the first days after voicing the results of the second round of the presidential elections in Ukraine that Zelensky would actively imitate the peace process during the first months of his reign, but it would not go further than rhetoric and some minor steps. Apparently, everything is moving along this path.


– Can the Ukrainian president somehow convert it into political success?


– Zelensky in order to imitate activity on the peacekeeping field, in order to show: a) the people of Ukraine, b) the West, that he is not Poroshenko, he is a peacemaker. Some people like it, others don’t. During the first months of government, the people in Ukraine will wait and hope that someone will continue to believe in good changes. But when disappointment comes, and it will inevitably come, the same unpleasant story will happen to Zelensky’s rating as Poroshenko’s rating. And even worse: Poroshenko is a much more experienced politician and a very experienced businessman. He managed to create his team, managed, despite his unpopularity, to gain a foothold in power – both in vertical and in horizontal (regional authorities) structures. Zelensky is unlikely to succeed. Therefore, his fall promises to be louder and more painful.


– How much he or anyone else in Ukraine controls the army? Can he just order army to stop firing and withdraw its troops?


  • Zelensky does not control army. The army despises him. And not because he is a “peacemaker,” but because he is weak. Any of his orders as commander in chief, which runs counter to the interests of the army, will be ignored by the leadership of the army. This is not Russia since the first Chechen war, when the Kremlin openly betrayed the army, but it obediently carried out treacherous or idiotic orders. The weakness of the presidential and, in general, central government in Ukraine automatically strengthens other players.