Withdrawal of forces: what do you need to know

2019-10-02 16:46:00 | ID: 52862

The process of the withdrawal of forces in separate areas of the contact line is intended to preserve the lives and health of military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and to prevent threats to civilians living in the frontline areas.

Above all, it will allow creating security areas for the activity of international humanitarian and security organizations, as well as further demining of the territories. Therefore, the living conditions of local residents will improve significantly.

These areas have a length of about 3 km (total length of the contact line is 410 km). The Armed Forces of Ukraine are technically ready for the withdrawal process in compliance with all obligations and will do their utmost to prevent the casualties and losses among Ukrainian servicemen and to protect civilians.

“Why is the withdrawal process taking place? Under what conditions? ”

The process of the withdrawal of forces is being implemented within the framework of the agreements reached in previous years in Minsk: the protocol as of September 5, 2014, the memorandum as of September 19, 2014 and a set of measures to implement the Minsk agreements as of February 12, 2015.

In 2016, a TCG (Trilateral Contact Group) framework decision was signed on the withdrawal of forces and assets into three areas, the boundaries of which were defined in the agreement: Zolote, Petrivske and Stanytsia Luhanska settlements. Implementation of the decision is currently underway.

The withdrawal is conducted at a distance of 1 km from the contact line and is based on a mirror principle, namely to be done by both parties. The basic condition for the beginning of the withdrawal of forces of is a compliance with the ceasefire regime at the withdrawal area for 7 days.

The process of the withdrawal of forces will take place consistently, in two stages: the first stage — the removal of personnel from both sides, the second — the dismantling of engineering structures and the subsequent demining of the territories.

If these conditions are not met, the withdrawal of forces will be suspended.

As of today, the first stage of the withdrawal process has been completed in Stanytsia Luhanska settlement and the process of dismantling of engineering structures is ongoing. To ensure that no forces are deployed at this site, observers from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission are conducting monitoring activities and the withdrawal process is controlled by representatives of the Joint Center on Ceasefire Control and Stabilization of the Contact Line.

The next withdrawal areas will be Zolote and Petrivske settlements.

“What will happen to the civilian population?”

The Armed Forces of Ukraine, for which the safety and preservation of lives of citizens are of utmost value, will continue to assist the civilian population. In particular, CIMIC units will continue to cooperate with the local authorities within the framework of the implementation of ongoing humanitarian projects, so that Ukrainian citizens who are in the withdrawal areas had all necessary means for living.

In addition, infrastructure restoration projects will continue.

“If the other side will return on previous positions?”

While planning the withdrawal process, Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine had considered different scenarios. In particular, in case when the Russian Occupation troops will ignore the agreements and try to return to their previously held positions. In this case the Ukrainian service personnel will act adequately.

Protection of civilians in combat areas and consolidation of efforts to securely protect residents living close to the contact line are and will remain a priority for Ukrainian soldiers. Knowing the price and efforts that have been put into defending every meter of Ukrainian land, the military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine remain in full combat readiness to defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. The Armed Forces will continue to defend sovereignty, allowing restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity in a diplomatic way.

It should also be emphasized that the Law of Ukraine stipulates the right of servicemen to use weapons in case of a threat to their lives and health.

We urge citizens to maintain a balanced position. The Armed Forces of Ukraine are and will remain a reliable guarantor of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state. The strength of Ukraine and its victory lies in unity, support of citizens and combat readiness of the army!