Ukraine's Gen. Staff says ATO over, new Operation in Donbas kicking off
Chief of the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces Gen. Viktor Muzhenko says the Ukrainian Armed Forces are completing the Anti-Terrorist Operation in Donbas, while a new Operation of the United Forces will start.
"The law, which was signed by the president of Ukraine on Feb 20, systematizes the use of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) to perform tasks they were assigned in the ATO and changes the format of the main Operation. The ATO will be completed and we will move on to the Operation of the United Forces. This implies a clear command structure, subordination of certain forces and resources to the military, setting up a joint operational staff as the main controlling body of the Operation in the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions," Muzhenko said, RFE/RL's Ukrainian service reports.
Read alsoPoroshenko enacts law on re-integration of DonbasThe change in format will allow for systematizing the involvement of the Ukrainian army units as well as units and forces of other components of the security sector, and "using the AFU more effectively within the legal framework."
The Staff of the United Forces will be headed by a "man with combat experience". "We have appropriate candidates. They require a certain approval procedure, and after that, their names will be submitted to the president of Ukraine in the shortest possible time to approve such a candidate. It will be a person with combat experience and sufficient skills, knowledge, and practical experience to perform such tasks," Muzhenko said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on Feb 20, President Poroshenko signed a bill on Donbas re-integration into law, designating Russia as an aggressor state.