Activists rally outside Zelensky's Office against terms of latest truce in Donbas (Photo, video)

23:50, 27 July 2020
Ukraine
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The latest truce deal, protesters believe, will in fact grant the aggressor state Russia status of observer in the Donbas conflict, while Ukraine will be forced to negotiate with the self-styled "DPR" and "LPR" – Russia-supported pseudo-republics, Ukrainian Pravda reported.

According to Hromadske Radio, activists are outraged by the fact that, despite shellings, President Zelensky evades stating that it's Russia that's a party to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Organizers with the "Resistance to Surrender Movement" claim that Ukrainian troops have become vulnerable to enemy shelling as a result of "restrictions on returning fire", the Suspilne public broadcaster reports from the scene.

"We are deprived of the right to conduct reconnaissance. In combat, this means that the Army has had its eyes pierced. For any resistance to the aggressor, we can be reprimanded. Russia is practically turning into an observer. Ukraine will be forced to negotiate with the so-called 'LPR-DPR'," reads the organizers' statement.

Among demands put forward to Volodymyr Zelensky, activists named stopping disarmament of frontline forces, repeal a decree on restrictions to return fire, and open a treason probe into the actions toward signing the latest ceasefire, performed by Office Chief Andriy Yermak, NSDC firs deputy secretary Ruslan Demchenko, Defense Minister Andriy Taran, and Army Commander Ruslan Khomchak.

Activists say they came to Bankova Street to let President Volodymyr Zelensky know he "should stop" as with his decision on truce he has "disarmed" the Ukrainian Army.

As UNIAN reported earlier, on July 22, a regular meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group (Ukraine, Russia, OSCE) was held via video conference, at which the participants agreed on a comprehensive ceasefire in Donbas.

At a Monday briefing, Joint Forces Commander General Volodymyr Kravchenko has assured the public that no ban has been imposed on returning fire: "I emphasize: no one can forbid our military from defending themselves and their brothers-in-arms in the event of open, armed aggression."

"This is guaranteed by international humanitarian law," the military chief said. "As Commander of the Joint Forces, whose main task is to preserve the lives of troops and civilians in the JFO zone, I assure you that if the adversary violates the truce and poses a threat to their lives, the response on the part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be instant and resolute," he said.

Since day-start on Monday, July 27, Russian-led forces have violated the ceasefire several times, General Kravchenko reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has once again denied Russia's role in the Donbas war, saying the Kremlin cannot guarantee sustainable ceasefire in eastern Ukraine: "I don't think we can talk about any guarantees on the part of Russia in this case since Russia is not a party to the conflict in the south-east of Ukraine."

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