Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said the disengagement of forces and weapons in the village of Stanytsia Luhanska was the first small step toward a sustainable ceasefire in Donbas.
"The disengagement of forces on both sides took place in Stanytsia Luhanska. And the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission recorded and confirmed this. I congratulate you all, this is the first step toward a sustainable ceasefire along the entire contact line, which took place thanks to the unlocking of the Minsk process," he said in a video posted on Facebook.
Zelensky said he did not promise to establish peace and end the war "tomorrow," but he believes a "fragile hope" has appeared.
"I just want to ask you all not to succumb to panic and provocation and give our soldiers, army and diplomats the opportunity to do their powerful and very hard work. Please, let us stay calm, there is no betrayal, there is no victory so far, but I think this is our first small real success," the president said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on June 26, the first stage of disengagement of forces and weapons on the part of Ukrainian military took place at site 1 "Stanytsia Luhanska." The headquarters of the Joint Forces Operation assured the public that the process of disengagement in the area of the Stanytsia Luhanska on the demarcation line does not weaken defensive capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Also, the headquarters said that the Ukrainian units had improved their positions and took up advantageous defense lines following the first stage of disengagement.
On September 21, 2016, the Framework Decision of the Trilateral Contact Group on the Donbas settlement was signed in Minsk on the withdrawal of forces and weapons on the line of demarcation. The document provides for the disengagement of troops and weapons in Zolote, Petrivske, and Stanytsia Luhanska.
On October 1, 2016, the disengagement of forces took place in Zolote, and on October 7 of the same year – in Petrivske.