Disengagement area No. 3 in Donbas under attack: JCCC's Ukrainian members
Ukrainian members of the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) in Donbas have reported that the village of Bohdanivka, the third out of the first three locations designated for disengagement under the Minsk peace agreements, has been under attack recently.
"Today, on September 23, armed groups of the Russian Federation have mounted attacks in the direction of the village of Bohdanivka (disengagement area No. 3), using cannons of infantry fighting vehicles, grenade launchers of various systems and rifles from 02:35 to 02:55 a.m., from 04:05 to 04:15 a.m., and from 13:40 to 14:10," the press center of Ukraine's Joint Forces Operation Headquarters said on Facebook on September 23, citing the JCCC's Ukrainian members.
The Ukrainian side of the JCCC emphasizes that "these facts once again demonstrate the unwillingness of the armed forces of the Russian Federation and the occupying administration to comply with the Minsk agreements regarding the withdrawal of forces and weapons in that area. In particular, the Minsk agreements stipulate that the disengagement of forces and weapons is only possible after a seven-day ceasefire, which is to be confirmed by the OSCE SMM [Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine]."
The first area of the disengagement of forces and military hardware along the contact line in Donbas was the village of Stanytsia Luhanska in Luhansk region. The successful withdrawal of forces was confirmed by the OSCE SMM late in June 2019. However, the Ukrainian side of the JCCC says that Russia-led forces had neither withdrawn their members on duty nor removed their fortifications near Stanytsia Luhanska, having thus violated disengagement commitments.
The next locations for the disengagement are the town of Zolote in Luhansk region and the area between the two villages – Bohdanivka and Petrivske – in Donetsk region.
Military experts say it would be dangerous enough for the armed forces of Ukraine to lose the latter, as it could be used by Russia-led forces to bypass the Ukrainian-controlled strategic port city of Mariupol.