Photo from UNIAN

Volunteers with whom President Volodymyr Zelensky earlier today spoke in Zolote – one of the disengagement areas in Donbas – are armed and staying in the zone of the Joint Forces Operations illegally, as reported by the JFO HQ press center.

It is noted that, while visiting the village of Zolote in Luhansk region, the head of state spoke with people sporting military uniforms. These people are staying in a private household and introduced themselves as volunteers, reads the report published on Facebook.

"However, they are not representatives of any law enforcement agency or the Armed Forces of Ukraine authorized to stay and operate in the JFO zone. Law of Ukraine 'On the peculiarities of state policy to ensure the state sovereignty of Ukraine in the temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions', better known as the law on the Joint Forces Operation, clearly defines categories [of persons] that may be deployed in the JFO zone with weapons," the statement said. .

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Therefore, individuals who spoke with the president belong to none of the said categories, and therefore, they are staying in Zolote with their arms illegally, violating the JFO law – something which will see a proper legal assessment.