Poroshenko Announces Official End to Anti-terrorist Operation in Donbas
30 April, 2018

President Petro Poroshenko has announced the official completion of the Anti-Terrorist Operation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in a meeting with Ukraine’s military leaders.

“We are now launching a military operation under the leadership of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to ensure the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of our state,” Poroshenko announced.

From April 30, the anti-terrorist operation, which began in April 2014, will transition into a Joint Forces Operation.

The leadership of the Ukrainian Armed Forces will rely on the commander of the Joint Forces.

Poroshenko also noted that the completion of the ATO does not mean that Ukraine will not be able to reinstate it if, at some point, a terrorist threat arises.

The area in which the Joint Forces Operation will take place covers the entire territory of Donetsk and Luhansk to the administrative borders of the Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhia regions, as well as the Sea of Azov. The Joint Forces Operation will be introducing a new special regime in this area.

At the same, the special regime will involve the provision of bodies within the security and defense sector, other Ukrainian state bodies with special authority.  

Throughout the entire territory of Donetsk and Luhansk, a special regime for entering the area will come into force. The territory is divided into three color-coded zones: green – allows unlimited access, yellow – access only permitted with the correct documents (possessions and transport will also be inspected in this area), and red – access for individuals will be temporarily restricted or prohibited.

The Joint Operation headquarters already operates within the system of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. It is subordinate to all the security agencies located within the territories of Donetsk and Luhansk, and not just the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The law on the reintegration of Donbas, which came into force in February, grants the Joint Forces Operation headquarters authority to regulate the situation in the areas of active military combat in eastern Ukraine, instead of the Anti-terrorist Operation headquarters.  

/By Sofia Fedeczko