The Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Oleksiy Danilov, announced that the Ukrainian forces managed to retake the cities in Donbass occupied by pro-Russian separatists. However, he admitted that it would cost the lives of tens of thousands of people.
Can we take back the (occupied cities)? Yes we can. We can restore both Horłówka and Donetsk. But you have to realize that there are people behind this. Who would go for the fact that tens of thousands of people might be killed? Who will be responsible for it? – said Oleksiy Danilov on 1 + 1 private TV. He stressed that the Ukrainian army is 100% ready to defend the country.
The Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) compared the situation in the breakaway republics of Donbass – the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic and the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic – with a concentration camp. He said that as long as this region is under the influence of Russia, it is impossible to hold elections there. He assessed that the implementation of the Minsk agreements on the peaceful settlement of the Donbass conflict, in its current form, is “completely absurd.”
“Tell me, please, how can elections be held in a concentration camp”
– As for the situation with regard to the Minsk agreements, I can say that their form is completely absurd. I am not surprised when the citizens of Ukraine start shouting: Let’s implement the Minsk agreements quickly. But tell me, how do elections take place in a concentration camp? – said Danilov. At the same time, he admitted that “work is required” with the Minsk agreements, since at the moment there are no other options.
The NSRD Secretary added that part of the territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk states is occupied and under the influence of the Russian Federation. The leadership of the separatist republics in Russia is set and comes from there. Danilov noted that the Minsk agreements did not stipulate that Russian President Vladimir Putin “will issue 630,000 Russian passports in Donbass.”
The official said that Russia is spreading separatist sentiment in southern Ukraine – in the Mykolaiv, Kherson and Odessa regions. And he demanded the necessity of direct participation of local authorities in combating this phenomenon.
The conflict in Donbass
Armed conflict erupted in Donbass after the victory of the pro-Western revolution in Kiev, which led to the overthrow of the then pro-Russian president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, at the beginning of 2014. In the spring of that year, Russian-backed rebels declared two self-proclaimed people’s republics in Donbass. Battles between Ukrainian forces and rebels in eastern Ukraine killed more than 13,000 people.
Main image source: Reuters