News agency 'Vchasno'

Military Released 20 Square Kilometres of Donbas Territories Since the Beginning of the Joint Forces Operation

During the Joint forces operation (JFO), which was launched in June last year, the Ukrainian military returned to the control of the Ukrainian authorities territory with a total area of ​​20 square kilometers.

By freeing up territories and populated areas, the Joint forces do not violate the Minsk Agreements and do not cross the line established by these agreements, the Joint forces operation Commander Serhii Naiev said in an interview to BBC.

According to Serhii Naiev, for the entire time of the JFO, the Ukrainian military has significantly improved the tactical position in a number of areas.

«In general, during the JFO time in some places, it was possible to improve the tactical position on the depths from two to five kilometers, — Serhii Naiev said. — The total area of ​​the territories that were returned to the control of the Ukrainian authorities is about 20 square kilometers».

Among the settlements liberated during the time of the operation are the villages of Yuzhnoye and Shumy near the occupied Horlivka.

The commander noted that the Joint forces in the liberated settlements create conditions for the restoration of infrastructure and the safety of the civilian population.

READ: «There Will Be no War in Donbas», — Joint Forces Operation Commander

Also, Serhii Naiev said that at the moment the most problematic areas of the front are the Mariupol direction, as well as the village of Spartak and Avdiivka industrial zone in the Donetsk direction. In the Luhansk region hot spots near Popasna and near the village of Krymske

According to the Commander, after the first round of presidential elections in Ukraine, the situation in the operation zone has escalated.

«After the first round of elections, the degree of tension increased, — Serhii Naiev said. — So the Russian Federation shows Ukrainians — do not forget that you have a problem behind which we stand, and it depends only on us how the conflict between Ukraine and Russia will develop».

READ: The General Staff Prepared Documents on the Beginning of the Joint Forces Operation in Donbas

Serhii Naiev also said that the militants are completely subordinate to the Russian leadership, including about 2 thousand regular Russian officers, instructors, and military advisers reside directly in the Donbas.

«The conflict is completely controlled by the Russian leadership on the part of the enemy, — JFO Commander said. — If necessary, at any time the Russian leadership gives the command and in a few hours, the aggravation begins. This is necessary because of the hostilities and the increase in the degree of tension in the east of our country, the Kremlin has the opportunity to influence politics. The danger is also due to the constant presence along the state border, including near the JFO, the forces of the Russian army, which increases its readiness. The number of updated modernized and even the latest technology is growing».