The Ukrainian side announced the postponement of the beginning of the withdrawal of forces on the contact line in the Donbass. According to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadim Pristayko, Kiev abandoned the process scheduled for October 7 due to the fact that less than a week has passed since the last violation of the silence regime.
“Today, breeding should begin. Unfortunately, you know that several days ago Petrovskoye and Zolotoe were shelled, and as you recall, breeding will begin on the seventh day after there are no shelling, ”said Priestayko.
However, the representative of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic in the political subgroup of the tripartite contact group in Minsk Rodion Miroshnik noted that the existing agreements do not imply a weekly “silence”, which Priestayko speaks about.
“Self-shelling is Kiev’s long-standing tactic to disrupt the implementation of the breeding agreement ... The main reason is the radicals that prevent breeding. Ze has not yet decided what to do with them, but they will have to decide, ”Miroshnik stated.
It is likely that the soldiers of the so-called Azov volunteer regiment took up positions near the village of Zolotoye in the Luhansk region, despite the planned start of the withdrawal of armed forces in the area. This was stated by the head of the unit, ex-deputy of the Parliament Andrei Biletsky - his appeal was published on the YouTube channel of the nationalist movement "National Corps".
“If the president and the authorities are not fulfilling their direct duty to protect every inch of Ukrainian land, then we, the volunteer veterans, will do it again. This is our last roadblock and we promise that we will never leave it, ”he said.
According to him, the local residents allegedly turned to the Azov fighters for help. Biletsky also opposed the Minsk agreements and, in particular, the Steinmeier formula.
It is worth noting that the message is unclear whether it concerns the placement in Zolotoy of the active members of Azov, which is part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, or only "volunteer veterans" who served in the ranks of the unit.
- © Frame: YouTube video / NATIONAL HOUSING
Recall that the battalion, and then the Azov regiment was formed by Ukrainian right-wing radicals in 2014 to participate in the hostilities in southeastern Ukraine. Then the authorities included him in the National Guard. Fighters of this formation repeatedly found themselves in the center of scandals related to war crimes and human rights violations.
Thus, several UN reports describe episodes of abduction, torture, rape, robbery and other crimes committed by Azov fighters. According to the former deputy head of the unit, Yaroslav Gonchar, instead of fulfilling their combat obligations, the National Guard was engaged in looting and robbery.
“When I declared the inadmissibility of such actions and open support for National Socialism in the battalion, I was tied up and thrown into the basement. They tortured me there. Those who claim that the Azov battalion is white and fluffy are lying impudently. The battalion turned into a gang, only the extreme right are accepted there. If a person does not adhere to national-socialist convictions, they will not accept him in Azov, ”he said in an interview in the journal Reporter. Ukraine ”, explaining the reasons for his departure.
According to analysts, the action undertaken by the right-wing radicals could not have happened without the knowledge of official Kiev. So, an expert at the International Institute for Humanitarian and Political Research, Vladimir Bruter, in a conversation with RT, admitted that Ukraine could use the actions of Azov during the upcoming negotiations.
“If they were not interested in what happened here and now, and they knew about the intentions of Azov, then they would have done everything possible to avoid this. Now they will say that “Azov” is uncontrollable, that in order to remove “Azov” from the demarcation line, they need to get the best possible results, and for this, Russia, of course, must make concessions, ”he said.
In turn, the Ukrainian political scientist and economist Alexander Dudchak believes that, by allowing such incidents, President Vladimir Zelensky signs his own impotence.
“The Kiev authorities must show that it exists, and not go on about some gangs, although armed, but nonetheless not entitled to dictate their will to power in Ukraine. Zelensky signs in his complete impotence, it was time to pacify them a long time ago, he told RT. - It is time to put an end to this, it is not they who must rule the state and decide whether to comply with the decisions adopted by the central government or not. You can expect new provocations from them, they are also controlled and do not work for free ... and there are those who are interested in arranging this mess and lawlessness. ”
- © Alexander Ermochenko
Steinmeier Formula and Breeding
A week ago, on October 1, members of the contact group in Minsk to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine agreed on Steinmeier’s formula governing the procedure for introducing a law on the special status of the Donbass regions, holding elections there and transferring the border with Russia to Kiev’s control.
According to the formula, Ukraine introduces a law on the special status of the regions of Donbass, which are now under the control of the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics. This should happen on the same day when elections to local authorities are held - their dates are not yet available.
If the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) recognizes them as honest and free, then a special status will be introduced on an ongoing basis, after which the border with Russia will be transferred to Ukrainian control.
Related to this is another agreement reached - on the redeployment of forces in Zolotoy and Petrovsky. Already on October 2, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine announced its readiness to withdraw its forces from these areas.
“The Armed Forces of Ukraine are technically ready for the breeding process, adhering to all undertaken obligations, and will do everything possible to prevent losses in the ranks of the Ukrainian military and protect people,” the defense department said.
According to the speaker of the Rada, Dmitry Razumkov, after the withdrawal of the AFU units, security in the region should be ensured by the forces of the National Guard. “Azov”, recall, is part of this structure.
“Nobody surrenders his territory, nobody surrenders his citizens. In the territory from which the Ukrainian Armed Forces will depart, if this happens, then security will be maintained at the expense of the National Guard, at the expense of law enforcement officers who will be in this territory, ”he said on the television channel Ukraine.
Progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements by Ukraine was welcomed by the remaining members of the Norman format - Russia, France and Germany. Kiev undertook these obligations back in 2015 and 2016, however, the Ukrainian authorities have not yet embarked on their implementation.
The withdrawal of troops from the front line should occur on October 7, but the Azov fighters actually refused to comply with this requirement. Against the breeding of forces, the Steinmeier formula and the Minsk agreements as a whole, Ukrainian nationalists and supporters of ex-president Petro Poroshenko are opposed.
Since it became known about Ukraine’s consent to the Steinmeier formula, spontaneous protests have been held in Kiev and other cities of the country. The participants accuse President Vladimir Zelensky of "surrender."
At the past weekend's protests, Poroshenko himself was noticed. He actively opposes Steinmeier’s formula and the separation of forces, although these and other obligations were signed precisely when Poroshenko led the country.
Returning to the protest rallies in Ukraine, it is worth noting that, according to some reports, the minting people are paid for participating in demonstrations. This was reported by the head of the Office of the President Andrei Bogdan, the RT source in the Zelensky administration told RT about this.
“People are paid 100-150 hryvnias per hour (250-400 rubles. - RT ), so they are ready to stand in the center of Kiev even in such a cold. And the fact that Poroshenko personally came to the rally with his wife does not raise any doubts as to whom this is all profitable, ”he said.
Speaking about the actions of nationalists, Volodymyr Bruter expressed the opinion that the protests will surely lead to an increase in the rating of Poroshenko, who actively supports them.
“If Poroshenko fully supports them and begins to lead them, then this will lead to a certain stabilization of the rating. The question is that for Zelensky this is quite an important thing. The situation on the demarcation line is one thing, and Poroshenko’s support for actions that are not fully calculated to the end is another, because it is not clear what the next stages will be, ”the analyst emphasized.
- © Valentyn Ogirenko / Reuters
"A direct challenge to the Zelensky authorities"
Russia also considered the incident a challenge for the new Ukrainian government. According to the chairman of the Federation Council Commission on Information Policy Alexei Pushkov, the future likely meeting in the Norman format is also under threat.
“Russia has long been saying the EU: it is in Ukraine that they in every way block progress towards peace in the Donbass. Today this was confirmed by a representative of the Azov regiment and ATO veterans: they do not agree to withdraw troops and will never leave Golden. The meeting of the four is at stake. A direct challenge to Zelensky’s authorities, ”he wrote on Twitter.
It will be difficult to counteract the attempts of nationalists to stop the Minsk process, Anton Morozov, member of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, is convinced.
“They will in every way block any peace initiatives, whether it is Steinmeier’s formula, or the Minsk agreements. Reassuring these nationalists, bringing them to life is a rather lengthy and time-consuming process, Zelensky will have to go through it, since there is no other way for a peaceful settlement of the situation in Ukraine, ”he told RT.
At the same time, the deputy believes that nationalists will not be able to overthrow Zelensky from the presidency if they are not supported by the Western countries.
“Without the support of the West, they will not succeed in ousting Zelensky, as was the case with Yanukovych at the time, so they will“ make noise and disperse, ”the parliamentarian said.
“Arguments for political bargaining”
In turn, commenting on the protests that began in Ukraine, Zelensky assured that he was listening to the country's population and urged not to succumb to provocations of those who want to "return to the robbery, not become victims of political persecution and avoid criminal liability."
“I respect the constitutional right of every citizen of Ukraine to protest. I hear you, and believe me, I will never surrender Ukraine, ”he said.
According to Dudchak, we can talk about Poroshenko, who faces criminal prosecution. According to recent reports, the ex-president appears as a witness in 12 criminal cases.
“Poroshenko perfectly understands that his situation is far from perfect, his freedom is threatened, and he is trying to arrange another Maidan in order to get arguments for political bargaining and get guarantees of personal security. Or even return to politics, but this is a less likely scenario, ”the analyst explained.
Zelensky also said that during the implementation of the Minsk Agreements not a single “red line” will be crossed, nor will there be a “surrender of national interests”. Later, the Speaker of the Rada, Dmitry Razumkov, spoke about two such “red lines” for the new Ukrainian law on the special status of Donbass - elections are exclusively under Ukrainian law and only if there are no military personnel in the region.
The law on the special status of Donbass, as he said, will be written in agreement with the public.
“This law will not be written in the office of the president or in the closed committee of the Verkhovna Rada, this law will be written together with society, because this is a matter of great importance for the entire state,” Razumkov said.
Note that according to the Minsk agreements, decentralization and the special status of Donbass are obliged to coordinate with the representatives of the DPR and LPR. The heads of republics Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik also drew attention to this in a joint statement.
“Any changes to the law on special status must be agreed with us. Otherwise, we will consider them a direct and flagrant violation of the Minsk agreements, and they will be legally insignificant for us, ”the politicians emphasized.