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April 13, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko voiced the date of the beginning of the Joint Forces Operation in Donbas.
When asked about when the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) will be reformatted into the Joint Forces Operation, Poroshenko replied:
"I think that not in a month, but it should change - I will reveal the secret - April 30".
Thus, from April 30, Joint Forces Operation comes into force. A new format is designed to replace the anti-terrorist operation that has lasted four years.
What is the difference between the ATO and the Joint Forces Operation?
The main difference is in the management scheme. General management of the ATO has been carried out by the Security Service (SBU) Anti-Terrorist Center, now the operation is directly transferred to the military.
BUT. The change of ATO on the Joint Forces Operation does not imply the termination of anti-terrorist operations. SBU (if necessary) will continue to conduct them within the framework of the Joint Forces Operation.
What will change with the beginning of the Joint Forces Operation?
- The operation of the united forces will be headed by the military leadership. In the conflict area, the Joint Operational Headquarters of Ukraine’s Armed Forces will now be the main body.
- The headquarters will manage the forces and means of the Armed Forces, other military formations, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the National Police, which are involved in "deterring and repelling Russian aggression in Donetsk and Luhansk regions."
- The chief of staff will be subordinated to the law enforcement officers, servicemen, and all who are involved in the confrontation with the aggressor.
- Also, the chief of the Operational Headquarters (in agreement with the SBU) controls the order of entry/exit of persons through the contact line, the movement of goods to the occupied territories of Donbas.
- The head of the Joint Operational Headquarters decides and approves key personnel decisions in civil-military administrations when it comes to the work of servicemen and law enforcement officials in the military administration.
- The chief of the Joint Forces Operation reports to the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces.
Who will lead the Operation of the United Forces?
President Petro Poroshenko has appointed Serhiy Nayev Commander of Joint Forces Operation.
Nayev is lieutenant-general.In 2015-2017, he commanded the Vostok operational command.He рфі passed the way from the platoon commander to the deputy chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The younger brother of Serhiy Nayev lives in Crimea occupied by Russia. However, the commander ruled out the possibility of pressure and blackmail on himself because of relatives.
"I'm confident that this is not just a change in format. These are new opportunities for protecting Ukrainian territory, Ukrainian citizens. We will do everything possible to return the land of the occupied Donbas to the sovereignty of Ukraine as soon as possible. We will also create conditions for hundreds of thousands, millions of IDPs who were forced to leave Donetsk and Luhansk lands, so that they can return and restore normal life in the Donbas as soon as possible," Petro Poroshenko emphasized.
Chief of the General Staff of the Supreme Armed Forces Viktor Muzhenko noted: "The ATO will be completed and we will proceed to the Joint Forces Operation, which presupposes a clear structure of the management system, the subordination of certain forces and resources to military leadership, the creation of a joint operational headquarters as the main controlling body of this operation in the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions."
Commander of the Joint Forces, General Serhiy Nayev said: "The main difference is the subordination. if earlier the Antiterrorist operation was conducted under the overall direction of the SBU Anti-Terrorist Center, now Joint Forces Operation is under the strategic leadership of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine".
National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) Secretary Olexander Turchynov:
"After the Joint Forces Operation begins to work, there will be a military operation instead of ATO, and we will say that the ATO has fulfilled its tasks. Although I do not exclude that anti-terrorist operations will be carried out point-by-point - that is, as they should be conducted in accordance with the law and logic."