Today the law On the specifics of the state policy on ensuring state sovereignty of Ukraine on the temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, known as Donbas reintegration law, is coming into force.
The law defines Donetsk and Luhansk regions temporarily occupied territories as the territories over which Russia’s armed groups and Russian occupation administration have established control (including land, water, subsoil and air). The boundaries of such territories should be determined by the president on the proposal of the Defense Ministry based on the recommendations of the General Staff of the Armed Forces. The total absence of Russian servicemen in the occupied territories should be confirmed by the Defense and Internal Ministry - they must together submit a communication to Ukraine’s president, who shall take the decision. The president will decide on the beginning and completion of measures to ensure national security and counteract Russian aggression. Also, the Russian Federation is officially recognized as an aggressor country.
'I think it will be symbolic that today, exactly four years after the Russian aggression began, we discussed and I signed this extremely important law. It enhances the legal framework of the use of the Armed Forces and other law enforcement agencies to protect our state. This law reflects my strategy of returning the occupied areas under the rule of Ukraine. In this law, we define Russia as the aggressor country. It is crucial that the law settles legal mechanisms of returning these territories by means of politics and diplomacy,' President Poroshenko said.
According to the President, this law does not violate any of Ukraine's international commitments, including Minsk agreements - 'despite Russia's intentions to put it this way’.
Ukraine’s Armed Forces joint operation headquarters is going to replace the Anti-Terrorist Operation (which is the official name of the operation in the conflict zone now) and be the main body in the conflict area. It is going to command the military assets of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, other military groups, the Interior Ministry, the National police dedicated to combating the Russian aggression in Donetsk and Luhansk regions”. Law enforcement officers, servicemen and everybody else involved in fighting the aggressor, are going to be subordinate to the Joint Force Commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
According to the law, the headquarters will “plan, organize and control the execution of tasks on national security and protection and defense, curbing and coercion of the Russian military aggression in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, direction, coordination and control of civil-military or military administrations (if such are formed) in Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the areas of national security and defense.
Last month, the Ukrainian parliament passed the law about the reintegration of Donbas, defining the legal status of certain areas of Donbas and Luhansk regions as 'the occupied territories'. The official date of the beginning of the occupation is February 20, 2014. Russia is considered responsible for numerous human rights violations in the occupied territories.