The resumption of local hostilities in eastern Ukraine is possible despite the ceasefire regime, the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), Ruslan Khomchak, said at a meeting of the heads of the armed forces of the Visegrad Group countries in Poland September 30.
“A full and comprehensive ceasefire regime is in place on the line of contact in Donbass. Its introduction has significantly reduced the enemy’s fire activity, but the probability of resumption of local hostilities remains,” Khomchak’s statement is quoted by the press service of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.
The agreement to create the Visegrad Group was signed on February 15, 1991 by the leaders of Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Since January 1993, after the formation of the Czech and Slovak Republics, the group consists of four countries.
On September 30, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky removed Witold Fokin from the Ukrainian delegation to the tripartite contact group for the settlement of the situation in the east of the country and relieved the first deputy head of the delegation of his duties.
Earlier that day, at a meeting of the Verkhovna Rada, Fokin said he saw no evidence or signs of war between Russia and Ukraine. He expressed confidence that Kiev should implement the Minsk Agreements and grant Donbas a special status, as well as hold elections in the region.
Additional measures to control the truce have been in place in Donbas since July 27. They include a ban on offensive and intelligence-sabotage operations, the use of aircraft, a ban on firing and the deployment of heavy weapons in populated areas.
Since 2014, Kiev has conducted a military operation against the residents of Donbass, who refused to recognize the results of the state revolution. The Ukrainian side declares that it is waging war against Russia. Moscow has repeatedly noted that it is not a party to the intra-Ukrainian conflict, and called on Kiev to implement the Minsk agreements and conduct direct negotiations with the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR).
The settlement of the situation is being discussed in the framework of a tripartite contact group – authorized representatives of Ukraine, OSCE and Russia – and “Norman format” with the mediation of Russia, France and Germany.