Lieu­tenant-Gen­eral Ser­hiy Nayev: “The Joint Forces should put an end to Rus­sian ag­gres­sion against Ukraine”

"The Joint Forces should put an end to Rus­sian ag­gres­sion against Ukraine"

The Ukrainian Week - - CONTENTS -

The Ukrainian Week dis­cussed the first re­sults of the Joint Forces Oper­a­tion in the Don­bas with its com­man­der

The Ukrainian Week dis­cussed the first re­sults of the Joint Forces Oper­a­tion in the Don­bas with its com­man­der, Lieu­tenant-Gen­eral Ser­hiy Nayev.

What changes have al­ready oc­curred since the start of the Joint Forces Oper­a­tion?

– Un­like the ATO, the Joint Forces Oper­a­tion (JFO) oper­a­tion is a mil­i­tary one. At the same time, it is a pack­age of mil­i­tary, or­gan­i­sa­tional and le­gal mea­sures aimed at guar­an­tee­ing national se­cu­rity and de­fence, as well as the de­ter­rence and re­pres­sion of Rus­sian armed ag­gres­sion.

We are deal­ing with the oc­cu­pa­tion of cer­tain dis­tricts of the Donetsk and Luhansk Re­gions by a Rus­sian ag­gres­sor that has cre­ated the bo­gus "DPR" and "LPR" or­gan­i­sa­tions and keeps them at the point of bay­o­nets in or­der to weaken and desta­bilise Ukraine.

In essence, the 1st and 2nd Army Corps that the oc­cu­pants have formed in the ter­ri­to­ries un­der their con­trol in the Donetsk and Luhansk Re­gions re­spec­tively are sub­or­di­nated to the South­ern Mil­i­tary District of the Rus­sian Armed Forces. Both corps are part of the 8th Army, whose head­quar­ters are lo­cated in Novocherkassk (Rus­sia). The oc­cu­pa­tion forces re­ceive arms, am­mu­ni­tion, fu­els and lu­bri­cants, money and food from Rus­sian ter­ri­tory. It should be noted that all po­si­tions in these for­ma­tions above com­pany com­man­der are staffed with Rus­sian of­fi­cers. This is pri­mar­ily due to the Rus­sian com­mand's dis­trust of the lo­cal traitors. The units of the Rus­sian oc­cu­pa­tion troops are also mainly made up of Rus­sian "hol­i­day­mak­ers" and "vol­un­teers" that are con­victed crim­i­nals, Rus­sian na­tion­al­ists or other ad­ven­tur­ers who have been re­cruited to par­tic­i­pate in the war in Ukraine by Rus­sian mil­i­tary en­list­ment of­fices.

There­fore, we are deal­ing with Rus­sian armed ag­gres­sion and should act ac­cord­ingly. At the same time, the main task is to pre­vent the spread of this oc­cu­pa­tion to other ter­ri­to­ries of Ukraine.

I want to em­pha­sise that the JFO is just one of the tools by which the state will achieve the lib­er­a­tion of the tem­po­rar­ily oc­cu­pied ter­ri­to­ries in the Donetsk and Luhansk Re­gions and re­store con­sti­tu­tional or­der there. Our mis­sion is also to pro­tect the rights, free­doms and le­git­i­mate in­ter­ests of in­di­vid­u­als and le­gal en­ti­ties, as well as to en­sure the in­de­pen­dence, unity and ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity of Ukraine.

In this re­gard, a spe­cial regime be­gan to op­er­ate in cer­tain ar­eas on April 30. The se­cu­rity and de­fence forces, in ad­di­tion to other state bod­ies in­volved in the JFO, have been granted spe­cial pow­ers, no­tably to use lethal and non-lethal weapons, to de­tain per­sons and hand them over to the po­lice, to check doc­u­ments, to carry out per­sonal in­spec­tions of cit­i­zens, their be­long­ings and ve­hi­cles, to tem­po­rar­ily re­strict or pro­hibit the move­ment of trans­port and pedes­tri­ans, to en­ter res­i­den­tial and other premises be­long­ing to cit­i­zens, and to use for of­fi­cial pur­poses the trans­port and com­mu­ni­ca­tion fa­cil­i­ties of cit­i­zens, en­ter­prises and or­gan­i­sa­tions, ex­cept for the trans­port of diplo­matic and in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions.

It should be noted that the spe­cial regime was mainly in­tro­duced due to the ac­tions of the en­emy (the use of weapons, prepa­ra­tion and im­ple­men­ta­tion of ter­ror­ist acts or sab­o­tage) that threaten the safety of the Joint Forces (JF) and the lo­cal popu-

la­tion. At the same time, it can be in­tro­duced when the JF are con­duct­ing in­tel­li­gence op­er­a­tions, com­bat train­ing, dem­i­ning the area and other fa­cil­i­ties, and re­spond­ing to nat­u­ral and man­made emer­gen­cies.

The JFO ter­ri­tory is di­vided into a safety zone and a com­bat area. In the safety zone, the JF com­man­der can de­cide to cre­ate both re­stricted and pro­hib­ited ar­eas. It is pos­si­ble to get into re­stricted-ac­cess ar­eas with a spe­cial per­mit from the JF com­man­der or the com­man­ders of op­er­a­tional tac­ti­cal groups. No unau­tho­rised per­sons are al­lowed in the for­bid­den ar­eas at all – a spe­cial pass is re­quired.

The com­bat area is un­der­stood to be the area along the con­tact line, where units of the Armed Forces, other mil­i­tary for­ma­tions and law en­force­ment of­fi­cers con­duct com­bat mis­sions to pre­vent the en­emy from break­ing through into the ter­ri­tory of the state. It is clear that ac­cess to such ter­ri­to­ries is only pos­si­ble with spe­cial per­mis­sion.

At the same time, the rea­son for ad­mit­ting per­sons not in­volved in the oper­a­tion to the JFO area may be: the res­i­dence of a per­son or close rel­a­tives there (con­firmed by doc­u­ments), if a burial place of fam­ily mem­bers is lo­cated there, the death of close rel­a­tives, prop­erty own­er­ship in the area of op­er­a­tions and par­tic­i­pa­tion in set­tling the con­flict, in par­tic­u­lar the res­o­lu­tion of hu­man­i­tar­ian is­sues, as well as diplo­matic and con­sular ac­tiv­i­ties.

How have re­la­tions be­tween Ukrainian mil­i­tary and se­cu­rity agen­cies changed with the trans­fer of com­mand to the Armed Forces? Has this ef­fected the qual­ity with which tasks are car­ried out?

– The need to change the ATO for­mat was long over­due. Our mil­i­tary en­emy is one of the most pow­er­ful armies in the world. This is a treach­er­ous op­po­nent that ac­tively uses the tools of hy­brid war­fare. Ac­cord­ingly, our ac­tions in con­fronting this en­emy must be rapid, timely and proac­tive. This can be achieved through an ef­fec­tive cen­tralised man­age­ment sys­tem.

Since the be­gin­ning of the JFO, the chain of com­mand for bases and units per­form­ing com­bat mis­sions in the Don­bas has changed. While the ATO was pre­vi­ously sub­or­di­nate to the Anti-Ter­ror­ist Cen­tre of the Se­cu­rity Ser­vice (SBU), the JFO is cur­rently is un­der the strate­gic com­mand of the Gen­eral Staff of the Armed Forces.

This has made it pos­si­ble to in­crease the ef­fi­ciency of the JF dur­ing op­er­a­tions. A ma­jor ad­van­tage of the JF is the sys­tem for co­or­di­nat­ing the ac­tions of the mil­i­tary and law en­force­ment of­fi­cers, as well as their co­op­er­a­tion with the mil­i­tary-civil­ian ad­min­is­tra­tions. In­deed, not only mil­i­tary tasks are as­signed to us. The JF are also in­volved in law en­force­ment ac­tiv­i­ties and con­duct­ing in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion, as well as hu­man­i­tar­ian cam­paigns.

As an ex­am­ple, I can re­fer to the Help East strate­gic hu­man­i­tar­ian ini­tia­tive that I launched to in­cor­po­rate the most ef­fec­tive prac­tices for as­sist­ing the civil­ian pop­u­la­tion liv­ing in the com­bat area. This work was be­gun while I was lead­ing Op­er­a­tional Com­mand East and a task force in the ATO zone.

What is­sues re­main un­re­solved or need im­prove­ment?

– Of course, dur­ing the oper­a­tion, we per­form a wide range of tasks. In par­tic­u­lar, this refers to es­tab­lish­ing de­fen­sive po­si­tions, fol­low­ing the pro­ce­dure for ad­mit­ting peo­ple to the area of op­er­a­tions, en­sur­ing pro­vi­sions and train­ing re­serves.

Mea­sures to save the lives of fight­ers and re­duce com­bat losses are a sep­a­rate task. The sol­dier as a per­son, their fate and fu­ture have been and re­main among the main pri­or­i­ties for us. We con­tinue to equip JF bases and units with modern weaponry. In par­tic­u­lar, this refers to de­fen­sive weapons such as an­ti­tank mis­sile sys­tems, counter-tank com­bat sys­tems and bat­tle­field in­tel­li­gence tools.

Sep­a­rately, I would like to fo­cus on solv­ing hu­man­i­tar­ian prob­lems in the re­gion. Cit­i­zens of Ukraine liv­ing in the Don­bas, whether they are in ar­eas around the de­mar­ca­tion line or the tem­po­rar­ily oc­cu­pied ter­ri­to­ries, should be sure that the JF will do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble and nec­es­sary in or­der to re­store the rule of law in these ter­ri­to­ries.

We hope that the main bur­den of solv­ing eco­nomic and so­cial prob­lems will be taken on by pro­fes­sion­als in the Mil­i­tary-Civil Ad­min­is­tra­tions. This con­cerns re­new­ing the full-fledged work of in­dus­trial fa­cil­i­ties, de­vel­op­ing hor­i­zon­tal eco­nomic ties, pro­mot­ing small and medium-sized busi­nesses, and re­duc­ing un­em­ploy­ment. It is clear that this refers to re­gions that are un­der our con­trol.

Have you recorded any changes or ac­tiv­ity on the part of the en­emy that can be con­sid­ered a kind of re­sponse to chang­ing the for­mat of the oper­a­tion?

– The be­gin­ning of the JFO did not go un­no­ticed by the en­emy. This was mainly seen in the in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion of mea­sures de­signed to have an in­for­ma­tional and psy­cho­log­i­cal im­pact on the pop­u­la­tion of the tem­po­rar­ily oc­cu­pied ter­ri­to­ries and the rest of Ukraine, as well as the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity. The main ob­jec­tive of the en­emy's ac­tions is to dis­credit not only the JF com­mand or the mil­i­tary and law en­force­ment of­fi­cers in­volved in the oper­a­tion, but also the state lead­er­ship in gen­eral and the pol­icy of rein­te­grat­ing the tem­po­rar­ily oc­cu­pied ter­ri­to­ries. In ad­di­tion, we have noted an in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion in the op­er­a­tions of sab­o­tage and re­con­nais­sance groups around the de­mar­ca­tion line.

At the same time, it should be noted that the num­ber of at­tacks on our po­si­tions has de­creased. The en­emy has re­alised that we will de­cid­edly re­buff any provo­ca­tion, espe­cially those in­volv­ing the shelling of peace­ful set­tle­ments and check­points along the con­tact line, which pri­mar­ily im­pacts the in­hab­i­tants of cities and vil­lages in the Don­bas.

We will not al­low the en­emy to un­der­mine the process of nor­mal­is­ing life in ar­eas con­trolled by Ukraine and we will work to­wards this in all avail­able ways.

The JF should put an end to the Rus­sian ag­gres­sion against Ukraine. This is the mis­sion put be­fore me as a com­man­der by the pres­i­dent of Ukraine, the com­man­der-in-chief of the Armed Forces. We are per­form­ing this task. Our strength is in unity, so vic­tory will be ours.

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