The anti-terrorist operation in the Donbass will be completed at the end of April, then will begin a new format under the leadership of the joint forces.
On this interview, the BBC said the defense Minister Stepan Poltorak.
“On 30 April we are completing the ATO and turn to operation of the Combined forces led by the commander and the joint staff”, he said.
Poltorak added that the Ministry has already prepared “the military authorities who will perform tasks in Donetsk and Lugansk regions”.
“Exercises were held, and literally during a conversation with you (the interview was recorded on April 21 – ed) redeployment of military authorities, replacement units, restructuring of military units and their replacement,” said the Minister.
The new operation will be to lead the commander of the United forces. According to Poltorak, was appointed to this position Sergey Nev will manage the preparation and management of all defence force – not only APU but also of the SBU, police, national guard, border guards.
His main task is “to liberate the territory from the invaders and defend the territorial integrity of Ukraine”.
Poltorak was unable to name the exact number of Ukrainian forces in the Donbas, noting that everything will depend on the situation.
“If the first stage is the operation of stabilization of the situation, in my opinion, will be sufficient and quantity that exist today. If the situation be complicated or a decision will be made about the liberation of the territory – then, of course, and the number of personnel required will increase,” – said Poltorak.
He also predicts that will change in the lives of the civilians in the conflict zone.
“They will clearly understand who depend on decisions, they will be clearly understood that a chain of management of these territories and I think that life for these people easier”, – said the Poltorak.
On 18 January, the Verkhovna Rada adopted in the second reading of the bill on the reintegration of Donbass.
On 20 February, the law was signed by the President, and on February 26 it came into force.
Innovation of the bill was the actual reformatting of the ATO in “measures to ensure national security and defense, response and containment of armed aggression of the Russian Federation”.
On March 16, President Petro Poroshenko appointed commander of joint forces in the Donbass, the General-Lieutenant Sergey Nueva.