Paramilitaries fight with police blocking their war zone intervention

10 October 2019

Ukrainian paramilitaries and veterans attempting to intervene in the latest military withdrawal in the Luhansk region fought with police at a local checkpoint trying to block them, the pravda.com.ua news site said on Oct. 9. No one was injured when police fired several shots in the air. One police officer was injured when a car ran over his foot. The conflict at the Kreminna checkpoint emerged when police had reportedly demanded the fighters be accompanied by Andriy Biletskiy, the leader of the Azov paramilitary force who called a national mobilization to the towns of Zolote and Petrivske in the Luhansk region, where the next military withdrawals are scheduled to occur. “We will pressure them to the end. We will not leave Zolote. This is a Ukrainian town and it will remain so,” Biletskiy wrote on his pravda.com.ua blog.

 

Russian-backed fighters directed fire on Oct. 9 at the territory in the town of Zolote that is planned for withdrawing forces with the use of mortar fire, the press service of the Joint Forces Operation reported that day. In all, 17 ceasefire violations by the Russian-backed forces were reported throughout Donbas on Oct. 9. A withdrawal can’t begin until a ceasefire in Zolote has been achieved for at least seven days, Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said on Oct. 7.

 

Zenon Zawada: It remains to be seen to what extent the opponents of the military withdrawal will take their resistance. Also unclear are the tactics the Zelensky administration will use to thwart their efforts. Needless to say, this has the potential to become a destabilizing conflict on a national scale. It reflects the biggest divide in Ukrainian society today, which is between those who want peace with Russia at any cost, and those opposed to capitulation.

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