President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has appointed Lieutenant-General Serhiy Nayev, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, as the commander of the Joint Forces in the Donbass.
Ukrainian president said on his Facebook page that the bill “On the specifics of State policy on ensuring Ukraine's State sovereignty over the temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions” was adopted in Verkhovna Rada. The bill assumes that the format of “anti-terrorist operation” be changed to the “Joint Forces operation” in the Donbas.
“The commander of the Joint Forces will be responsible for the forces and means of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and other military formations and law enforcement bodies. I decided to appoint Lieutenant-General Serhiy Nayev to this post,” Poroshenko wrote.
He added that the Lieutenant-General was tasked to strengthen the Ukrainian Armed Forces and, “not only their defensive capacity, but also their ability to liberate the occupied territories.”
The bill on the reintegration of Donbass was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on January 18. Poroshenko signed it on February 20. This law recognizes the territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions controlled by the pro-Russian separatists as “occupied territories” and Russia as an “aggressor State”.