Ukrainian Parliament proposes to call the military operation in the Donbas a ‘local war’ to further its integration back into Ukraine

A draft bill on the reintegration of the Donbas proposes to introduce a concept of “local war” in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. This was stated by Verkhovna Rada Deputy from the Petro Poroshenko Bloc "Solidarity" Volodymyr Ariev, 112 Ukraine reports.

According to Ariev, the antiterrorist operation (ATO) that is being carried out in the Donbas now uses an "outdated format.” He said that according to Ukrainian legislation, in case of seizure of territories, either an ATO should be conducted or war should be declared.

Ariev added that in the meantime, Ukraine would not introduce "full-scale" martial law. "This will be a format of introducing a local war with the possibility for the President to have all power structures within the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions subordinate to him," he said.

Ukrainian authorities understand that "there must be a transitional moment" as it is necessary to stop the "freezing" of the conflict in the Donbas, the Ukrainian deputy noted. "Since it all reached a deadlock, we need to free some space for maneuvering," Ariev explained.

He said that the Verkhovna Rada is currently "looking for an opportunity" to bring Ukrainian legislation to international standards in order to "act more effectively." Ariev expressed the opinion that the Ukrainian parliament should adopt a bill on the reintegration of the Donbas.

On Monday, June 19, the Kommersant newspaper reported that the Ukrainian authorities were developing a plan for "peaceful reintegration" of the territories of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics.

According to the news agency’s representatives, the administration of the Ukrainian president is preparing a document that will abolish the ATO in the Donbas and introduce martial law in the zones that are adjacent to the territories of the so-called People's Republic of Donetsk and People's Republic of Luhansk.

Afterwards, stewardship of the zones would be transferred from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Citizens who live in the southeast of the country will be offered various benefits, including pensions. According to Kommersant, the draft law can already be submitted to the Verkhovna Rada for consideration this week.

The head of the Security Service, Oleksandr Turchynov made an appeal to end the presence of the ATO in the Donbas as it no longer ensures Ukraine's security against "Russian aggression." In response, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said that abolishing the ATO without giving an opportunity for the Ukrainian servicemen to "act adequately in conditions of aggression" would leave the country without protection.

The Kremlin said they did not know in detail about Kyiv's plans for reintegration of the Donbas. According to Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary of the Russian president, the document prepared by the Ukrainian authorities should take into account the provisions of the Minsk agreements on the settlement of the conflict.

  Donbas, War in Ukraine, Verkhovna Rada