On September 5, 2014 the Trilateral Contact Group of representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as well as representatives of Russia-backed militants from Donetsk and Luhansk signed a Protocol on joint steps aimed at implementation of the Peace Plan of President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko (the Minsk Protocol).
On the same day, the President of Ukraine ordered the Ukrainian military to cease fire.
Ukraine has been implementing all the provisions of the Protocol consistently and thoroughly.
Ukrainian forces have terminated full-scale military actions and have assiduously abided by the ceasefire regime, despite the fact that the opponent continues attacking.
The law “On temporary order of local self-government in separate districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions” and the law “On the prohibition of persecution and punishment of participants of events on the territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions” were adopted on September 16th despite the opposition of certain political forces, and related controversy within the Ukrainian society.
Ukraine is consistently working on promoting inclusive national dialogue. Early parliamentary elections have been scheduled to enable inhabitants of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions to choose their national representation. Furthermore, early local elections will take place in the relevant districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
In the meantime, although it is part of the Trilateral Contact Group and a signatory of the Minsk Protocol, the Russian Federation has continued to neglect implementation of the Protocol provisions.
Russian-controlled militants did not stop attacking the state troops’ positions for a single day. The positions of the Ukrainian military have been shelled 490 times since the truce began. As a result losses for the Ukrainian military constitute over a hundred deaths. These statistics are supported by the OSCE, which registered numerous cases of cease-fire violation by the Russian-controlled militants. OSCE vehicles themselves became the object of attack.
Russian regular troops and militants use the ceasefire as a respite to deliver reinforcements, reshuffle, take more advantageous positions and fortify them. Russia continues to supply manpower and military equipment to the militants through a number of border crossings that are currently out of control of the Ukrainian forces.
In order to advance the implementation of the September 5th Minsk Protocol, the Trilateral Contact Group (Ukraine, Russia, OSCE) signed an additional protocol in Minsk on September 19th 2014, which includes the following steps:
- Both sides shall withdraw heavy weaponry by 15 km from the front line which should create a 30 km “safe zone”,
- Conditions shall be created for the OSCE to monitor the ceasefire zone,
- All military flights over the ceasefire area, including foreign drones, will be halted in the area, with the exception of OSCE monitoring flights,
- A key point of the Protocol is “the withdrawal of all foreign troops and armaments from sovereign Ukrainian territory”.
All three participants of the contact group signed the Protocol.
Ukraine is fulfilling its obligations in their entirety.
The Ukrainian side asks for the recognition and expressed support of the Indonesian side with regard to Ukraine’s efforts in the peaceful resolution of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
The original can be found here.
English translation of the Protocol:
To fulfill point 1 of the protocol based on consultations of the trilateral contact group on joint steps towards implementation of the peace plan of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and initiatives of Russian President Vladimir Putin (in Minsk, Belarus, on Sept. 5), participants of the trilateral contact group made up of representatives of Ukraine, Russian Federation and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as representatives of certain districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts reached an understanding regarding the following measures called to seal the bilateral cease-fire agreement.
1. The cease-fire is to be considered mutual.
2. Subdivisions and military formations of the sides along are to stop in their juxtaposition as of Sept. 19.
3. There is a ban on the use of all types of weapons and any form of offensive action.
4. Within 24 hours after the approval of this memorandum, all lethal weapons more than 100 millimeter caliber are to be moved back from juxtaposition by at least 15 kilometers (with the exception of those indicated below), including from residential areas, which will allow to create a zone from from use of weapons of no less than 30 kilometers in width (the safety zone).
At the same time, artillery systems of more than 100 millimeter caliber are to be moved back from their juxtaposition by the length of their maximum range, in particular:
100 mm canons MT12 - by 9 kilometers; 120 mm mortars - by 8 kilometers; 122 mm howitzers D30 - by 16 kilometers; 152 mm 2C5 Giatsint-C (2C3 Acacia, 2C19 Mcta-C, 2A65 Mcta-B) - by 33 kilometers; Multiple Rocket Launch System (MRLS) 9K51 Grad - by 21 kilometers, 9K57 Uragan - by 36 kilometers; 9K58 Smerch - by 70 kilometers; MRLS Tornado-G - by 40 kilometers; MRLS Tornado U - by 70 kilometers; MRLS Tornado-C - by 120 kilometers. tactical rocket systems - by 120 kilometers.
5. A ban is to be introduced on deployment of heavy weapons and military equipment in the district limited by the towns of Komsomolske, Kumacheve, Novoazovsk, Sakhanka, with OSCE monitoring.
6. A ban is to be introduced on installment of new mines and explosive barriers within the limits of the safety zone.
There is an obligation to dismantle previously installed mines and explosive barriers in the safety zone.
7. A ban from the moment of approval of this memorandum is to be introduced on flights of military aviation and foreign drones, with the exception of drones used by the monitoring mission of OSCE, along the line of juxtaposition in the weapons-free zone of 30 kilometer width.
8. The OSCE monitoring mission made up of observers of the organization is to be deployed to the cease-fire zone within 24 hours from the moment of approval of this memorandum. The above-mentioned zone should be divided into sectors, the number and limits of which should be agreed in the course of preparation of the OSCE monitoring mission for work.
9. All foreign militarized formations, military equipment and militants and mercenaries are to exit the territory of Ukraine under OSCE monitoring.
Participants of the trilateral contact group:
OSCE Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini (signed)
Second President of Ukraine Leonid D. Kuchma (signed)
Ambassador of Russian Federation to Ukraine Mikhail Y. Zurabov (signed)
Aleksander V. Zakharchenko, chairman of the Donetsk People's Republic (signed)
Igor.V. Plotnitskiy (signed)
Sept. 19, 2014
(Translated by Kyiv Post)