Leader of the Joint Forces Operation Serhiy Nayev does not forecast an escalation of hostilities in the Donbass in connection with the operation's start, but assures that they will not tolerate the unpunished shelling by militants. He stated this at a briefing in Kramatorsk on May 2, - Ukrayinska Pravda reports.
"The residents of Donbass on both sides of the contact line are most afraid of the intensification of hostilities, so I want to emphasize: we do not forecast an escalation of hostilities in connection with the operation's beginning", - Nayev said.
He stressed that the JFO served to bring peace to the Donbass, but added that the aggression of the enemy would be answered.
"We came not to foment the conflict, but to accelerate its completion… We will not tolerate systemic shelling that the enemy is conducting against the Ukrainian positions. Such one-way shelling is an act of murder. The main task is to stop the unpunished shelling. The answer to the provocations will be tough and inevitable", - Nayev said.
He added that the Minsk agreements did not deprive the AFU of the right to self-defense.
According to Nayev, significant efforts of the JFO leadership will be aimed at strengthening the positions of the armed forces of Ukraine on the contact line. "There will be additional equipment and reinforcement of defensive fortifications, as well as creation of new shelters for the personnel and equipment. There is also an intention to revise the schemes of mine-defensive barriers and release the areas that create a danger to the local population from explosives", - the JFO leader said.
Also, the newest command and control systems will be deployed in the Donbass, in particular, in the reconnaissance and air space control.
"The enemy can consider this a response to threats from some Russian figures about the plans to expand aggression in Ukraine. The response to such actions, if the enemy decides on them, will be quick and effective", - Nayev summed up.
As previously reported, on January 18, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the bill on the reintegration of Donbass in its second reading and as a whole. On February 20, the president signed the law, and on February 26, it came into effect. On March 16, President Petro Poroshenko appointed Lieutenant General Serhiy Nayev commander of the Joint Forces in the Donbass. On April 30, President Petro Poroshenko finished ATO and began the Joint Forces Operation. A special order began to operate in the Donbass with the beginning of the Joint Forces Operation.