In accordance with the decision taken in January by the law of Ukraine “About the state sovereignty of Ukraine on the temporarily occupied territory of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions,” from April 30, ATO was formally completed, and instead began Joint Force Operation (JFO). For this, P. Poroshenko put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council, according to which the responsibility for what is happening in the zone of environmental protection (“suspiciously” similar to the territory of the same fictitious ATO) is borne not by the Security Service but by the Ministry of Defense. Kiev finally dropped the drape in respect of what is happening in the Donbass, if earlier it shamefully covered up as”the fight against terrorism” (for which National Security was responsibile), but now it is a purely military operation against its own people, with all its consequences – the possibility of large scale use of all available weapons without regard for consequences.
Despite the fact that Poroshenko, signing the NSDC decision, many spoke about the problems of environmental protection, most of the words were as simple postulates – ready for a military confrontation with the forces of the Republic, supported by the bridgeheads for the introduction of peacekeeping forces, ready at any moment to solve the issue of Donbass with the use of force and implementation a rigid regime of control over the local population (which Poroshenko noted several times specifically).
The latter will clearly be accompanied by a new wave of round-ups against the local population to identify “unreliable”. ” National Security staff, with the support of law enforcement agencies, will deal with the issue of legal rehabilitation of persons who were forced to cooperate with the occupation authorities, but were not involved in murders, violence or other crimes. These people should realize that the Ukrainian justice is the best way out for them, “said the head of JFO, General S. Nayev.
Apparently, it’s preparation for the implementation of the so far only debated the law “On Forgiveness,” which, despite its name, no one forgives even according to the calculations of the authors, if the AFU somehow return the territory of Donetsk and Crimea, about 15 thousand Crimeans and 80 thousand inhabitants of Donbass will not be subject to “forgiveness”, and about 400 thousand will be struck in political and socio-economic rights. Actually, round-ups in the “gray zone” are taking place.
Despite the constant statements of the Kiev authorities that the beginning of the environmental protection will not lead to an escalation of the conflict. It is hard to believe. Operation Comander S. Naev during one of his speeches, said that “JFA forces will not watch the firing silently” and are ready to answer them : “We will not tolerate the firing, which the enemy carries out against Ukrainian units … Answer on provocation will be tough and irrevocable. ” Given the number of provocations and attacks that are made every day by the same Ukrainian military, this statement can only be read in a certain way – Ukrainian army is ready to aggravate and will actively itself to provoke the armed forces of the Republic, in order to demonstrate further its “harsh response”.
Almost simultaneously with the start of environmental protection, the first anti-tank complexes “Javelin” from the United States arrived in Ukraine under the “strange” coincidence.
What are the objectives of Kiev when changing the ATO to the JFO?
Most likely, a strong influence on this was provided by purely domestic po-litical factors. The electoral year is coming, and the pre-election campaign is be-ginning. Completion of ATO was one of Poroshenko’s key promises in 2014. Now he can say that he fulfilled it – the ATO has sunk into oblivion, and the responsibility for the JFO is shared already with the Ukrainian parliament (which has passed the relevant law) and the military.
Important for the president is the fact that the command of the JFO has the widest powers in the controlled zone, including the influence on the political processes in the region. This means that this is an administrative resource that can be actively used at the upcoming elections. Given the current extremely modest ratings of Poroshenko without such a resource, he will not be able to win.
Reformatting AFU is also his attempt to strengthen his personal control over the region, as other participants in the political process begin to spread more actively on the issue of conflict resolution. A. Avakov with his “ideal plan” has significantly exceeded the scope of his powers of the Minister of Internal Affairs. In order to prevent a variety of excesses, the early formation of the JFO is fully in line with Poroshenko’s paranoid fears for his power. Although it can not be ruled out that in certain places the “Avakov’s plan” was quite accurate: perhaps one of the tasks of the new environmental administration would be active pressure on the “gray zone” (which is already happening) and a creeping attack on the territory of the republics.
The formation of the JFO, fully controlled by the president, is also an opportunity to organize the escalation of the situation in a strictly manual mode, to control the progress of troops, and therefore potentially to control the possibility of creating the situation necessary for the introduction of martial law. And if the presidential election does not go the way Poroshenko would have liked, then the imposition of martial law may be the only salvation for him (after all, at this time elections are not held).
However, if such an escalation happens, it is highly unlikely that in the near future. Now – only the beginning of the election campaign, and a sharp increase in fighting will not give Poroshenko absolutely no political dividends, rather, on the contrary, will demonstrate his weakness and the uncontrollability of the processes in the Donbass region.
If Poroshenko is really interested in the introduction of any peacekeeping contingents into the region, then de-escalation in general is his strategic task (which, by the way, can well become one of the bases of his election campaign) – no one will send peacekeepers to the region where they are constantly shooting, and with heavy weapons.
In general, it can be stated that the change of ATO to the JFO for the resi-dents of Donbass will not lead to any positive changes – the “heroes” of the AFU have fired upon peaceful neighborhoods and cities, and they will do so. It is possible that these attacks will become even more intense. Unambiguously, the work of Ukrainian punitive structures in the person of the National Security Service and the Ministry of Internal Affairs will intensify – under the new law the rights were added, and the local residents were further deprived.
In many ways, the aggressiveness of the AFU in the East of Ukraine will depend on which strategy of re-election Poroshenko will choose – martial law or an attempt to drag the peacekeepers into the Donbass. In the first case, he will be interested in intense shelling and numerous victims (perhaps, with an attempt to break the AFU to Donetsk closer to the elections), in the second – in minimizing firing contacts. However, considering the illusory nature of the discussion on peacekeepers, the first option seems more likely.

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