Turchynov: Reformatting ATO into Joint Forces Operation doesn’t preclude targeted anti-terrorist operations

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The reformatting of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) in Donbas into the Operation of the Joint Forces does not preclude the conduct of targeted anti-terrorist operations, the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov has said.

“When the Operational Joint Staff begins to operate instead of ATO, when there is a military operation instead of ATO, we will say that the ATO tasks have been fulfilled. Although I do not exclude that anti-terrorist operations will be carried out on a pinpoint basis – as they should be conducted in accordance with the law and logic,” Turchynov said in an interview with the UA:Pershy TV Channel on Friday.

The Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council stressed that while drafting and enacting the law, the goal was to liberate the territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions from illegal armed formations. “We have prescribed a mechanism for more effective counteraction to military provocations, military aggression of the Russian Federation. On the other hand, we must not forget about our citizens who are forced to remain in the occupied territory. The law also recognizes Russia as an aggressor state, which is important for us. In international litigation we show that Russia is not a third party, but the country that conducts a hybrid aggression against Ukraine,” he said.

Turchynov noted that the creation of the Joint Operational Headquarters, which takes over the management of the opposition to Russian aggression and the liberation of the occupied territories, “will help increase the effectiveness of our activities.”

“War is the work of the military, and we clearly put in place all the elements of the defense sector created from scratch,” he said.

In addition, according to Turchynov, this law “will not allow Russia to play in the so-called peacekeeping cover for its aggression.

Earlier, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko announced the change of the anti-terrorist operation in the east of Ukraine to the operation of the Joint Forces on April 30 this year.

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