Azov regiment: initiative to “demilitarize” Shyrokyne hazardous and irresponsible

The town of Shyrokyne is just outside of Russian proxy-held territory

The town of Shyrokyne is just outside of Russian proxy-held territory 

2015/04/18 • War in the Donbas

The Ukrainian representatives of the Joint Center for implementation of the ceasefire in Donbas has stated that it is ready to demilitarize Shyrokyne, a town at the crossroads of the strategic town of Mariupol and territories held by Russian troops and their proxies that is coming under intense shelling as the ceasefire is repeatedly violated by the latter.  The Azov regiment defending Ukrainian positions at these places warns that such a decision would have grave consequences. Here is a translation of their statement:

“Shyrokyne is a strategic high ground and position for firing weapons, and had been regularly utilized by the enemy for the purpose of artillery barrages against the civilian population of Mariupol. This is the location from which the micro-raion East was attacked on January 24th, resulting in the deaths of 31 civilian residents and injuries to an additional 120 people, as well as the destruction of dozens of residential buildings. The enemy committed this crime during a time of a so-called ceasefire.

As a result of the Azov regiment’s Shyrokyne operation, supported by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the village was returned to Ukrainian control. The front line was consequently moved back, preventing the possibility for further shelling of Mariupol. The civilian population of a major city was thereby saved and the advance of the Russian aggressor was halted at a strategic location. The price paid for these successes has been the shedding of the blood of our brothers in arms.

The removal of the Ukrainian army and the system of checkpoints for monitoring the ceasefire in Shyrokyne represents a tremendous loss of this Ukrainian territory, even in the estimation of the local OSCE mission. Further, the loss of Shyrokyne would mean voluntarily opening the way to Mariupol, placing nearly half a million of its residents in danger. The government risks losing important strategic objectives as well as industry located in the city.

While the commander of the Azov regiment, Andrii Biletskyi, has frequently criticised the terms of the Minsk Agreement, the initiative to demilitarize Shyrokyne represents an even greater step backwards than the accord itself. In the terms of the Minsk Agreement of 19 September, 2014, not only was this population point supposed to remain under the control of Ukraine, but Sakhanka as well, located to the east of Shyrokyne.

The proposal for the removal of the army contravenes the letter and the spirit of international law, since one of the key principles of the Helsinki Accord is the territorial integrity of the member countries of the OSCE. European observers ought to be insisting on the complete withdrawal of the entire Russian occupation army rather than pressuring the Ukrainian army to abandon a strategic position.

As fighters with the Azov regiment, we call upon the Commander-in-Chief as well as the top government leadership to avoid making a fatal mistake and not to abandon Shyrokyne and Mariupol to such a fate. We are convinced that this location requires the reinforcement of its defences, and not the withdrawal of the military.

We declare the following: we will defend our land to our last breath!
Glory to Ukraine!”

Translated by: Jeffrey Stephaniuk
Source: Right Sector FB

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  • Andrew Chmilewsky

    Makes sense. Besides, since when have Russo-mongoloidols ever kept their word or treaty on anything?

  • Murf

    Until the Rebels actually CEASEFIRING then it is by definition NOT a ceasefire. Just a deescalation. Regardless of what the politicians think.

    • Murf

      No SBU was purged of the traitorous scum that Moscow infiltrated in the agency. After that the provocateurs were rounded up. That and the volunteer battalions filled the gap that the self serving police wouldn’t.
      But mostly the people of Ukraine saw what a mess-the separatists were making and said fuk off.

  • Brent

    Withdrawing from any Ukrainian held territory is just going to allow the terrorists to move forward and fill the vacuum. Withdrawing from such an important vantage point as Shyrokyne imperils the 500,000 residents of Mariupol and many others down the Black Sea Coast because the terrorist leader Zakharchenko still insists the DPR wants control of it. Russia has not withdrawn its heavy armaments as the Minsk Accord demands, and until they do, and they allow proper monitoring, no further ground should be abandoned by Ukraine until it can no longer be defended.

    • Murf

      I certainly hope the General Staff is not going ahead with this.

      • Murf

        And they got the best training and experiancen the USSR could offer.

        • Murf

          50 years ago huh?
          So they joined in 1965 and are 70 years old?
          Russia has used everything Putin has the political balls throw at them.