Ukraine strengthens demilitarized zone ahead of postwar deal as drones reach Moscow

Several Ukrainian voices support the creation of a demilitarized zone of about 100 kilometers in Russian territory along the border as part of a post-war deal to protect against future attacks by Moscow.

“The main issue of the post-war agreement should be the creation of guarantees to prevent the recurrence of aggression in the future,” Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said in a tweet on Monday.

In order to ensure the real security of the residents of Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Zaporizhia, Luhansk and Donetsk regions and protect them from shelling, it will be necessary to introduce a 100-120 km demilitarized zone on the territory of Belgorod. Republics, Bryansk, Kursk and Rostov,” he said.

Without elaborating on the practicalities, Podoliak noted that such a zone would “probably” have “a contingent of mandatory international controls at the first stage.”

The president’s advisor had previously decided to create a demilitarized zone. “After the war, we cannot conclude a peace treaty with Russia, which will lose. It will be an agreement on payments, war crimes, demilitarization zone, there will be separate legal documents, but not a peace treaty. with Russia”, he said a few days ago on television.

The idea is not new and has previously been voiced publicly by other officials, such as the country’s military intelligence chief Kirill Budanov, who has also argued that ending the war would require the creation of a demilitarized zone between Russia and Ukraine. .

“This is, in my opinion, the right distance, and we can argue a lot about how much it should be. The 100-kilometer zone is a zone from which it is impossible to attack by conventional means,” said the head of the directorate. The head of the intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine told the TV channel about this in the middle of May, Ukrainian media reported. “This is the goal, for example, if the new Russian government says: we do not want to attack. Well, move the troops back 100 km, it’s not that hard.

Last week, the so-called The Russian Freedom Legion, one of the militias that claimed responsibility for the attack in Russia’s Belgorod region, said their aim was to create a “demilitarized zone”. [las fuerzas regulares rusas] Ukraine cannot be attacked from this territory.

In general, based on international humanitarian law, as explained by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), a demilitarized zone is considered to be an area that, by agreement between the parties to the conflict, “cannot be occupied or used for military purposes. purposes by any of them’ and may be established in time of peace or war.

The protection of the demilitarized zone ends “if one of the parties seriously violates the agreement establishing the zone” and, always according to the ICRC, practice indicates that international supervision “is a good method of verifying compliance with the agreed conditions”. . The treaty, the organization explains, can allow “the presence of police forces or the presence of peacekeeping forces for the sole purpose of maintaining law and order in the zone without losing its demilitarized character.”

According to the humanitarian organization, attacking these areas is prohibited. “Many military manuals provide for the establishment of demilitarized zones and prohibit attacks on them. In many countries, laws criminalize attacks on demilitarized zones.”

Demilitarized zones have previously been established in other conflicts, such as India and Pakistan, North and South Korea, Israel and Syria, Israel and Egypt, Iraq and Kuwait, as well as in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia and Nicaragua. ICRC, which concludes: “In general, the alleged violations of the demilitarized zone provision have been condemned.”

The US-based organization Rand Corporation explains that demilitarized zones are mechanisms to prevent a renewal of violence created in armistice agreements, “such as those that ended the Korean War in 1953 and the conflict in Transnistria, Moldova in 1992”, in which the two sides agreed to cease fight

At the moment, there is no diplomatic solution to the war in Ukraine, and both sides have expressed their readiness to continue fighting.

The creation of a demilitarized zone as part of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has already been discussed by some Western experts, such as Richard Haas and Charles Kupchan, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations at the American think tank Center, an area they, however, focus on. In this case “around the new line of contact”. In an article published last April in Foreign Affairs, they argued that the United States and its partners had begun to shape the diplomatic end to the initiative, which will begin later this year.

According to this approach, “Western backers of Ukraine will offer a cease-fire as the next Ukrainian offensive reaches its limits.” “Ideally, both Ukraine and Russia would withdraw their troops and heavy weapons from the new line of contact, creating a demilitarized zone,” they wrote. They indicate that “a neutral organization such as the United Nations or the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe will send observers to monitor and enforce the ceasefire and withdrawal.” And the West “should go to other influential countries like China and India to support the ceasefire proposal.” According to them, in case of ceasefire, peace talks should continue.

“Provided Ukraine wins on the battlefield this summer, it is at least likely that Putin will consider a cease-fire and peace plan as a solution. To make this approach even more attractive, the West could also offer limited sanctions relief in return. Russia’s readiness to abide by the cease-fire, accept the demilitarized zone and take a significant part in the peace talks,” experts claim, noting that it is conceivable “that Putin rejects the cease-fire, or accepts it only to rebuild his army. – Conquest of Ukraine. “But little will be lost in testing Moscow’s willingness to compromise.”

Rand Corporation researchers also suggested in the report that to remove obstacles to negotiations, the warring parties themselves could take bilateral measures, such as demilitarized zones, to “address fears of a return to conflict.”

Last February, the Center for Strategy and International Studies (CSIS) Emeritus Professor of Strategy, Anthony H. Cordesman argued in the article that the alternative to a war in which both sides fight to the point of exhaustion is a ceasefire. A certain line based on the course of the fighting to date, in which both sides agreed to stop fighting but remained deployed”.

Cordesman noted that “given the likely level of bilateral tension, a demilitarized zone (DMZ) and a UN or independent peacekeeping force may be necessary.” “Even if such a zone is created, both sides will continue to build up their military capabilities and positions along the edge of any cease-fire line or demilitarized zone.” He confirmed that this type of “unwavering solution” worked “with both Koreas, but only at the cost of constantly being on the brink of another war.”

In mid-May, Politico reported that the US government plans to turn the war between Russia and Ukraine into a frozen conflict that will last for many years. Options for a long-term “freeze” under Joe Biden’s administration include where to draw potential lines that Moscow and Kiev have agreed not to cross, but there should be no official borders, which some say could be a rough model of the Korean War. Collected media based on several US sources.

This Tuesday, Russian authorities blamed Ukraine for a drone attack in Moscow that they described as “terrorist.” This happened in the morning, when the Russian army continued to bomb Kiev continuously.

The Russian Defense Ministry said eight planes were used, five of which were shot down in the Moscow region, and three had systems jammed, causing them to deviate from their course. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said the attack only caused “minor damage” to several buildings.

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of “intimidating Russian citizens by attacking residential buildings” but assured that “Moscow’s air defense system responded adequately”.

Russian political analyst Tatyana Stanovaya of the Carnegie Russia Center for Eurasia says the Kremlin’s policy is to minimize attacks.

Ukraine denies “direct” involvement in the plane attack in Moscow. “Of course, we enjoy watching and predicting the increase in attacks. But of course, we have nothing to do directly,” Podoliak told the Breakfast Show YouTube channel, according to Reuters.

“Of course, this latest drone attack on Moscow is not a Russian false flag either. Some of the drones used are apparently Ukrainian UJ-22s. Budanov, head of Ukraine’s HUR, literally said last night that he would retaliate against Russian attacks. Kiev Dmitry Alperovych, president of the Silverado Policy Accelerator, a US think tank, tweeted.

“It is a big mystery whether the attacks against Russia are organized by Budanov or… by Budanov,” replied Russian military expert Michael Kofman.

The United States, which provides military aid to Ukraine, said it “generally” does not support “attacks inside Russia.”

Source: El Diario





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