Ukrainian Deputy Roman Semenukha: The “Reintegration of Donbass” Law Points to a State of Civil War, and Not “Russian Aggression”

Translated by Ollie Richardson


In the bill “On the peculiarities of state policy on the restoration of the state sovereignty of Ukraine over the temporarily occupied territory of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions” considered by the Verkhovna Rada there is a “delayed-action mine”, which allows competent lawyers to prove that there is not “external aggression” in the country, but an actual civil war.

This was stated by the deputy Roman Semenukha from the sessional hall [in the Verkhovna Rada – ed]. According to the politician, this concerns the bullet-point on the use of the UAF and their powers in a conflict zone.

“At first sight, the draft bill [known as the ‘Reintegration of Donbass‘ – ed] seemingly documents the fact of the armed aggression of Russia against Ukraine. But the recognition of the fact of armed aggression must initiate a legal mechanism enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine, where the President makes a decision on the use of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and submits it for the approval of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Then the Armed Forces acquire the right to use weapons to repel external aggression. But at the same time the draft bill contains unclear changes that stipulate that the Armed Forces have the right to apply and use weapons and military equipment actually in peace time. In fact, this norm will document not a state of Russian armed aggression against Ukraine, but the fact of a civil war. Such a, seemingly, legal mistake can actually have fatal consequences,” said Semenukh.

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