Ukraine has put its military reserve units in a state of combat readiness due to the exacerbation of the situation in the Luhansk region, as announced at a briefing by Defense Ministry spokesman Andriy Lysenko.
“I will immediately remove all questions regarding readiness. The level is so high, there’s nowhere further to go, because the soldiers are in a state of constant military readiness in order to defeat an attack, and so on. Also, our reserve forces are ready. These are the forces that are in the areas where military equipment is stored, which according to the Minsk agreements are now controlled by representatives of the OSCE mission,” said Lysenko. He stressed that in the event that the situation deteriorates, the Ukrainian Armed Forces will take all necessary measures to prevent the militants from moving into the territory which is under Ukraine’s control.
Lysenko noted that Ukrainian intelligence and western partners of Ukraine are paying close attention to the situation in Luhansk.
Answering a question about Russian deliveries of equipment and weapons to the region, the Defense Ministry spokesman said that such facts had been recorded.
“The presence of military equipment with personnel and armored personnel carriers was recorded. Information about the tanks [crossing into LPR], where they were supposed to be, has not been confirmed,” he said.
Lysenko also noted that there is a large amount of military equipment in the Luhansk region, but LPR separatist do not have enough drivers and mechanics to fully utilize it.
On November, 20th the leader of the LPR, Igor Plotnitsky, dismissed Igor Kornet from the position of acting minister of internal affairs “in connection with a criminal case brought against him.”
The next day, the center of Luhansk was surrounded by armed men with no identifying marks or insignias, and Kornet wrote on the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs that he refused to resign from his position. He also wrote about arrests of people in Plotnitsky’s inner circle. Plotnitsky, in turn, said that Kornet had resigned, and denied that any of his close associates had been arrested.
On the evening of November 21, military equipment entered the Luhansk region, and information from the separatist media revealed that Plotnitsky had fled to Russia. On the morning of November 22, a video appeared on the LPR leader’s website and on the Youtube channel of the Luhansk separatists, showing Plotnitsky meet with the new head of the LPR Ministry of Internal Affairs Vladimir Cherkov.