RIA Novosti: Special Op in Eastern Ukraine May Last as Long as One Year – Pro-Kiev Militia

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KIEV, June 2 (RIA Novosti) – A special operation of Ukrainian forces against independence supporters in the country’s southeast could last as long as one year, said Semen Semenchenko, commander of the Donbass battalion, a pro-Kiev militia set up by the Right Sector nationalist movement.

“Unlike many people who believe that the ATO [anti-terrorist operation] will end in just a few weeks, I think that it will take not a month, but, possibly, a year,” Semenchenko said quoted by Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper on Sunday.

It’s possible to complete the special operation in a month, but it would require considerable efforts, he said, adding that president-elect Petro Poroshenko “should direct his efforts to reform law enforcement agencies and logistics behind the army.”

Billionaire Petro Poroshenko, who has claimed victory in recent snap presidential vo te in Ukraine, demanded that Ukrainian forces complete the special operation in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhasnk until his inauguration on June 7.

Moscow has repeatedly condemned the new Kiev authorities for what it called “a punitive operation” and stressed the need for de-escalation of the Ukrainian crisis.