21:05 GMT14 April 2021
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    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)
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    The presence of volunteer armed groups that do not abide by Kiev's orders may be the key issue in the region, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

    MOSCOW, April 24 (Sputnik) — The presence of volunteer groups, not controlled by Kiev, on the line of contact in eastern Ukraine is a key issue in the region, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich said in a briefing Friday.

    "The further presence of volunteer corps which are not controlled by Kiev and do not obey the commands of Ukraine's armed forces on the line of contact could turn into a serious, if not key, issue."

    The volunteer battalions, including Donbas, Azov and Dnipr, operating in the region were set up following the start of Kiev's military operation against the independence supporters in April 2014.

    The volunteer divisions were put under command of the Ukrainian army in November that year.

    In February, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Ukrainian authorities were losing monopoly on using military force in the country. Private military battalions, headed by far-right leaders, are frequently paid more than the regular army, Lavrov said.

    Topic:
    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)

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    Tags:
    volunteer battalions, Ukrainian crisis, Russian Foreign Ministry, Alexander Lukashevich, Donbass, Ukraine
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