The Head of the Ministry of Defence Explained Why Slovyansk Has Not Been Freed Yet

Ukrainian soldiers inspecting documents at a roadblock in Slovyansk, May 29th.

Kyiv – There are numerous instances of abuse of power regarding provision within the Armed Forces, which the commandment is trying to operatively solve. This was stated by the acting Minister of Defence Colonel General Mykhailo Koval during his report to the Parliament. He also admitted that the rear services have turned out to be unprepared to carry out new tasks which have raised during the anti-terrorist operation, however now the situation has been rectified. Meanwhile the Verkhovna Rada has not put up the issue of providing a state of emergency in Donbas for discussion. 

When making his statement from the parliamentary booth, the acting Minister of Defence admitted that the army department involved in the anti-terrorist operation have come face-to-face with supply problems. However they are trying to operatively overcome these problems, and the officials connected to abuse of power are being held responsible by the Ministry of Defence.

“We are working against the abuse. Only yesterday I was forced to give orders to depose some officials which were responsible for provisions from the posts and hand their cases over to the Office of the Prosecutor. Unfortunately, there are numerous instances of abuse, however we are uncovering them and removing them,” assures General Mykhailo Koval.

Koval asked not to label the generals

Also general Koval explained the reasons of the great losses among the soldiers of the 51st brigade near Volnovakha. According to him, the headquarters during wartime has 4500 people, during times of peace the brigade only had 450 people, with only three of them being commanders of the mechanised troop. He also called to stop the ungrounded criticism of the generals of the army.

“I would like the Ukrainian generals to be regarded with respect. You don’t speak about Lieutenant General Muzhenko who walks together with the soldiers and destroys the separatists. And the majority of Ukrainian generals are experts in their field!… I would like to ask people not to label them,” emphasises general Koval.

One of the Communist members of the Parliament was angry that aviation was being used in the anti-terrorist operation. In response the acting Minister of Defence assured that “military jets and helicopters will fly until the end of the anti-terrorist operation.” These words were greeted with applause by the session hall of the Parliament.

Together with this, general Koval assured that the Armed Forces are doing everything in order to prevent victims among civilians. Otherwise, “Slovyansk would have long been ours.”

There will be no state of emergency, however there may be martial law

Meanwhile speaker Olexandr Turchynov declined the initiative regarding the examination of the bill for the provision of a state of emergency in Donbas. When responding to the statement of one of the MP’s, the Head noted that the emergency state could not have been implemented earlier because of the elections. Now it does not solve anything. The issue of providing martial law in Donetsk and Lugansk Oblasts may arise, however this is first and foremost under the competence of the National Security and Defence Council.

However Olexandr Turchynov noted that in the nearest future, the decision regarding the twofold increase of food provisions for the soldiers will be affirmed, as well as that regarding the significant increase – “not by UAH100 but several times” – of salaries for direct participant of military action.

Source: RadioSvoboda

Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina

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