May 18, 2015
Translated by Kristina Rus
More than 300 soldiers demand commanders to give them the uniform and start full training or to allow the conscripts to return home.
While on Yavorovsky base in the Lviv region the U.S.-Ukrainian exercises are unfolding with the participation of the national guard [volunteers], conscripts mobilized into the UAF staged a protest by blocking the road to the training base. The conscripts demand the government either to give them the uniform and begin training, or to dismiss the recruits of the new wave.
According to the Ukrainian publication “Today” with reference to the wife of one of the protesting recruits, the conscripts are outraged by the actions of the General staff, which once again took the side of the volunteer battalions [which the national guard is based on]: the country’s leadership gave soldiers of the national guard training under American instruction, provided them with food and clothing, and is ignoring the regular recruits.
— Today is exactly a month since the recruits arrived there, still did not receive the uniform. Many have to run in slippers or flip-flops, They went shooting only four times. The battalion is in a patriotic spirit, but none of them want to become cannon fodder, – said the wife of the Ukrainian conscript.
Yavorovsky base is home to the six months training course of the Ukrainian military under the guidance of instructors from the USA. The Americans prepared for the soldiers of the national guard a course, similar to the last months of basic training course in the U.S. army, but in the first two weeks it turned out that the skills of the Ukrainian soldiers are clearly lacking. For now Ukrainians are taught how to cut the barbed wire, to take out doors with a crowbar, to use the radio and not to leave fellow soldiers on the battlefield. LifeNews published a video in which American Marines on the ground near Lviv were teaching the UAF fighters to use a Soviet grenade launcher RPG-7, adopted 50 years ago.
Problems with supplying the Ukrainian army remained the same as a year ago, as the Ukrainian General staff is used to systematically save on their troops. For example, the battalion “Phoenix” was armed with mortars made in 1943, and several brigades were issued rusty bullets. And in August of last year, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine has spent $3.5 million on body armor, which the Prosecutor General’s office found unsuitable for use in the area of so-called anti-terrorist operation. Moreover, in October the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine sent to the front line “paintball” helmets: the soldiers read in the instructions that the fragile equipment was not designed for protection against bullets.
Meanwhile the ex-Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Valery Geletey, nicknamed “Of Ilovaisk” for the Ilovaisk cauldron disaster in the summer of 2014, which cost thousands of Ukrainian soldiers their lives and known for his promises to hold a Ukrainian parade in Sevastopol, bought a $36 million mansion in the Lincolnshire county in the UK. His other toys include a yacht, a helicopter and two boats. Geletey commented to the Ukrainian media that his lavish possessions were just gifts from Ukrainian businessmen.
Geletey quit his post as Minister of Defense of Ukraine on October 14, 2014 after the Ilovaisk disaster.
The question on everyone’s mind is: where will the next Minister of Defense of Ukraine purchase his mansion?