– Is it possible to say that the Ukrainian military are tired of the war? How much will this affect the approximation of its end?
– Yes, of course. I regularly look through the LNR press, which has sources of information on the other side of the front. And fatigue from war is one of the main conclusions about the moral and psychological state of the Ukrainian army, which I learned from familiarizing myself with the press. In addition, my friends in Ukraine occasionally have to communicate with representatives of the rank and file and the officer corps of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and I get literally first-hand information about the mood among the Ukrainian military.
In a nutshell: in the ranks of the Ukrainian army, hatred for the Poroshenko regime is much stronger than for the “separatism” of Donbass. One should not exaggerate, however, this factor. Politically, the Ukrainian army is not independent and subject to the control of the SBU. A military uprising, at least at this stage, is impossible or extremely unlikely, as the Ruban and Savchenko case showed. But when the Ukrainian army once again falls into the cauldron, then it can turn its bayonets towards Kiev and endure Poroshenko or his successors.
– Failure of the company APU to fight this state of emergency? Or an ordinary phenomenon for the MAT?
- I think this is quite an ordinary event. Similar has happened before. There were even cases — they wrote a lot about them at one time — when whole units were removed from the front and returned home in violation of all orders. But, I repeat, the commanders of the Armed Forces of Ukraine tried to simulate military activity in order not to incur the wrath of the SBU, the Ukrainian equivalent of the Gestapo.
– How will punish those who refuse to fight? After all, you need to make sure that others do not teach …
– Probably, the punishment will be severe. The SBU severely punished Savchenko and Ruban to show potential rioters in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine readiness for repression. The myth of the strongest European army – the Ukrainian, carefully created in Ukraine, needs support by repressive methods. The exaltation of “heroes” and the punishment of “traitors” are two sides of the coin. But punishment of guilty commanders and privates will not be replicated in the Ukrainian press, so as not to destroy the mythology of the heroic and victorious Ukrainian army. This information will be conveyed to the Ukrainian army in a backstage, so to speak, manner.
– A unit’s refusal to take part in hostilities is quite a frequent occurrence for wars, and its motives may be completely different, – explains Alexander Dmitrievsky.
- There was, for example, a case when American soldiers in one of the “hot spots” went on strike due to the fact that they were not given up on contract orange juice, and a contingent of another NATO member rebelled because of the quality of toilet paper. But in any case, no matter how stupid the excuse is – every such statement is evidence of the existence of an internal conflict among the military: where there are no serious conflicts – there they are not satisfied with such strikes.
– This is an emergency or a common phenomenon for the APU?
- The main reason for such demarches among Ukrainian punishers is long delays with rotation. The front is in very specific conditions, there is not always full-fledged hot meals, where it is not always possible to carry out normal care of weapons and equipment, and even wash and wash – and that is not always possible. And when the heat, frost, and all precipitations are on top of you, a permanent stay in this state obviously will not cause optimism. Therefore, a soldier needs to be removed as often as possible to the rear and replaced with fresh forces, but the APU has practically no fresh forces: the shortfalls in the army are permanent.
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– According to available information, the company commander explained this by the fact that “the servicemen are waiting for the rotation and want to return home alive. Convincing reason?
- Certainly: the soldier knows that a rotation is about to take place, and they say from somewhere above that they need to go into the trenches again. Will such a soldier fight not for fear, but for conscience? A rhetorical question …
– What will be the punishment for the military? Will it be indicative harsh? Will other potential “refusers” be warned?
– I think that the verdict of the indicative court will be harsh, but after the removal of the guilty without prior consent generously pardoned.
– How do you think the Ukrainian military today is motivated to war? How does this affect the combat capability of the APU? How has the situation with motivation changed since 2014? Today, Ukrainian politicians like to emphasize that then there was no army, and today they were able to create a strong army …
- Long positional war reduces motivation of the parties. But if the main factor for the militia is that they are fighting for their land, and they leave – their families will be massacred by the punishers, then for Bandera this is a foreign war in a foreign land and for the interests of others. Note: among the militia in the DNR and the LNR of such demarches because it does not happen, but punitive they become regular!