Dysfunctional Ukrainian Military

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Dysfunctional Ukrainian Military
by Stephen Lendman
It operates like a slapdash Keystone cops bunch – its ranks filled with unhappy conscripts wanting no part of fighting their own people.
Corruption is rampant. Hundreds of millions of dollars disappear into the pockets of high-ranking military officials. Government corruption is worse – greater than what aroused anger against ousted President Viktor Yanukovych.
Ordinary Ukrainians suffer enormously from impoverishment, unemployment, skyrocketing inflation, unaffordable goods and services, and hugely repressive regime practices.
Documents obtained by Donbass military intelligence show “poor morale leads to alcohol abuse and violation of military discipline among (Ukrainian) soldiers, according to statistical data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs (along with) the growth of crime committed against the civilian population.”
Mass desertions continue – fed up Ukrainian soldiers going AWOL. They’re underpaid, poorly fed and clothed, deplorably treated overall, and opposed to fighting their own people.
Cell phone use is banned. Soldiers can’t stay in touch with families and loved ones. They’re prohibited from going into cities. They can’t leave Ukrainian controlled southeastern areas.
Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) intelligence believes mass desertions will follow Kiev’s resumption of full-scale war.
Ukrainian soldiers aren’t trained to evacuate their wounded and dead. “The command considers this training unpractical as evacuation attempts result in mounting death(s) among the personnel,” a Kiev report said.
“(O)nly three percent of units passed a battle training check. Only five percent of servicemen know their spheres of action,” it explained.
In late May, DPR’s Defense Ministry said “(i)n certain units, military tasks will not be executed without the use of additional compulsory measures. There is a threat of entire units leaving their positions.”
“(M)ost (Ukrainian) military personnel will be inactive, will not put up resistance because (they’re) not properly organized…prepared” or motivated to fight.
“(I)f a command is given to begin military actions, (they’ll) seek to leave the dangerous areas to save their own lives” – including officers and rank-and-file soldiers.
Desperate for recruits avoiding conscription, Kiev is practically drafting the lame, halt and blind.
Reports indicate epileptics and tuberculosis sufferers are being conscripted. So are alcoholics, drug addicts and “morons,” according to Poroshenko advisor Yuri Biryukov.
Official policy is “take all we can get. The quality is not important,” he said. Volunteer battalions demonstrate a “quantitatively different level of motivation, discipline and support,” he added.
They include Nazi-infested elements committing horrendous war crimes. Most Ukrainian youths want no part of fighting. Many vote with their feet and leave. Others go into hiding to avoid imprisonment for draft-dodging.
On May 29, Sputnik News cited volunteer Azov battalion member Serhiy Korotky saying only 10 of 400 Ukrainian generals want to wage war. Others prefer leaving.
“The whole generalship of the Ukrainian army…must be ‘dragged’ through a lie detector. Only 10 of them will stay, as the others want to (go to) Russia,” he said.
Military budget theft is rampant, he added – from gasoline to most everything else.
In contrast, Donbass freedom fighters are highly motivated. They reject fascist rule. They want real democracy.
They routed Ukrainian forces earlier. They’re prepared to do it again if necessary.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.