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MOSCOW, October 14. /TASS/. The resignation of Ukraine’s Defense Minister Valery Heletey, appointed just three months ago, and the nomination and approval of his successor, National Guard commander Stepan Poltorak, is evidence of personnel chaos in the armed forces, unprofessionalism of the authorities and demoralization of the military, the president of the Geopolitical Problems Academy, Doctor of Military Science Konstantin Sivkov has told TASS.
The Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday agreed with President Poroshenko’s idea Stepan Poltorak was the man who should take over the post of defense minister.
“The way Poltorak commanded the National Guard in the zone of the so-called “anti-terrorist operation” in the south-east of Ukraine is well seen in the operation’s utter failure. On Monday, about fifteen hundred national guards - Poltorak’s subordinates just recently - staged a mutiny. They marched into the capital Kiev chanting “Demob! Demob!” and rallied in front of the presidential office to demand demobilization and cash compensations for the excessive time they spent in service,” Sivkov said.
Dismissed Heletey during his brief career earned dubious publicity by declaring plans for an early victory parade in Sevastopol and holding a military parade in Kiev on the occasion of Ukraine’s independence anniversary. In the meantime, hundreds of Ukrainian regular troops and members of volunteer battalions were encircled near Ilovaisk in the east and killed in the fighting,” Sivkov recalled.
“The Kiev authorities’ decision to appoint the third defense minister over the past six months is evidence of utter degradation of Ukraine’s political and military elite. In a normal political system defence ministers are not changed every now and then. The personnel reshuffles have adverse effects on the condition of the armed forces. This shows that Ukraine’s political system is off balance,” Sivkov believes.
Both officers and rank-and-file are reluctant to fight against their own people, they are demoralized and no defence minister will be able to bolster their morale and discipline as long as there is no lasting peace in south-eastern Ukraine,” he concluded.
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