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Analysts say promises of cash unable to lure Ukrainians into Donbas war

January 30, 2015, 15:59 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara
© Maxim Pab/TASS

MOSCOW, January 30. /TASS/. Kiev’s decision to offer financial incentives to military personnel involved in the crackdown in Ukraine’s south-east is evidence the army is demoralised and lacks motivation to go on fighting, polled military experts told TASS.

On Thursday, chief of the Ukrainian armed forces General Staff Viktor Muzhenko declared that in the zone of military operations in the south-east, servicemen will be getting 1,000 hryvnias (about $63) for one day in action. Bonuses are promised for the destruction of Donetsk and Luhansk militias’ hardware. For one destroyed motor vehicle Ukrainian troops are promised 10 minimum wages (an equivalent of $756); for one tank, $3,000; for one GRAD multiple rocket launcher, $3,780; and for one combat plane, $7,623.

On January 20, Ukraine began a fourth wave of mobilization since the beginning of the operation in Donbas. This time, about 104,000 men aged 20 to 60 are to be mobilized. Ukrainian General Staff spokesman Oleg Boiko has acknowledged great problems with mobilisation: Conscripts ignore draft cards. Draft-age men have been leaving for Russia and other countries neighbouring Ukraine.

"Crowds of draft-age men fleeing Ukraine is a sure sign they have no confidence in the Kiev authorities," president of the Russian International Centre for Geopolitical Problems Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov told TASS. "The government has no money even to pay budget-financed wages, let alone finance the army, which is in a deplorable condition and has been sustaining heavy losses in the area of combat operations. Near Debaltsevo, in the country’s east, Ukrainian troops have been encircled and, according to the Defense Ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, have lost 1,100 men," he said.

No lavish offers of cash would make draft-age men agree to risk lives in a war against their own people, the officer said. "Besides, the General Staff’s promises can hardly be honoured. It is not accidental that the General Staff deliberately understates the number of those listed missing in hostilities. In this way, it’s easy to avoid paying compensation to the families of those killed for the loss of breadwinners.

"Mass draft dodging is a clear sign the Ukrainian army’s morale is low," he went on, offering a latest joke from Kiev. "A woman is kissing goodbye to her boy going to the war in Donbas. ‘What’s your POB I can write to?’ the woman asks and hears in reply: ‘Donetsk, POW.’

"Neither pseudo-patriotic rhetoric, nor ideological brainwashing can work to persuade conscripts to report to the draft stations," Ivashov went on. "The authorities in Kiev feel they have only one trick left to try to make capable men join the war in Donbas amid an economic crisis and unemployment: to promise financial remuneration. This tactic is doomed to fail."

According to former Russian Interior Minister General Anatoly Kulikov "The regime of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, which labels Donbas militias as terrorist, in reality is carrying out genocide of its own people. One cannot but feel fear that the Ukrainian army’s operations in the east of the country may result in the emergence of real terrorist groups. Teenagers and young men who have lost their parents in bombardments may take up arms and head for Kiev, determined for revenge on criminal politicians," he told TASS.


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