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Ukraine’s acting defense minister to be forced to retire shortly, lawmaker claims

March 25, 2014, 10:01 UTC+3 KHARKOV
Ihor Tenyukh’s activity was qualified at the “highest state level” as high treason
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Parliament-appointed Ukrainian Defense Minister Ihor Tenyukh

Parliament-appointed Ukrainian Defense Minister Ihor Tenyukh

© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Nikitin

KHARKIV, March 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s Acting Defense Minister Ihor Tenyukh will be dismissed soon, an MP representing Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party of parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Tuesday on the conditions of anonymity.

“Tenyukh’s plight has been decided,” he said. The main candidate for replacing him is Bohdan Butsa, a native of the country’s western Lviv Oblast who was appointed first deputy defense minister March 24.

Lviv Oblast is widely known to be the mainstay of Ukraine’s far-right radical nationalism.

The MP said that Tenyukh had been misinforming the country’s leadership by saying he was in contact with all the commanders in Crimea and all of them were ostensibly ready to wage a mortal fight (with the Crimean self-defense forces).

In reality, however, it turned out that none of the top commanding officers at the General Staff of the Armed Forces has tried to establish communications with commanders of military bases in Crimea so as to put forward combat tasks for them.

Tenyukh’s activity was qualified at the “highest state level” as high treason.

“It is said along with this that commanders not only in Crimea but in the units of the Armed Forces in all other parts of Ukraine refuse to fulfill Tenyukh’s orders,” the MP added.

Butsa’s appointment “will also help iron out a covert but nonetheless acute conflict between the Defense Ministry where the top posts are still mostly occupied by people hailing from the country’s “Russian” regions and the newly formed ‘national guard’, which is fully controlled by Dmytro Yarosh, the leader of ultra-right extremists”.

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