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Ukraine’s interior minister blames media for recent military conscripts’ protests

October 16, 2014, 19:16 UTC+3 KIEV

The interior minister also said that commanders of the military units, where rallies took place, have already been subjected to penalties

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Conscripts protesting in Kiev

Conscripts protesting in Kiev


KIEV, October 16. /TASS/. Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov blamed the media for instigating recent protest events in 10 Ukrainian cities of military conscripts, who went rallying earlier in the week asking for demobilization.

“We are investigating into rallies of military conscripts in 10 cities of the country,” Avakov said. “Simultaneously within two or three hours soldiers from the National Guards, engineer forces and railway forces went on protest rallies.”

“This was all instigated by press reports that in connection with the extension of the anti-terrorism operation there would be no demobilization,” Avakov said.

The interior minister also said that commanders of the military units, where rallies took place, have been already subjected to penalties.

On Monday, about 500 conscript soldiers of the ‘national guard’ put up a picket in front of the Presidential Administration office in the country’s capital of Kiev demanding an immediate demobilization.

First deputy commander of the ‘national guard’, Anatoly Krivenko, offered soldiers some brief leaves but said this opportunity would be offered only to those who had done more than six months in the army and those who needed a vacation dramatically.

Ukraine’s chief military prosecutor Anatoly Matios, on his part, promised the participants in the protest to consider their claims and voiced the hope to escort them to their bases and to clear out the details of their claims there.

President Petro Poroshenko said during a working trip to the northeastern city of Kharkiv last Saturday there was no opportunity for demobilization of the ‘national guard’ conscripts right at the moment.

Chances for demobilization would appear only where there was permanent ceasefire, the line of defense was built and the Ukrainian brigades were placed into combat formations.

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