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MOSCOW, June 22. /TASS/. A former aide to Ukraine’s Defense Minister, Aleksandr Kolomiyets, has joined the forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.
"I am Aleksandr Kolomiyets, a major-general of the Ukrainian Armed Force, and my latest position was that of a chief military analyst and aide to the Ukrainian defense minister," Kolomiyets told a news conference at the Donetsk News Agency. He added that for 19 years he had been the regional military commissar of the Donetsk Region.
Kolomiyets announced he had been forced to evacuate his family from Kiev for fear of persecution by the Ukrainian authorities. Many of his former fellow servicemen, too, were prepared to join the self-proclaimed republics’ militias, he said.
He declared the intention to work for the good of the self-proclaimed republic and shared his opinion of the Ukrainian army’s condition.
"The potential of the Ukrainian army is very low. Mostly, from the standpoint of morale. All generals and officers who are aware the authorities’ actions are criminal have no wish to fight the war," he said.
Since the moment Kiev launched the military crackdown in the southeast of the country hundreds of soldiers and officers had joined the forces of the Donetsk republic.
"I keep no statistics, but during the operation hundreds of men and officers have taken the Donetsk Republic’s side and are defending it at the moment. I can say this with full certainty," Kolomiyets declared.
He is not the first senior official of Ukrainian military and law enforcement agencies who has defected to the militias. Earlier, the former chief of the Luhansk Customs, Oleg Chernousov and two officers of Ukraine’s foreign intelligence, and staff members of the Ukrainian embassy in Paris: the Miroshnichenko brothers (Aleksei and Yuri) returned to Luhansk to declare their disagreement with Kiev’s policies.