Former Advisor to Ukraine’s Defense Minister Defects to Donbass

“I am Alexander Kolomiyets, a Major-General of the Ukrainian armed forces… My latest position was that of an advisor to the Ukrainian Defense Minister and a senior defense analyst,”

.. the General said during a news conference at the Donetsk News Agency headquarters on Monday.

Alexander Kolomiyets said that he had spent 19 years serving as the military commandant of Donetsk Region.

He also said that many of his fellow commanders were ready to join the pro-independence militia in Donbass.

The General added that Ukrainian army morale was extremely low with “all Generals and officers realizing the criminal nature of Kiev’s actions and refusing to fight any longer.”

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry confirmed General Kolomiyets’ defection to the indepndence supporters in Donbass, RIA Novosti reported.

Alexander Kolomiyets is not the first senior Ukrainian military officer to have sided with the pro-independence militia in Donetsk and Lugansk. Earlier, Oleh Chernousov, the onetime head of the Lugansk customs service, and brothers Alexei and Yuri Miroshnichenko, both Ukrainian intelligence service operatives stationed in Paris, moved to Lugansk over their opposition to the policy pursued by the Kiev authorities.

Sputnik

Brothers in Arms: Two Kiev Officials Defect to Fight for Lugansk

Miroshnichenko brothers at their press conference in Lugansk on Monday

20:41 15.06.2015(updated 20:51 15.06.2015) 

Alexei Miroshnichenko and Yuri Miroshnichenko, the former stating that he had worked in the Foreign Intelligence Service and the latter that he had worked in Ukraine’s embassy in France, declared their unwillingness to continue working for Kiev, saying that they could no longer tolerate what was happening to their country.

“We decided to return to our hometown,” the brothers stated. “We made the decision voluntarily; we were not compelled to do so. We can no longer put up with what is happening in Ukraine. Traitors, fascists, various intelligence agents have taken up the reins of the country, and are leading it to ruin.”

Alexei explained that for him, “the turning point was [finding out] that the people of Donetsk and Lugansk are being deliberately exterminated. They [Kiev authorities] do not pay attention to how many children will die. No one could have thought that such a thing could happen to our country. This is a clear policy of genocide against the people of Donbass. I consider this to be morally unacceptable, and I am not the only one.”

The alleged former intelligence officer told reporters that the brothers did not transmit any intelligence-related data to LPR authorities.

Commenting on who is responsible for what they call genocide, the brothers noted that “the crimes against civilians are being committed mainly by representatives of the territorial battalions. This includes Aidar, Azov and Tornado. Innocent people are summarily shot, demeaned, and have their property taken from them. Women are raped en masse, including minors. There have been instances reported of conscripts who fled the battlefield being shot. Local branches of the ‘Nova Poshta’ [a Ukrainian delivery service] are crammed with property stolen from civilians.”

Claiming to have witnessed some of the carnage with his own eyes, Alexei commented on the battalions’ anarchic, completely unregulated behavior, noting that he personally had to avoid being hit by Aidar battalion vehicles three times, and on one occasion was forced into a game of chicken with one of their jeeps.

The believed former intelligence officer added that under foreign guidance, the Ukrainian Foreign Intelligence Service has worked to “develop all sorts of reports for media consumption aimed at compromising Russia, blaming the tragedy that occurred in Ukraine on the Russian Federation. There was only one theme –that Russia is to blame for everything. The whole service was devoted to working in this direction –toward compromising the Russian side. We did not have any real hard data, but worked to ensure that in the informational sphere, Russia was displayed as the culprit.”

The brothers warned that the Ukrainian Armed Forces is presently consolidating their positions, preparing for an offensive, and deliberately provoking Lugansk and Donetsk militia to return fire, in order to blame them for violating the truce.

The brothers also alleged that the Ukrainian army is being supported by mercenaries from Europe and elsewhere. “Most frequently I met people from Poland, Lithuania and Romania; they are fighting on the Ukrainian side for the money; very few of them came here with some ideas in their heads,” Alexei noted.

The brothers also revealed that the Ukrainian Armed Forces leadership has deliberately understated its losses over the past year of fighting with Donbass militia, stating that in the Ilovaisk pincer, where the army claimed publically to have lost over 100 personnel, the actual figures were at least 2,600, and that at Debaltseve, the true losses were between 6,000-7,000 killed, and not the 210-260 killed or missing claimed by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.

Ukraine has yet to confirm or deny whether the Miroshnichenko brothers have served for the Ukrainian state apparatus.

Sputnik

Farewell to Arms: Over 10,000 Soldiers Desert Ukrainian Army

11:36 21.06.2015(updated 11:41 21.06.2015) 

Ukrainian soldiers in Rostov Region. A mobile phone image.

More than 10,000 cases of desertion have been registered in the Ukrainian Army since the outbreak of the Donbass war in April 2014, Ukrainian Vestireported

In 2014 the army suffered heavy desertion and nearly 30 percent of the servicemen called up in the first wave of mobilization (March 17) abandoned their positions, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said.

Ukrainian parliament Verkhovna Rada has announced six waves of mobilization so far. By the end of 2014 the strength of Ukrainian Armed Forces grew from 130,000 to 232,000.

Ukrainians have been protesting against the mobilization. They travel to work abroad or simply reside at their relatives’ in other countries. Almost 1,3 million Ukrainian draftees live in Russia.

Since April 7, 2014 the Kiev authorities have been waging war against Donbass self-defense forces who rejected the legitimacy of the coup-imposed Ukrainian government and declared the independent republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Official figures estimate the number of victims to near 6,500. But the German intelligence reported of 50,000 victims in February 2015.

Sputnik

Some 1.3 Million Ukrainian Draftees Reside in Russia – Russian Official

19:28 10.02.2015(updated 20:55 10.02.2015) Matveyev-Kurgan checkpoint in Rostov Region

MOSCOW, (Sputnik) — Over 2.5 million Ukrainians, including some 1.3 million eligible for military conscription, are currently residing in Russia, the Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev said.

“There are one million and 270 thousand Ukrainian citizens of the draft age residing here [in Russia]. Some of them are dodging from the draft,” Patrushev said in an interview with the Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper to be published Wednesday.

Patrushev said that some 500,000 Ukrainians had already received refugee status or temporary residence permits in Russia, and Moscow was not planning to close the border for those who are still coming despite some difficulties with their placement.

In January, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that many Ukrainians are dodging mobilization by leaving for Russia to avoid being sent to the conflict zone as “cannon fodder.”

In 2015, Ukraine plans to hold three waves of mobilization. The first one, intended to draft 50,000 conscripts, began January 20 and will last 90 days. The second wave will begin in April.

Over 1,400 Ukrainian soldiers have died since the start of Kiev’s military operation against independence supporters in the eastern regions of the country in April, President Petro Poroshenko said last week.

Sputnik

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