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It is interesting that reports of misconduct among the Ukrainian troops position along the separation line in Eastern Ukraine are rare.
And even if there are any, they are simply attributed to enemy propaganda.
For example, around mid-December 2020, on the website of the Ukrainian delegation in the Trilateral Contact Group, a message appeared that the separatists handed over the body of a soldier from the Ukrainian Armed Forces which was found in the uncontrolled territory of Eastern Ukraine.
Moreover, at first, the TCG website wrote that the soldier died from alcohol or drug poisoning. But later this message was removed from the official resources.
Later, TCG speaker Aleksey Arestovich took the blame, claiming that he had mistakenly broadcast the “version of the invaders.”
“This message became a technical error, for which I personally bear responsibility. I confused the version of the representatives of the Russian side, which was discussed in the internal correspondence, and the messages for the media, and actually made public the version of the invaders,” Arestovich said.
Regardless, events such as these are commonplace.
The Strana outlet analyzed some recent court decisions regarding crimes carried out by the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the combat zone.
Since the beginning of hostilities in eastern Ukraine, drunkenness and drug use in the service have become commonplace in the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
There are several hundreds of court cases in relation to drunken crimes of soldiers.
It is worth noting that criminal proceedings are opened only for a small part of drunken crimes by soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – according to criminal statistics, only 10-15% of offenses fall into the field of view of justice.
For example, only in 2020 the captain of one of the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine received a sentence. The story of this officer, even outlined in dry legal terms, may well be called the story of a serial sadist killer.
The case file describes how the captain of the Armed Forces of Ukraine dealt with his subordinates. The officer shot one soldier, and initially he wanted to shoot two – just one of them fell to the ground, imitating death. And then he disappeared.
Another subordinate officer was simply buried alive in the ground. After half an hour, the soldier managed to dig himself out and escape. Soldiers caught drinking alcohol were beaten mercilessly by the officer and made some invalids. It is noteworthy that the officer beat the soldiers, being drunk.
Considering that people with military weapons drink, the consequences for the direct participants and for those around them are often dire. For example, court document No. 229/4106/18 describes how two Ukrainian marines in the fall of 2018 opened fire near a village cafe in the town of Ocheretino, Donetsk region.
While drunk, one of the soldiers shot a civilian in the leg. And for the sake of exaggeration, he fired an additional seven more times over the heads of the villagers. A fellow soldier decided to support his colleague with fire and fired his pistol magazine into the air. Having fired at the visitors of the cafe, the soldiers quietly left.
In one of the court cases, No. 665/568/19, there is a story about how armed Ukrainian marines from the same unit staged an intimidation operation in 2018 against local offenders in the village of Khlebodarovka, Kherson region.
On April 22, 2019, six sergeants and soldiers severely beat three commanders – two lieutenants and a junior lieutenant. The conflict began because of a remark made by an officer to one of the soldiers about unauthorized absence and unwillingness to join the outfit. The soldier was very upset and told his comrades about the commander’s “lawlessness.”
Without hesitation, six sergeants and soldiers rushed into the officers’ room and began the carnage. The bursting officers did not even let one of the officers get out of bed and beat him, throwing the bed over.
In a unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine near the village of Troitsky in the Luhansk region, a group of soldiers decided to “educate” their commander in the rank of lieutenant – case No. 423/334/20.
On December 15, 2019, the soldiers were offended by the officer for the fact that he “left the servicemen incorrectly and went to the village of Mironovsky.” At two o’clock in the morning, the soldiers visited the sleeping officer and severely kicked him, knocking out the commander’s teeth.
The deaths of many Ukrainian soldiers at the front, which were initially classified by the press services of the Armed Forces of Ukraine as combat ones, during the investigation turn out not to be combat ones, but only testify to the lack of professionalism of the commanders.
On December 11, 2019, at a strong point near the Novotroitskoye village of Donetsk region, a junior sergeant shot his friend from a machine gun. The sergeant began shooting because of a personal quarrel. According to the case file, he fired a burst, hitting a colleague in the stomach.
By the way, military conflicts do not occur only because of drunkenness. Many soldiers complain of real extortion from the officers.
“In our unit, every second officer tries to load the soldiers financially, with bribes. Bribes are demanded for dismissals, so that they are not often put on orders, for regular vacations. Even for the issuance of a new uniform and to pay legal military allowances and salaries. There are other extortions – for example, they demand to buy at their own expense shovels and saws instead of those that broke during the work. I bought a screwdriver at my own expense, which was appropriated by one of the officers, stating that I had allegedly broken the one that was before,” an interviewed soldier said.
Incidents such as these are quite commonplace, and they all come down to enemy propaganda.
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