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17 March, 2014  ▪  Bohdan Butkevych

Mykola Melnyk: "Putin will not stop. In fact, we should expect military intervention everywhere where we see attempts to destabilize the situation"

Mykola Melnyk, ex-First Deputy Head of Military Intelligence and a founder of the National Guard, comments on Ukraine's defence capacity and efforts of the previous defence ministers to destroy the Ukrainian army

Sadly, Putin will not stop. In fact, we should expect military intervention everywhere where we see attempts to destabilize the situation. This territory covers almost the entire South and East of Ukraine. Our huge problem that the Russians used to their advantage is the loss of control over the state apparatus in the security sector, i.e. the Interior Ministry and the SBU first and foremost. Also, the previous two ministers of defence, especially Lebedev, were a disaster. Lebedev is definitely a creature of the Russian foreign military intelligence. He was the one to leave all eastern regions unprotected and to disband military units there. Under his rule, all strategic plans in case of a war were liquidated. Now, Russia definitely knows all our military secrets.

It will be extremely difficult for us to stop Russia with our army alone. 75,000 troops brought to guard Sochi Olympics are the best of the best, and they are all along our borders. Plus, many more troops have been brought closer lately. As to the weapons, we are more or less at the same level even if the Russian army has more modern and precise weapons. We have plenty of our own tanks and shooting weapons. In fact, our weapons are often better than the Russian ones but it has only been exported lately, so nothing has been bought for the country. I recommend Ukrainian authorities to take a closer look at the UkrSpetsExport that was in charge of arms exports.

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Ukrainian military have huge patriotic spirit and good potential in mobilizing experienced military experts. If Russia starts the war, there will be a huge number of victims but it has no chance of winning it.

In the near future, we have to follow Poland’s suit in the military reform, and set up the National Guard, implement clear reforms, purchase modern equipment and build a new defence strategy where Russia is enemy No 1.

RELATED ARTICLE: Anatoliy Hrytsenko: "Vladimir Putin is an aggressor. This is a fundamental truth"

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