70,000 Former ATO Soldiers Have Mental Disorders

Translated by Ollie Richardson



About 60,000-70,000 or 20-25% of the former military personnel and staff of other departments of power that were involved in the anti-terrorist operation in the east of the country have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

This was reported to “ukranews” by the military psychologist, former employee of the General Staff and head of department of the military pedagogy and psychology military-humanitarian and linguistic faculty of the Military Institute of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev, the Colonel of Armed forces Oleg Skripkin.

“I communicated with Israeli colleagues, our experience is very interesting to them, they constantly improve their rehabilitation system… They say that about 5-8% of the military are victims of PTSD. For comparison – for us, according to various data, it is approximately about 20-25%,” he said.

The expert noted that this is an approximate calculation, since there is no representative sample in the study of PTSD among former ATO participants, and the statistical data is distributed between various departments and isn’t generalized.

“Yes, it is approximately these numbers,” answered the expert to the journalist’s specifying question if about 300,000 Ukrainians participated in the anti-terrorist operation, so we can say about 60,000-70,000 people have PTSD.

Skripkin offers for comparison also the statistics on “Afghan syndrome” in the USSR, where PTSD was recorded, by different estimates, in 30-55% of combatants. He notes that the former combatants who came back from the ATO zone perceive reality differently than ordinary citizens, which leads to conflicts with people around.

“As a result, combatants are poorly-adjusted to the aforementioned ‘peaceful’ conventions. After returning from war, they are very irritable, react to everything that seems unfair to them very sharply, and therefore become potentially unstable as a social element,” summarises the military psychologist, emphasizing that, being an active combatant in the ATO zone, he himself has experienced such a condition.

Skripkin noted that besides military personnel, also civilians living in the combat zone have a high percentage of PTSD, but all indifferent to the country’s population in one way or another have experienced the stress of “Russian aggression”. According to the expert, provoking PTSD in the citizens of Ukraine is clearly laid out in Russia’s hybrid war plans against Ukraine, as PTSD is an inevitable consequence of fighting.

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