Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
The morale of the fighters in the ATO leaves much to be desired, the technical equipment remains at the level of the stone age, and many “heroes” are disappointed and are leaving the army. This was stated by the commander of the “Azov” regiment of the National Guard Andrey Biletsky.
In the extensive interview, which Biletsky gave to one of the Ukrainian media agencies, he in detail spoke about the situation in the army, called into question the Minsk agreements, advertised “Azov”, and talked about the new Ukrainian elite.
The people’s Deputy considers the situation in the ATO to be catastrophic. The fighters, in his opinion, lack motivation, and there are not enough numbers.
“At the front there is a norm, which determines the part of the territory that the battalions, units, and so on keeps. So, according to all Ukrainian norms, now there is 40-60% of armed personnel on the frontline. There are huge gaps, there are no people, people are not motivated,” said Biletsky, and further notes that if the enemy (of course, Russia) activates, “we will bathe in blood.”
Regarding the preparation of personnel, the situation is no better, but all the achievements are expressed by the technical backwardness of the UAF.
“In terms of equipment and weapons, we became much better. But concerning the introduction of new methods of training, of new technical solutions, communication systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, digital control systems of battle, on all these indicators we are in the stone age… regarding the intensity of modern optical devices or intelligence tools, we are also in very bad condition,” said the Deputy of the Rada.
Serfs will not fight
What is the reason for the bad situation in the army? Andrey Biletsky explains this by the “Soviet system”, bureaucracy, and the reluctance of the authorities to take care of soldiers. Professionals are leaving the ranks of the Armed Forces because of disappointment.
“They leave the army in large numbers, knowing what the real situation is like. There, in the modern army, there are enthusiasts, a huge number of quality officers, but they are simply fanatics who understand the essence, they are dissolved in the bureaucratic inefficient post-Soviet military machine, and that’s why we lose in moral terms,” said Biletsky.
According to the Deputy, every second friend left the UAF, and all this because the army does not have a strong foundation. Motivation is directly related with the conditions of payment. 10,000-12,000 hryvnias salary can’t make a soldier risk his life, and if the state can’t pay for the service, it must use something else for attraction. For example, with the highest values or using fear.
“The serf will not fight. Moreover, all the information that I have suggests that the decision was taken, even in conditionally elite units, such as brigades of the National Guard, to continue to push conscription because there is a lack of personnel,” explained Andrey Biletsky.
Talking about the sabotage of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on the territory of Russia, the Deputy called for such actions, while demonstratively regretted that the sabotages are not conducted.
“Such things are extremely necessary. But we do not do even this,” said Biletsky.
Merkel is the “weak” link
Concerning the Minsk agreements, the “Azov” commander is adamantly against this document. Biletsky is sure that Poroshenko “has drove himself into a fantastically stalemate situation”, from which there is no way out. On the one hand, Ukrainians will not allow Kiev to give Donbass back, otherwise it will become the last day of the current government, said the people’s Deputy.
On the other hand, the promises made by the President to the West must be fulfilled. Biletsky considers the Minsk format to be unfortunate, because Merkel and Hollande, even being on the side of Kiev, are weak links in European politics (!). “We have to orientate ourselves and to attract the involvement of London and Washington in the process,” said the Deputy.
The question about the funding of “Azov” noticeably annoyed Biletsky. He doesn’t give a direct answer, reproaching those who want concrete facts.
“It’s not enough that we had to pass through war, through toil, we are still questioned suspiciously. To this day I can’t understand what the reason is for the suspicion? Even if this money was taken from Satan, it still would have been applauded instead of making guesses,” retorted Andrey Biletsky.
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