Former UAF General Staff Colonel: The Ukrainian Army Is Close to Collapse

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


It wasn’t succeeded to turn the UAF into the effective modern army that the Ukrainian experts hoped for in 2014. 
This was stated by the retired colonel and former officer of the General Staff of the UAF Oleg Zhdanov, whose opinion was published by the Kiev magazine “Fokus”.

“I had hopes that the voluntary battalions created in 2014, and the newly created National Guard would become the foundations of an essentially new system of creating a modern army. But this didn’t happen. Nowadays the situation is close to what it was in 2013,” said the military expert.

According to him, NATO experts at the request of Ukraine developed a strategic defense bulletin – a conceptual document that describes military reform in Ukraine and which was sent to the president Poroshenko.

“Fortunately the circumstances were such that he wasn’t able to sign it. But the document is still on the table of the chief of the General Staff. Ukraine doesn’t even have a plan for reforms yet. We don’t know what kind of army we’re building – a Swiss version, an American version, an Israeli version… And the purposes of this process are unknown,” recognises Zhdanov. “The undertaken reforms are similar to painting a rotten wooden fence: it’s about to collapse, but we are trying to update it – we change epaulettes, badges, berets.

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