Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
The Minister of Defence of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak has denied the rumors about the preparation of urgent mobilization. According to him, the Ukrainian authorities haven’t yet made a decision about the next wave of mobilization in the country.
“That’s not true, nothing has changed in our position,” “Interfax” quoted the official as saying. According to him, the decision on mobilization will depend on the situation on the frontline.
As was reported on Monday, 29th August, by the Ukrainian side of “Vesti”, the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine has sent to the military committee of mobilization instructions on preparations for immediate mobilization. The agency was told about this by a source in the Defense Ministry.
“The leadership is afraid of provocations. Where it will happen — in Crimea or in Donbass — is not yet clear. But everyone was ordered to prepare for immediate mobilization,” said the source to the agency. At the same time, the specific terms of the proposed mobilization was not reported
At the same time military enlistment officers have not confirmed this information to journalists, citing a lack of official guidance from the leadership. “Preparation is going as planned. We validate the data of military servicemen, invite them to a medical examination, and shortlist them for a future contract. Currently the President has not officially announced a decision to mobilize, therefore there isn’t anything to say. No orders, no actions. People come for contract, but will there be enough resources to replace those who are demobilized – I do not know,” the Deputy Commander of the Kiev city military recruitment office Igor Slyusarenko is quoted as saying.
At the same time, the media noted that in the event of a new wave of mobilization, first in line to for service will be those who have already passed the first, second, and third waves.
Previously, the founder of the nationalist “Azov” battalion, MP Andriy Biletsky on channel 112 admitted that Ukraine did not announce a new “wave” of mobilization, because there’s no one else to call. According to him, the seventh wave of mobilization will call, in fact, those demobilized from the first wave, and this may have a negative impact on the social situation in the country.
“I think the seventh, eighth, ninth waves were canceled because six of the previous ones cleaned out everything that could serve. And, in fact, the seventh wave will be a repetition of the first. This will cause serious social tensions,” said Biletsky.
Recall that on 16th August, the Defence Ministry announced that the next call for military service in the Armed Forces will be held in October-November. The Deputy Head of the General staff of the UAF Vladimir Talalay claimed that now servicemen called during the sixth wave of mobilization are being dismissed.
About the fact that mobilization in 2016 will depend on the situation in Donbass, said the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko earlier.
“If the situation in the East and in Crimea worsens, the possibility of martial law and a declaration of mobilization in the event of further escalation are not excluded,” he said during a visit to Lvov on August 18th. The Ukrainian leader did not rule out a full-scale Russian invasion “from all azimuths”.
Poroshenko is convinced that the army reliably holds the defense on the contact line while fulfilling the Minsk agreements, opening return fire only when necessary.
Earlier, the office of the President also did not rule out a seventh wave of mobilization, which will be announced in the event of a sharp escalation of hostilities in Donbass. As was stated by Presidential advisor Yury Biryukov on the air of “channel 5”: “If this happens, first to be called are the soldiers of the first stage of the reserves, which already passed the ATO. They will stand in the ranks of the defenders at the front and will not require a long time for training”.
Recall that in early August, the Minister of Defence of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak promised that the seventh wave of mobilization will not happen, as the quantitative composition of the army continues to grow thanks to contract employees.
“In general, the number of employees on a monthly contract increased by 6000 people, at this moment there are already 43,500. By the end of the year, the General Staff intends to recruit about 20,000 more contract employees,” said Poltorak.
Petro Poroshenko said in a speech on the occasion of Independence Day of Ukraine that the country managed to refuse mobilization, and that now 75% of the army is on contract. The number in the army of Ukraine, according to Poroshenko, is 80,000 people. According to him, the Armed Forces of the country are undergoing reconstruction and reform.
Recall also that after the provocation related to the attempted sabotage in Crimea, on August 11th, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko gave the order to bring to high combat readiness all units on the borders with the Peninsula and on the contact line in Donbass.
“It is difficult to call information about a new mobilization a secret,” considers the political scientist Alexander Dudchak.
It was “secret” information that the Kiev leadership was “afraid of provocations in Crimea or Donbass.” They are afraid of themselves? There is no need to make “the preparing of provocation” a secret, and it can’t become news — this is the permanent, non-surprising state of the current Kiev authorities. Such a deliberate “leak” of information is in itself a provocation.
“SP”: Previously Poroshenko assured that a seventh wave of mobilization was not necessary, because 75% of the army is contractors, and their number continues to increase. It turns out, he lied?
“The “ATO” is an excellent furnace, in which Poroshenko is trying to burn the armed units that are not sufficiently controlled by him. And also, there is still a lot of people left that require employment or paying unemployment benefits, and are not needed by the state, which is actively pursuing a policy of de-industrialization. The threat of being called to the front stimulates the outflow of people abroad. And this in turn means the reducing of pressure on the domestic labour market and remittances from abroad, which largely keeps afloat the rest of Ukraine.”
“SP”: In the words of the commander of Azov Biletskiy, Ukraine doesn’t announce a new “wave” of mobilization, because there’s no one else to call. How does it correspond to reality?
“And what is the aim of calling generally? Even Biletsky understands that even if there are 10 waves of mobilization, it will not bring any results if we consider that the result is the return by force of Crimea and/or Donbass to Ukraine. All these statements are primarily promotional in nature, and serve to remind the population about the terrible “external aggression”.
“SP”: In the words of the same Biletsky, the seventh wave of mobilization will call, in fact, those demobilized in the first wave, and this may have a negative impact on the social situation in the country. Is it really so? In what way can it have an impact?
“It will be hard to herd participants of the first wave to the front – they are already angry and have lost many moral constraints. And if they refuse to be called — it’s unlikely someone will be able to force them. And it’s unlikely that it will be done.”
“SP”: Earlier, representatives of Kiev have repeatedly said that the next wave of mobilization will be announced in the case of aggravation of the situation in Donbass. Can we say that such aggravation has occurred?
“On the contrary, it is silence that must arrive. There is an impression that the power in Ukraine is experiencing a split, or “tri-split” of personality, the left hand does know what the right hand does. Because a few days ago, the special representative of the OSCE in the Trilateral contact group on Donbass Martin Sajdik reported that the Trilateral contact group with representatives of LDPR in Minsk announced the necessity of an indefinite ceasefire in connection with the start of the new academic year. This was attended by the Ukrainian side. From midnight on 31st August they must cease firing. Last year it was possible to establish relative peace for some time. Perhaps Kiev will announce the non-fulfillment of what was in the agreement?
Not long ago, Poroshenko personally announced the possibility of the announcement of the next wave, ” recalls the Director of the Center for Eurasian studies Vladimir Kornilov.
“It’s clear that there is not enough contract servicemen in the UAF. “Volunteer”-marauders are now frankly bored because all they could loot in the front areas has already been looted by them. So they have no incentive to serve. The panic in Kiev about the “outbreak of war” (which supposedly has long been won by Ukraine) grows. So the combination of all these factors may lead to mobilization.”
“SP”: How to understand the phrase “the leadership is afraid of provocations.” Where will it happen — in Crimea or in Donbass — is not clear”? Does this mean that Kiev is already preparing provocations itself or tries to blame Moscow?
“You understand it as it is. It is clear that Moscow will be blamed in the event of any provocations, which will be organized by Kiev or uncontrolled-by-it Ukrainian militants.
“SP”: Informed military officials of Ukraine earlier said that mobilization can be declared in the event of an aggravation of the situation in Donbass. At the same time, literally on Friday, it was reported that Kiev offered to establish another truce on September 1st. How does it fit?
“I noticed that the UAF reinforce the attacks towards the end of the period of stay of individual battalions at the front. Usually it’s the last days of the season (spring, summer etc.). The impression is that on-leave “ATO heroes” want to shoot plenty and empty all the ammunition that they have. And, the replacement battalions then take some time to familiarise themselves, organise their environment, bring ammo – and all this is called a “truce”. This kind of approach, as you can see, does not interfere with mobilization.”
“SP”: What does the Ukrainian government fear the most: the reaction from Russia or public demonstrations, supported by volunteer battalions?
“Of course, for the current Kiev authorities a much greater threat — it’s battalions and the masses in Ukraine rioting. If Russia nevertheless will start an operation to force the Kiev regime towards peace, in this case we understand that the Kiev leadership will in unison will begin to cry for the West’s help, will receive it, and, as a last resort, will quickly flee abroad. But in the event of riots, they will not receive money or support. Perhaps they will not have anywhere to run.”
“SP”: In the words of the commander of the “Azov” MP Biletsky, Ukraine doesn’t announce a new “wave” of mobilization, because there’s no one else to call, and the seventh wave of mobilization will call, in fact, those demobilized the first wave. How many of those servicemen who already endured this war will be more effective than young recruits or vice versa? Is it possible to use them on the third, fourth round ad infinitum? And what will Kiev do when the “cannon fodder” will elementary end?
“Potential recruits in Ukraine are a dime a dozen. But if you start to take away from them those who are “untouchable” (“Golden youth”, those who paid their way out of the call, faux-patients, hidden deserters, the people of Kiev because the government is trying not to touch residents of the capital, in order not to provoke discontent there), it turns out that the “cannon fodder” in Ukraine is in reality insufficient. If the same person who passed through the hell of war, were to be again thrown into the meat grinder against his will, there really will be riots.”
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