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Ukraine: Officer demoted for Washington Post interview

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The Ukrainian officer was demoted by the command after he gave an interview to the American newspaper “Washington Post”. The military man told the newspaper that the high losses in his battalion were due to the fact that inexperienced soldiers were sent to the front. His superiors considered that the data he provided were exaggerated, the independent Meduza portal reported on Friday.

Battalion commander of the 46th Independent Airborne Brigade Anatoly (nickname “Dome”) was demoted after criticizing the Armed Forces in an interview with the Washington Post Ukraine.

This was initially reported by the sources of the Ukrainian Pravda portal and Isabel Khurshudyan, editor-in-chief of the Ukrainian office of the “Washington Post”. This information was later confirmed by the spokesman for the Ukrainian airborne troops, Valentyn Shevchenko, writes Meduza.

Anatoly Kozel, battalion commander. 46 Independent Airborne BrigadeKiev councilor Oleksandr Pohrebyski/Facebook

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The Washington Post published an article on March 13 about the state of the Ukrainian armed forces. Journalists talked to several Ukrainian soldiers, including a later demoted officer. The Washington Post reported that his unit was fighting in the Donetsk region and withdrew from Soledar in the winter after Ukrainian troops were surrounded by Russian troops.

Bloody fighting continues in Donbass. In the photo: Chasiv Yar, near Bakhmut (March 14, 2023)Aris Messinis / AFP / East News

The commander said he witnessed “hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers abandoning their positions as the Wagner Group mercenary groups advanced.” “Dome” linked this situation with the fact that among the losses in the ranks of the armed forces there were many poorly trained recruits. “About 100 soldiers from a 500-strong battalion were killed and many were wounded, and the unit was replenished with inexperienced recruits,” he claimed.

The Washington Post reports on the traumas and dramatic mental state of many Ukrainian soldiers Ministry of Defense of Ukraine/Facebook

In an interview with the Washington Post, the military explained his decision to speak out in the hope that USA they will provide better training to Ukrainian soldiers before a counterattack. Isabel Khurshudyan noted that she told Anatoly that his remarks could harm his career. “It was worth the risk,” he said.

Strong response from the command

The Washington Post article caused a lot of resonance. He commented on it Secretary of the National Security Council of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov, saying that the information of journalists does not correspond to reality.

The spokesman for the Ukrainian assault troops, Valentyn Shevchenko, also said that “Dome” had spread “unreliable information” and spoke to journalists without the permission of the command, which is prohibited.

In response to the command’s decision to degrade and transfer to another unit, “Komuła” wrote an application for release from service. Some Ukrainian media stressed that this is not the first case of degradation of a commander who “cares about the lives of soldiers and requires changes in training to conduct a successful counterattack.”

Ukrainian soldiers in the trenches on the front line in the Donetsk region [26.02.2023]PAP/EPA/OLEG PETRASYUK

Main photo source: Ministry of Defense of Ukraine/Facebook

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