Commander-deputy Semenchenko: Ukrainian soldiers need war


January 7, 2015
Alexander Maksimenko for
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

Without a war the Ukrainian army is starting to get bored and is falling into a demoralized state.
This thought was aired on the Espresso TV channel by Rada Deputy and Donbass Battalion commander Semen Semenchenko. He claims soldiers are opposed to the Minsk talks.

“All of this is received very badly on the front lines. Units are demoralized because if they are not in action they get bored, and then everyone wants to just go home. The volunteers, on the other hand, are determined to defend their land, but even they have limits” – said Semenchenko.

He added that in the nearest future the Ukrainian army ought to receive US anti-tank missile systems. He also said that Ukraine will also receive additional military assistance.

“There is information that aid supplied with the US law 2828, we ought to receive good Javelin anti-tank systems. Wide-ranging support of Ukraine will lead to serious aid” said Semenchenko.

Information concerning the supplies of such weapons was also mentioned by another deputy, battalion commander Yuriy Bereza on TV channel 112.

Semenchenko/Grishin is making what amounts to a veiled threat against the Kiev government — either you send us to war, or we overthrow the government. Indeed, the continuation of the Minsk ceasefire gives the extremists the ability to accuse Poroshenko of nothing short of treason for allowing the insurgents to retain control of Novorossia. The question, naturally, therefore becomes to what extent they are actually expecting the Kiev government to restart the war, or are simply laying the groundwork for the eventual overthrow of the government. It does not appear likely Poroshenko would want another round of fighting. The press reports concerning the alleged rearming of the Ukrainian army notwithstanding, the fact is the military is scraping the bottom of the barrel of its military equipment stockpile. Several hundred of its best, most modern, armored vehicles, were already lost in the fighting or were captured by or handed over to the Novorossia army. Similarly, the next round of mobilization is scheduled only for the late January, and it would take several weeks for the reservists to be integrated into their formations, which makes a resumption of fighting before spring rather unlikely. And even then it would be carried out not by volunteer battalions but by the regular army that was badly beaten up last year. The reports concerning the Javelin missiles are almost certainly not true—no such report was made by any other sources, and Semenchenko is too low-ranking to be the first to know about something like that. Therefore the “volunteers” may be planning a coup that would take advantage of the dire state of the military (Semenchenko is likely not exaggerating when he says the regular army is less well motivated than the “volunteers” — as much was suggested by other Ukrainian military sources in the past), or they are being used by the oligarchs who are funding them to pressure Poroshenko into unspecified concessions.

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