Kyiv, February 20, 2015 – The announcement of Dmytro Yarosh and Semen Semenchenko, leaders of the “Right Sector” Ukrainian Volunteer Corps and the “Donbas” battalion respectively, regarding intentions to create parallel Military Headquarters can provide opportunities for Russia for further incursion into Ukraine. Oleksandr Rashevsky, commander of the 20th mechanised infantry battalion, Oleksandr Lobas, commander of the 37th battalion, Yevhen Ptashnyk, acting commander of the 24th battalion, and Valentyn Lykholit, petty officer of the “Aidar” battalion, told this during the press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Semenchenko’s decision to create alternative Military HQ violates the Statute of the Ukrainian Army. It clearly defines that the Ukrainian Army and other military regiments are accountable to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” Valentyn Lykholit emphasisied.
Militarymen assured that their units will not participate in Yarosh-Semenchenko structures. The commanders said that their battalions will only fulfil orders of the official military leadership. “It was especially outrageous to see my unit in the list of those included in the structure, while I was fighting in the east. I want to say that this is not true,” Oleksandr Rashevskiy, commander of the 20th battalion said.
Ukrainian militarymen told more details about the situation on the frontline sectors where they defend the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Oleksandr Rashevsky’s unit serves near Avdiivka and Horlivka. He told that pro-Russian militants complied with the new ceasefire regime for only two days, resuming artillery shelling after that. The “Aidar” battalion guards Shastya, Tryokhizbenka and Lysychansk in the Luhansk region. Olekdandr Lobas said that his 37th battalion repels enemy attacks near Shyrokine, Hnutove and Talakivka in the Mariupol sector. Ukrainian servicemen took down two enemy UAVs there last week. Lt. Col. Lobas noted that his soldiers saw inversion traces of Russian airplanes near Novoazovsk.
Commanders emphasized that the morale of their soldiers remains high. “I spoke with one American journalist three days ago. He was amazed by how we are managing to fight with such an outdated weaponry. The secret is our soldier’s morale that allows to crush the enemy,” Lt. Col. Lobas concluded.