Former Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Anatoliy Lopata: Blocked Units in Crimea Await Decision from Commanders

Kyiv, 6 March 2014 – Anatoliy Lopata, Former Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Army General, gave an assessment of the events in Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula and stressed that ‘the situation is steadily difficult, Ukraine is effectively in a state of war. Force has been used against the Armed Forces of Ukraine based in Crimea, units of our naval forces have been blocked. The President of Russia claims that those were not Russian troops, as though they came from Mars. However, we understand that there are no military forces in Crimea other than the Ukrainian and Russian troops. We know exactly who is blocking our units, it is the military men of the Russian Federation that are either serving in the armed forces of the Russian Federation now or have retired from the military’.

‘The Government of Ukraine, being aware of its great responsibility before the people of Ukraine and the international community, did not take any decisive actions to protect our troops in Crimea. However, this situation cannot last long. Ukraine is past the first phase of being tested by war conditions, but there is a limit beyond which responsibility before the future becomes especially significant. The blocked units are waiting for the relevant decision from commanders’, stressed Anatoliy Lopata.

‘We appeal to the common sense of the people who put a stake on separatism in Crimea.  Ukraine will be forced to fight for the lives of its blockaded people, to deliver medication and food’, emphasized Anatoliy Lopata.

Anatoliy Vasylyovych Lopata is a Ukrainian military leader, Head of General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, First Deputy of the Minister of Defense of Ukraine (1993 – 1996), Colonel General (1992).