Aleksandr Kolomiyets, second from the right, announces his decision at a press conference in Donetsk, June 22 2015.
Ukraine’s Defense Minister official, Aleksandr Kolomiyets, has defected to Donetsk People’s Republic.
“I am Aleksandr Kolomiyets, a major-general of the Ukrainian Armed Force, and my latest position was that of a chief military analyst and aide to the Ukrainian defense minister,” Kolomiyets told at a press-conference in Donetsk. He added that he had been the regional military commissar of the Donetsk Region for the last 19 years.
Kolomiyets also told that he had to evacuate his family from Kiev for fear of persecution by the Ukrainian authorities.
Many of his former fellow servicemen, too, were ready and willing to join the republics, he said.
He declared his intention to work for the benefit of DPR and shared his opinion of the Ukrainian army’s condition. “The potential of the Ukrainian army is very low. Mostly, from the standpoint of morale. All generals and officers who are aware the authorities’ actions are criminal have no wish to fight the war”.
Since Kiev launched the military operation in the southeast of the country hundreds of soldiers and officers had joined the forces of the Donetsk republic. “I keep no statistics, but during the operation hundreds of men and officers have taken the Donetsk Republic’s side and are defending it at the moment. I can say this with full certainty,” Kolomiyets declared.
He is not the first senior official of Ukrainian military and law enforcement agencies who has defected to the militias. Earlier, the former chief of the Lugansk Customs, Oleg Chernousov and two officers of Ukraine’s foreign intelligence, and staff members of the Ukrainian embassy in Paris: the Miroshnichenko brothers (Aleksei and Yuri) returned to Lugansk to declare their disagreement with Kiev’s policies.