Kyiv, 29 March, 2014 – The military readiness step-up of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, as well as the progress of the military withdrawal operations from Crimea were reported by Leonid Polyakov, the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine in the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center.
On the 27th of March 2014, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have started a full-scale training in which, among others, took part more than 100 units of aircraft and air defense assets. The training takes place in cooperation and full coordination with other Army units. “We are doing everything possible to achieve the required level of training which would allow us in case of enemy aggression to inflict unacceptable losses and force the enemy to refuse any further aggression towards Ukraine,” – said Leonid Polyakov, the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine.
Also, Mr. Polyakov reported the active support of the allies, in particular the implementation of plans regarding the Ukrainian military withdrawal from Crimea. “We have already evacuated about 400 people and we are ready to accept another 500 soldiers and their families – said the Minister. – Unfortunately, there is still one person captured – Colonel Viacheslav Demiyanenko. We have all the reasons to believe that they use certain means of pressure on him. However, we still hope to see him soon feeling fine.” In addition, we continue the negotiations to hand over the weapons from Ukrainian military units seized by Russian forces in Crimea.
Leonid Polyakov also stated the assessment as a provocation the continued concentration and maneuvers of the Russian Federation forces at the border with Ukraine. “Anyone who has to do with military affairs is well aware that concentrations of such military potential near the border, even without the aggression announcement, does not mean yet that the invasion will not happen – said Mr. Polyakov. – Now they learn their concentration place, and how our armed forces are responding to their provocations. Continuous provocative actions are also aimed at psychological pressure. They want to lull our vigilance, but we keep our military forces in constant readiness and will keep doing it as much as it is needed.”
Leonid Polyakov reported a significant military support by the citizens of Ukraine. Thus, for a short period of time there were transferred over 60 million hryvnas to a special charity account. Mr. Polyakov also expects the financial assistance from the IMF. The UN cooperation is strengthened as well.
“We hope that eventually if needed we will have the opportunity in the same way to thank all the allies who are actively helping us now” – said the Minister.
Leonid Polyakov – Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine, part-time counselor of the Verkhovna Rada Committee of National Security and Defense of Ukraine (2000-2005, 2008-2014), First Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine (2005-2008), Military Programs Director of the Razumkov Ukrainian Centre for Economic and Political Studies (1999-2005).