Kyiv, May 30, 2014. «Should the situation in East of Ukraine require and a political decision be made, we are ready to bring back to Ukraine Ukrainian helicopter crews engaged in the UN operations in Africa», claimed Andriy Ordynovych, deputy head of military cooperation and peace-support operations headquarters of the General Staff of Armed Forces of Ukraine, during his media briefing in Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
He stated that in case of further escalation of the situation in the East of Ukraine all 18 helicopter crews might be withdrawn from their duty area in peace-support missions.
Nevertheless, colonel Ordynovych says that at present there is no critical need to bring Ukrainian military servicemen back and involve them into the anti-terrorist operation, though the plan of such withdrawal have been developed. «Such decision includes a political component and depends on the decision of the Supreme Commander. For this purpose an agreement with the UNO must be reached as well», stated Andriy Ordynovych.
According to colonel Ordynovych, approximately 40% of flight tasks within the scope of UNO peace-support mission are performed by Ukrainian military servicemen, which is an evidence of high level of proficiency of our peacemakers engaged in the UNO operations.
As colonel Ordynovych put it, participation of Ukrainian military servicemen in UNO peace-support operations not only biases international image of Ukraine for the better, but also considerably improves our armed forces’ qualification. Within the scope of such operations military servicemen acquire battle experience, operating skills in multi-national environment as well as peculiar professional skills (air intelligence, VIP tagging, weapon and equipment employment etc.). Participation in the UNO operations also builds up servicemen’s psychological readiness to task performance.
Besides, the country receives compensatory means for the participation of our peacemakers in the UNO operations – in total, for the period of participation of Ukraine in such operations approximately 1 trillion UAH came into the budget.
Pilots preparation within UNO peace-support operations and experience they obtain there (general flying time, skills) also save public funds for such training. For instance, 3rd class Мі-8 helicopter pilot training requires 150 flying hours, which in Ukraine amounts to 3 million UAH approximately (for 2nd class pilot it amounts to 300 hours and two times bigger a sum correspondingly). Within the scope UNO peace-support operations in recent years 90 Ukrainian pilots of 3rd class were trained.
«Owing to UNO peace-making operations we have 90 skilled pilots and considerable raise in readiness to assigned tasks performance» – stated Andriy Ordynovych.
At present there are 700 Ukrainian military men serving within the UNO peace-support missions in Liberia, Congo and Cote d’Ivoire. Our military servicemen are present in another 8 countries as national personnel (staff personnel, observers etc). Ukrainian naval forces participated in 8 operations, main task of which was fighting illicit human trafficking, preventing drug smuggling etc. In particular, a flagship of our naval forces, frigate “Hetman Sahaydachnyi”, have recently participated in two operations: “Ocean Shield” guided by NATO and “Atlanta” (EU), over the course of which 40000 km distance was covered. In total, for 23 years of Ukraine’s participation in UNO peace-support operations military servicemen of our country participated in 23 missions, total number of Ukrainian peacemakers engaged during this period amounted to 42 thousand people.