Saturday, 5 November 2011

Army unfit for combat, says Hrytsenko

The Ukrainian armed forces stagnated in 2010 and 2011 due to lack of basic documents regulating its development, says Anatoliy Hrytsenko, a former Ukrainian defense minister and currently a parliamentarian from the Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense faction.

Hrytsenko said on Inter television channel that a national security strategy "has been left unsigned for a year," Hrytsenko's press service said.

"Nobody has bothered to endorse it. It means that a year has been missed in terms of planning and development. Not a single program document determining prospects for the armed forces development at least for a year, not to mention for 10 or 5 years, has appeared in the year and a half of [President Viktor] Yanukovych's rule. This has happened for the first time in 20 years," he said.

Ukraine has no armed forces development program, or an armaments development program, or a defense industry development program, Hrytsenko said.

"When a new administration comes, it should endorse a national security and defense strategy, which determines threats, national interests, and all the rest within a month at most. After that, a new doctrine is supposed to be adopted," he said.

"There is not a single combat-ready battalion in the Ground Forces, not a single combat-ready squadron in the Air Force, and not a single combat-ready unit in the Navy," Hrytsenko said.

The parliamentary committee on national security and defense has addressed the president three times, urging him to make a decision on a defense minister, but decisions on this have been postponed several times, he said.

It was reported earlier that Defense Minister Mykhailo Yezhel said recently that he hoped that key documents concerning national security policy would be endorsed by the end of 2011.

The National Security and Defense Committee is expected to consider a national security strategy and a new military doctrine next week.

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