Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Junta Minoborony Head Sez Ukrainian Armed Forces at “Extremely Low Readiness” Levels

00 T-64 tanks. Ukrainian Army. 02.02.14


A knowledgeable source told RIA-Novosti that Admiral Igor Tenyukh, the junta’s acting Defence Minister, rated the combat readiness of the Ukrainian armed forces as “unsatisfactorily low” in a report to junta chieftain Aleksandr Turchinov. According to the report, exercises revealed “the sad state of training of the armed forces, skeletonised units, and a lack of functioning equipment and weapons”. The army nominally has 41,000 troops {wildly differing estimates are out there… one claim is 93,000… is the figure cited only those in frontline units or is the army that depleted?: editor}, but “only has 6,000 combat-ready troops”. Moreover, “the number of armoured combat vehicle crews capable of performing standard military duties doesn’t exceed 20 percent. More than 70 percent of armoured vehicles are obsolescent Soviet-made models; most tanks are T-64s, produced 30 years ago or more”. Armoured combat vehicle equipment and weaponry “doesn’t meet the requirements of modern warfare, and requires replacement or significant modernisation”.

The report pointed up low levels of operational training in the ground troops, noting, “In the last two years, the army allocated no fuel and lubricants to train driver-mechanics, drivers, and crews of combat vehicles. Training took place in combat vehicle parks without training in exercise areas”. In air and naval forces, the situation wasn’t any better, “Of nearly 507 combat aircraft and 121 attack helicopters, only 15 percent are fully operational and capable of flight operations”. Due to “low aircrew training, no more than 10 percent of aircrew are capable of combat missions”. This is due to “a minimal allocation for the last three years of aviation fuel for combat training, the average annual flight time of combat pilots in 2013 was less than 4 hours”. In the Navy, as of 1 March, “only four ships were in combat-ready condition, the frigate Getman Sagaidachny, the corvette Ternopol, the command ship Slavutich, and the large landing ship Konstantin Olshansky. Our ships are unable to pose any threat to the Black Sea Fleet”.

Tenyukh emphasised in his report that Ukrainian air defence units lack the ability to protect its airspace, stating, “As a result of a ban imposed by the Ukrainian authorities in 2001 on live SAM missile launches (in 2001, during exercises, a Ukrainian S-200 SAM shot down a Russian Tu-154 airliner en route from Tel Aviv to Novosibirsk), the number of troops in air defence battalions having the theoretical knowledge and practical skills required doesn’t exceed 10 percent. Moreover, S-300P and S-200V SAM systems are in need of maintenance and require modernisation to prolong their usefulness, or we need to replace them with new systems, now produced only in Russia”. Tenyukh noted, “The only effective measure we have to deter aggression and defeat Crimean militia detachments or unlawful military formations are MRL units armed with Uragan and Smerch systems”. At the same time, he drew attention to a “high probability of missing the target, given extremely low crew training, which could lead to the possible death of many civilians”. In his conclusion, Tenyukh strongly opposed the use of MRL systems, but he noted that we had to strengthen the guard over them, “given the known interest in them from radical Euromaidan elements”.

12 March 2014



Editor’s Note:

On paper, the Ukrainian army has 13 brigades (39,000-52,000 TO&E strength, all obviously undermanned). What the above report means is that the army is a hollow shell, useless for any serious operations. This is why the disbanding of the Berkut was so dangerous. It leaves the field open for Svoboda and Right Sector neofascist thugs. What’s more, there’s no money for operations, as the junta stole it all. Could you imagine what would happen if the Svoboda pigs got their hands on a single Smerch MRL? It’s surreal… it’s absolutely fucking surreal… you couldn’t pass this off as fiction, as no one would believe that a state would be so feckless and corrupt. This occurred over the entire independence of the Ukraine… it’s NOT Yanukovich’s fault. You wonder where the money for the mansions of Timoshenko, Turchinov, Avakov, and Yatsenyuk came from? It came from open theft of funds meant for national defence and social welfare. The more one learns, the crazier it gets. God do help us all…


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