Ukrainian volunteer: difficult commanders and lack of career possibilities force thousands of soldiers to leave Ukrainian army

The primary problem of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is the staff policy, which is causing decent individuals to leave the army en masse. A statement to this effect was made on Facebook by activist Olha Reshetylova, coordinator of the Media Initiative for Human Rights.
Reshetylova came to this conclusion after talking to a general who said that Ukraine cannot get “normal commanders” anywhere.

“I know personally (and every volunteer knows) dozens of normal combat officers who have snapped and left for a civilian life, without waiting for a raise or appointment to another position, for a transfer or for any job-related issues to be dealt with. They wanted to serve and fight, but they left, because they were eroded away by the senior command, because the prosecutor’s office pestered them with spurious cases, because they couldn’t find a common language with the new commanders,” she explained.

The activist believes that most decent soldiers could be kept through simple managerial decisions.

For example, she said that in November 2017 Ruslan Tatus, chief of staff of the 128th brigade, was appointed commander of the heroic 72nd Motorized Brigade.

“During the first few months of his command, more than 1000 soldiers left the brigade. Many of them said publicly that they were unable to find a common language with the new commander, and would never understand his Soviet-style orders. The heroic 72nd lost its best fighting boys who had combat experience in Avdiivka, in Promka, and for Volnovakha,” the activist writes.

In response to this, the general said that the command had decided to allow Tatus to take the brigade into the Anti-Terrorist Operation. “Perhaps he will find himself there,” the general remarked.

Reshetylova gave several other examples of conflict between brigade leadership and personnel in the 92nd and 57th motorized brigades. She even wrote a letter about the situation in the latter to Viktor Muzhenko, Chief of the General Staff, but did not receive a reply.

She intends to publish material concerning this problem in the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

  Armed Forces of Ukraine