Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 17th Tank Brigade of the UAF announced they will not follow their commanders’ orders in a video address to President Petro Poroshenko.
The tankers called on the president to deal with “the anarchy which is unfolding in the army,” stating that over the course of the year their unit was never rotated, and when the brigade commander decided he had enough, “he simply shrugged his shoulders and went on leave,” RIA Novosti reports.
“We don’t give a sh*t about our superiors, just as they don’t give a sh*t about us–we’ll ignore their orders and we won’t give up our weapons, you shouldn’t try to disarm us.
We’re ready to demobilize and we’d be ready to give up our weapons in that situation, but if they try to take us by force, we’ll fight them”, the soldiers said.
The soldiers also complained about their shoddy equipment.
“Look at how we are dressed. We’re look like the homeless,” the soldiers said, noting that the only support they receive comes from volunteers. “If even in March some 50% of us would have been willing to remain in service, now it’s 0%,” the soldiers said.
The sixth wave of Ukrainian mobilization started in June. The Ukrainian authorities are planning to induct 100-150 thousand people into the military. On March 25, Poroshenko signed an order to increase the armed forces’ size to 250 thousand.
However, mobilizations invariably encounter young men’s mass refusals to serve. Evasion, including through emigration (there are 1.2 million Ukrainians of military age in Russia) is now a widespread phenomenon. Kiev reacted by increasing penalties for evading service, which now include severe jail terms.