Russia Caucasus Ukraine

The army will not participate in a coup d'etat. But the state of emergency hovers

Training (Credit: Ukrainian army)

(BRUXELLES2) Intervention or not, preparation or not,... Statements follow one another in Kiev both on the side of the opposition and of the Ministry of Defence, without anyone knowing exactly what will happen the next day.

The army guarantor of the constitutional order

The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, General Volodimir Zamana, dotted the "i" on Friday " Every member of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has sworn allegiance to the Ukrainian people. And he will abide by this oath “, he said in a press release (in Ukrainian). And to clarify that the Armed Forces of Ukraine, are responsible for ensuring " territorial integrity and sovereignty of our country. No one has the right to use military force to restrict the rights and freedoms of citizens, to overthrow the constitutional order, to hinder the work or the change of government ».

Ukraine has always lost its independence and sovereignty through internal conflicts

The Chief of Staff also wanted to recall the past. " In the history of our country, (we have) often lost sovereignty and independence as a result of internal conflicts. We can't let this happen today. " He is " important to reduce the degree of confrontation " he added, restating his confidence " in the president, the parliament, the government (to) find ways to reach a compromise”. He concluded with a more classic address to agitators of all stripes. "Ukrainian Armed Forces stand ready to ensure peace and tranquility."

A call to restore security

Defense Minister Pavel Lebedev was firmer in a speech after the general staff meeting. Based on a military appeal to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to facilitate the resolution of the conflict. " 87% support the action of the President of Ukraine ", to prevent conflicts in society and called for the " immediate cessation of illegal acts that we observe today in the country ". In other words, not kidnappings or assaults, but the occupation by opposition forces of public buildings.

Comment: this double warning from the Chief of Defense Staff and the Minister of Defense may seem to play on the same score, but with two different sounds. We can also say that the Chief of Staff also wanted to give a warning to those within the army, as well as in the government, who could be tempted by a possible coup d'etat, as well as those tempted to join the ranks of the opposition, or to use the army for police tasks. The army remains there but is "neutral". While the Minister of Defense seems more offensive and ready to intervene. His denial of a possible intervention by the army " unless there is a state of emergency or martial law sounds more like a threat than a call for restraint.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).