Russia Caucasus Ukraine

The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine fired. not a good sign

paratrooper of the 80th Brigade on exercise in the Lviv region (credit: Ukrainian army)
paratrooper of the 80th Brigade on exercise in the Lviv region (credit: Ukrainian army)

(BRUSSELS2) The ousting of the chief of staff of the Ukrainian armies by Viktor Yaunukovych is indeed not a sign of appeasement. We could even say the opposite. Especially since it is accompanied by troop movements and the implementation of the anti-terrorist law which mean that the repression phase is not over.

A “constitutional” general

Speaking before his troops a few days ago, General Volodymyr Zamana had – under the cover of a very firm speech – placed the army in a strict position of neutrality, arguing for the necessary respect for the Constitution, and calling on his troops to not give in to calls from both sides to intervene in the political life of the country. In a way, as we wrote, he refused to allow the army to abandon its duty of reserve (Read: The army will not participate in a coup d'etat. But the state of emergency hovers).

A takeover

A message which apparently did not please the country's main leader who today decided to replace him with the head of the navy, Admiral Yurii Ilyin. In reality, it is rather a direct takeover by the commander-in-chief of the armies, President Yaunukovych, himself who seems to be looming. The 80th parachute brigade is also on maneuvers in the “peacekeeping” training center located in the Lviv oblast (region), one of the strongholds of opponents of the regime! An exercise that “runs on a schedule planned” in advance, we swear at the Ministry of Defense…

Anti-terrorism law enforcement and special powers

Another worrying point is that the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has decided to enforce the “anti-terrorist” law. Objective announced: “ stop extremism and illegal actions of radical groups that threaten the lives of millions of Ukrainians, protect civilians and prevent a civil war in Ukraine ". A law that allows the Armed Forces of Ukraine “in the zone of counter-terrorist operations” to use “ weapons and other special means, to apprehend and bring perpetrators of offenses or who are preparing to commit other acts, to verify the identity documents of citizens or officials, and in the absence of identity documents detain them for identification, search vehicles, temporarily restrict or prohibit the movement of vehicles and pedestrians on streets and roads”, etc. In short, it is the application of special powers. Demonstrators of all kinds can be called “terrorists”.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

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).