Aleksandr Kolomiyets, a former assistant to the Ukrainian defense minister has announced that he has deflected and is now working with the anti government forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.
“I am Ukrainian Armed Forces Major General Aleksandr Kolomiyets. My latest posts are chief analyst of the Ukrainian armed forces, assistant to the Ukrainian defense minister,” the General said at a news conference at the Donetsk news agency on Monday
He said that he has taken his family out of the Ukrainian capital, fearing repercussions from officials. He also said He also said that many of his fellow commanders were ready to join the pro-independence militia in Donbass and that hundreds have already abandoned Kiev.
This news comes comes as there are reports that over 10,000 soldiers have deserted the Ukrainian army.
Sputnik News report:
Alexander Kolomiyets said that he had spent 19 years serving as the military commandant of Donetsk Region.
He also said that many of his fellow commanders were ready to join the pro-independence militia in Donbass.
The General added that Ukrainian army morale was extremely low with “all Generals and officers realizing the criminal nature of Kiev’s actions and refusing to fight any longer.”
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry confirmed General Kolomiyets’ defection to the indepndence supporters in Donbass, RIA Novosti reported.
Alexander Kolomiyets is not the first senior Ukrainian military officer to have sided with the pro-independence militia in Donetsk and Lugansk. Earlier, Oleh Chernousov, the onetime head of the Lugansk customs service, and brothers Alexei and Yuri Miroshnichenko, both Ukrainian intelligence service operatives stationed in Paris, moved to Lugansk over their opposition to the policy pursued by the Kiev authorities.