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The future of Ukrainian army: dreams and reality

02.09.2014 18:00

"Our blue-yellow celebration of Independence has been taking root for more than 20 years and now actually became a national holiday. Never before over the past 23 years this day was as ambitious as it is today. People never celebrate it so sincerely, as today, with the Ukrainian flag in each window, at each balcony."

These words were said ??by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko during the celebration of the "blue-yellow" Independence Day on 24 August. Taking a speech, the President stressed that Ukraine was going through hard time, when it had to fight with the "neighbor-aggressor", but then he promised that the government would devote an additional 40 billion hryvnias (about 3 billion dollars) for rearming and equipping the army with modern standards of weaponry. "And this is only a modest beginning. We must constantly strengthen our army. For he who begrudges money on his army, will have to feed someone else's," said Poroshenko.

In addition, a military parade took place for the first time in five years in Kiev. 1,500 soldiers, including 120 participants of "anti-terrorist" operation in the South-East, participated in the parade. Cannons, "Grads", armoured vehicles, air defense systems and systems "Tochka-U" passed through Khreshchatyk. After this the weaponry immediately went into the zone of military operation to destroy its own people.

Without a doubt, Poroshenko's speech and demonstration of the possibilities of the Ukrainian army were aimed at impressing both the allies and the enemies of Ukraine. However, experts disagreed, commenting on Poroshenko's statements.

On the one hand, one cannot but admit that Kiev demonstrated the desire for the escalation of conflict in the east of country. The speaker of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Sergei Naryshkin told about it in particular: "I don?t know what pushed to such decision, but instead of calls for peaceful dialogue and mourning ceremony for all the victims of the bloody conflict in Ukraine without exception, the demonstration of aggressive plans on escalation of the crisis was staged," said the head of the Lower House of the Russian Parliament.

On the other hand, if we look at the situation more clearly and take into consideration the current economic situation of the Ukrainian state, a reasonable question arises: why does the president of the country indulge in wishful thinking? It isn?t a secret for anybody that Ukraine can?t physically afford having morally weak army, which suffers serious losses every day.

Besides, 40 billion hrivnias intended for the purchase of aircrafts, helicopters, warships and boats (it seems that Ukraine conducts ceaseless combats not only on land, but also at sea) are just a drop in the ocean. According to Russian military and political expert Igor Korotchenko, they won't guarantee that the Ukrainian army will be able to become a powerful bulwark of the country in the near future. "In fact Ukraine has to create an army from scratch. And if the government invests even 30 billion dollars, in medias res, there nothing can be done about it. That's because an army which doesn't believe in its state, its Supreme Commander in Chief, isn't absolutely capable of anything. And there is no money in the state budget," he considered. "And if there were the money, based the real cost at the market of armament, Ukrainian authorities could rearm just two or three mechanized brigades at best, but no more," the expert thinks.

The Poroshenko's statement just causes new questions. Where to get money for mass militarization of the country, for endless stages of mobilization? Will the aims of the so-called antiterrorist operation be realized? How long will the families be notified of the death of their sons, brothers, husbands? Add to this question about terms of the realization of Porochenko's election pledges of the peaceful settlement of a conflict. And remember, that the war is the war and winter is coming. Will 40 billion hryvnias for rearmament help to manage with the relentless frost?

The Ukrainian leaders don't seem to possess a talent for the long-term planning. Now it?s important for them to show the Western allies that the obtained money are spent competently and aren't appropriated by the junta. At the same time Kiev continues to collect money from ordinary people, collecting taxes and economizing on food, water, electricity and gas.