Oleksiy Melnyk: Russian terrorists should be destroyed by special forces, not by army
14:29, — Politics
Surgical strikes by special groups are needed to struggle against the Kremlin's saboteurs, a military expert is confident.
Oleksiy Melnyk, a co-director the Kyiv-based Razumkov Centre responsible for foreign relations and intentional security programmes, gave an interview to charter97.org.
“The events in eastern Ukraine have nothing in common with peaceful protests. A large number of Russian 'tourists' and the presence of temporarily inactive subversive groups of Russia's Federal Security Service or Main Intelligence Directorate were recorded there from the very beginning. We clearly see an external factor. They used the protests moods of local residents and engaged criminal elements. They aimed at destabilising the situation from the very beginning. As our latest opinion polls show, there's no wide support of separatists. The absolute majority of people in eastern and southern regions stand for united Ukraine,” he noted.
The expert underscored the subversive groups had appeared and weapons had been carried over the border not in the last few months, but during at least the last four years, since the beginning of Yanukovych's presidential term.
“Putin was preparing the special operation long ago. The fact that Yanukovych appointed Russian citizens as senior officials at the Ministry of Defence and the Security Service, as well as the fact that police and special service officers easily took the side of the 'little green men' in eastern regions in Crimea, demonstrates it,” he added.
Oleksiy Melnyk thinks the events in Crimea can be explained by lack of experience of the new authorities, who “entered the offices a week ago and were unable to take control of the situation at once”, but there are no excuses for the current situation.
“More than six weeks have passed. It's enough time to study the mistakes they made in Crimea and take effective steps to deescalate the current situation. So, firstly, we should declare clearly that we are in a state of war. We have a real enemy – the Russian Federation, which used non-standard military aggression against Ukraine. Secondly, if we agree with it, we should declare that we have our forces, in other words, the troops, the police and the special services acting in the interests of Ukraine, and those acting against them are enemies or accessories. I don't call to kill civilians. But people, who have taken arms, wear military uniform, decorate themselves with the symbols of the hostile state and raise its flag, they are enemies. Enemies must be treated as it is supposed during war. Unless the authorities demonstrate this decisiveness, our will to negotiations and attempts not to yield to provocations will be taken only as weakness and will provoke further violence and escalation of the situation.
As for particular measures, they should have closed the border with Russia long ago to the maximum extent possible. We also should form combat-ready units, but first of all, use special services that were trained to perform such operations. We need to take surgical strikes to neutralise the most active terrorists, and then block the areas so that they cannot enter or leave them,” the military expert said.