A hundred percent of the combat and patrol units of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry will be involved in the operation in eastern Ukraine, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has said.
"I have decided that a hundred percent of combat and patrol units of the Interior Ministry will take part in the antiterrorism operation. This is not only a necessity but also a test of their proficiency, spirit and patriotism. The tempering of units with real threats and challenges is a factor of the creation of a new police force which will be trusted by the public," he wrote on Facebook on Monday.
The minister also said he had asked Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to bestow state awards upon Interior Ministry officers and soldiers who died or sustained injuries in the course of the operation.
Avakov reported that 21 officers of the Chernihiv special-purpose patrol battalion comprising volunteers refused to go on a patrol mission in Luhansk region. "The battalion was assigned a patrolling mission in Luhansk region the day before yesterday. Eighty-six men departed to the designated sector to do a man's job and to accomplish a combat mission in the regime of antiterrorism patrols. Twenty-one persons refused to go and submitted their resignations... They were dismissed immediately," the minister said.
He stated the availability of necessary equipment (helmets, regular bullet-proof vests and weapons) and said "the battalion servicemen would be provided with heavy bullet-proof vests of class 5-6 in the case they were assigned to combat positions."
"Consistent with my order, Interior Ministry servicemen deployed in the antiterrorism operation zone are not assigned on missions without being equipped with individual protection means (helmets and bullet-proof vests)," Avakov said.