Terrorist uprisings and Russian aggression in Eastern parts of the country can be repeated in several other regions of Ukraine. For example, Kherson region has now a new border with Crimea occupied by Russian forces. It is crucial to protect this border to avoid “Donbass scenario”, as well as other strategic places. Local patriots resisted separatist movements in Kherson. And now it is time to help our army on the South border.
One of the military bases is situated in Chaplynka. Journalists had the opportunity to visit winter headquarters of the battalion. The regional council of defense took place in their premises. Winter headquarters are situated in a building that has not been in use for seven years. Andriy Putilov, head of regional State administration, explained that for now it is the best solution for soldiers.
Indeed, a short time ago soldiers were living in horrible conditions. Thanks to the intervention of local authorities, they have now access to more or less normal premises. The building is restored, heated. Soldiers receive nutritious food ratio that correspond to army norms. Volunteers are still helping the battalion. For example, they have brought 2 tons of canned food and sweets. The battalion even distributed rests to other military bases.
Almost every soldier who were sent to anti-terrorist operation zone can be considered as combatant and receive relevant status. Journalists went to see soldiers’ living conditions. Compared to their previous base, soldiers are very happy with their new location. Especially, when taking into account that Ukrainian army has been methodically destroyed during the last twenty years. After Crimea occupation and Russian aggression in Donbass regions, current Ministry of Defense started to conduct revisions of Ukrainian army. It came as a shocking surprise, that Crimean border has been left unprotected for 200 km.
However, when compared to European norms, current army premises are not satisfying. They are temporary and we hope the Ministry will work on constructing adequate buildings for battalions. There is also a problem with medical support to the battalion. Military ambulance was under attack during ATO combats and is now partly destroyed. Oleksandr Kruchko, head of regional military medicine department, is proud to present a new ambulance for the battalion, provided by volunteers. The medical team is composed of two doctors (therapist and surgeon) and one nurse. If needed, another surgeon and an anesthesiologist can join this team.
During the meeting of regional council of defense, several focal points were discussed by participants: defense of Kakhovka hydraulic station, medical trainings for soldiers, equipment of check-points, etc. For the first time, public activists and volunteers’ organizations were invited. Among them: Natalia Bimbiraite (Kherson regional charity and health fund), Larysa Tsigulska (“Circle of trust” NGO), Valentyna Krytsak (public organization “Dobro”).
Bribes on the border
It is no secret that corruption is rampant on Crimean border. Unofficial tax ranges from 100 to 200 000 UAH, depending on the car. Valentyna Krytsak suggested organizing a public control of border check-points as well as Internet streams of border control. It can be used as a tool in combating corruption. Head of border services and customs agreed with Valentyna. They will work together to organize an efficient system of control.