Statement from March 10, 2014
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
Today, on March 10, 2014 coordinators of Information Resistance had a meeting with Deputy Defense Minister Petro MEKHED. During the meeting IR coordinators were given the information regarding the views and plans of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine on the situation in Crimea.
In particular, as reported by Petro Mekhed, the leadership of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine is considering three options in the further development of the situation [in Crimea] and their consequent response by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
1. Peaceful negotiations. This option is supported most by Ukraine, the only question is whether the military and political leadership of Russia wants or intends to participate in peaceful dialogue.
2. Escalation of the conflict in Crimea as a result of actions by the [Russian] opponent. Under these circumstances, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be put on full combat alert, will begin deploying forces and military assets, and will block the directions of the enemy entry points to mainland Ukraine.
3. Armed aggression by the enemy, and [in particular] the attempt of Russian troops to enter mainland Ukraine. In these circumstances, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are ready to repel the aggressor, along with widely engaging international instruments and appealing for support primarily to the EU and NATO, as well as other partner countries, for international cooperation.
The current widespread departure of Ukrainian Armed Forces units from their places of permanent dislocation has been explained by Deputy Defence Minister Petro Mekhed as the desire of the military leadership to test the actual combat readiness of the Ukrainian army that has been practically destroyed for many years, as part of military exercises conducted nearby to unit deployment cites. This inquiry is necessary in order to fully understand the effectiveness of military capabilities possessed by Ukraine at the moment, which can be utilized in the above-mentioned scenarios.
According to Petro Mekhed, scenarios for a military operation in Crimea, which would predictably result in full military confrontation between Ukraine and Russia and lead to the loss of life, are currently not being considered.