Poltorak names greatest strategic mistake of Def. Ministry, Gen. Staff

12:20, 23 June 2016
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Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said that the greatest strategic mistake in regard to the Ukrainian army had been made before 2014.

"The biggest strategic mistake was made before 2014, when everything was done for the army to be not combat-ready and significantly limited in the ability to perform combat missions. The army was not sufficiently prepared for what could happen," he said in an interview with the Novoe Vremya weekly.

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According to Poltorak, a number of new units and formations have been created over two years in Ukraine, but there were also some mistakes in this activity.

"Even here, of course, there are mistakes. Because we have had no experience in conducting major operations, combat missions, setting up such a number of large units with limited funding. Yes, there were mistakes in our decisions," he said.

The Defense Ministry is often blamed for the fact that "we are changing slowly," Poltorak said.

Read alsoNATO steps up support for Ukraine with Comprehensive Package of AssistanceBut, he said that no country was reforming the armed forces simultaneously with the ongoing hostilities.

"The reform in Poland and the Baltic States took place in ideal conditions, when there were opportunities to experiment. We have no such opportunity. We are doing our best, and I want the public to know about it," Poltorak said.

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