General Staff officer suspended after using weapon in Kyiv residential area, says defense minister

12 June, 12:00 PM
Oleksii Reznikov (Photo:Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)

Oleksii Reznikov (Photo:Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)

An officer from Ukraine's General Staff is facing disciplinary action and possible criminal prosecution after firing a weapon in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv in the evening of June 10, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in a Facebook post on June 11.

According to earlier reports and videos published in Ukrainian media, the officer, a colonel, who appeared to have been intoxicated, was detained by police after discharging a firearm in the courtyard of a residential block in Kyiv. Reports said there were children in the courtyard at the time of the incident.

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"Our soldiers are holding back enemy hordes, laying down their lives so that children in peaceful cities stay as safe as possible during the war with Russia," Reznikov said in his post, giving no further details of the incident.

"When a person in a military position, of rank and dressed in a military uniform, uses his weapon in the capital's residential area, there will be a reaction. If there were expectations of impunity, this is a mistake."

The defense minister said he had ordered an official investigation into the incident. A special commission will be headed by the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Yevhen Moisiuk.

The officer has been suspended pending an investigation.

"If it is confirmed, in accordance with the established procedure, that there was a threat of serious consequences as a result of the official's actions, namely a risk to the life and health of a child, everything will be done to ensure there is proper punishment," Reznikov said.

The defense minister added that he would announce the results of the investigation upon its completion.

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