How Ukraine’s political and military leadership can protect the lives of soldiers – Ukrainian military journalist

13 April, 02:06 PM
Ukrainian military on the front line in Donetsk Oblast (Photo:REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach)

Ukrainian military on the front line in Donetsk Oblast (Photo:REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach)

Ukrainian military journalist Yuriy Butusov said in a Facebook post on April 12 that the brutal video of Russian soldiers torturing and beheading a Ukrainian soldier while he was still alive raises a number of questions for Ukraine’s military and political leadership to answer. 

Butosov wrote that he no longer feels any new emotions “toward the enemy, who openly says and shows everyday that Russia’s goal is the destruction of all Ukrainians, the ethnic and political cleansing of all living things through terror and mass murder – as Putin did in Chechnya in the early 2000s.”

Video of day

Butosov said that more than simply promising revenge, Ukraine’s government and military must answer several questions.

“What is being done to reduce the number of videos of fighters being captured by one-two-three people at some forgotten observation posts amid poorly organized defenses or in some hastily organized attacks, without proper intelligence and management?” he asked.

Other questions the journalist would like to see answered include:

  • On military organization, “There is a need to revise the order of organization and the use of troops. We need more drones in the army than soldiers, so that sensors of various types become standard equipment for infantry.”
  • On improving the training quality of soldiers, “What skills and how much time do soldiers get in training? Has an optimal program been approved?”
  • On analyzing Ukrainian losses and captures, “Are conclusions being drawn?”
  • On the effectiveness of military command, “What is being done to remove commanders who are unable to use personnel wisely? How effectively is the military in promoting effective combat leaders to command positions?”

He concluded that “the less we let ourselves be killed at the front, the more enemies we will kill at the front.

”Butusov said he was convinced that it is “not a matter of emotion, but a matter of organization that constantly needs attention.”

A video was posted on pro-war Russian Telegram channels on April 11 showing Russian troops executing a Ukrainian soldier, allegedly by decapitating him alive with a knife. Ukraine’s SBU security service has launched an investigation.

Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar asked not to reveal the soldier’s identity until official information is available.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on world leaders to respond to Russian atrocities.

World leaders, including UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borell, and Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić, admitted they were horrified by the video of yet another Russian atrocity and condemned the heinous crime.

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