Ukrainian MP defends General Marchenko against ‘jealous’ criticism from Defense Ministry

15 August, 04:31 PM
General Dmytro Marchenko (Photo:Dmytro Lykhoviy / armyinform.com.ua)

General Dmytro Marchenko (Photo:Dmytro Lykhoviy / armyinform.com.ua)

A Ukrainian MP has defended an army general who drew flack from the Defense Ministry for allegedly revealing Ukrainian military secrets in recent media interviews.

Kostenko said the reason for the criticism was “not about what the military should not talk about, but about the fact that there is a popular general among the people.”

“While reading Marchenko’s interview, I didn’t see anything so secret or at least for official use that could be talked about like that,” the MP said.

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Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said on Aug. 11 that law enforcement officers had launched a probe into a high-ranking Ukrainian military official who had disclosed in an interview information revealing the strategic plans of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Ukrainian news site Babel, citing sources in the law enforcement agencies, reported that the case concerned a recent interview with General Marchenko, who had previously led the defense of the port city of Mykolayiv and returned to the region in July to improve the cooperation of the civil administration with the military and work with guerrillas.

In a comment to journalist Taras Berezovets in early August, Marchenko said that the active phase of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine would end by the end of the year.

Speaking on Ukrainian national television on Aug. 9, Marchenko said the Russian invaders had lost any chance of capturing Mykolayiv back in March 2022.

Kostenko said Marchenko in his interviews had said the same thing that others had said before, but that there are “media people” in the President’s Office “who understand what the popularity of a particular person means,” and every day they get a list of who is currently the most read and quoted in the media – (a list) to which Marchenko has been added.

“We’re talking with him: he doesn’t want it (popularity),” Kostenko said.

“He was asked something, and he gave his point of view as a combat general. People see sincerity: when you don’t make something up, but just tell from yourself as it is, tell how it was.”

Kostenko said the general had shrugged off the criticism.

“But he’s OK about this: He said, ‘If you don’t want me to talk, I won’t talk. My job is to defend the country, I will defend it.’”

“(That’s) a normal approach of a normal general,” Kostenko said.

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