More than 16,000 former servicemen and civilian personnel of the Ukrainian armed forces have been employed in the military service and given civilian jobs in the Russian armed forces, First Deputy Defense Minister Arkady Bakhin said at an intercom conference held at the situation center of the Defense Ministry on Tuesday.
“The Russian citizenship was given to 9,268 former servicemen and personnel of the Ukrainian armed forces who were employed in the military service in the Russian armed forces on a contract basis,” Bakhin said.” All of them have already received Russian passports,” he added, TASS reports.
In accordance with the instructions issued by the Russian defense minister of April 3, 2014, drills have been organized for newly employed officers who are trained on programs of upgraded professional education at educational establishments of the Russian defense ministry. Besides, a total of 7,050 former civilian personnel of the Ukrainian armed forces have been employed at the units of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Bakhin said.
The training of the former Ukrainian officers at the educational establishments of the Russian Defense Ministry will begin on May 13. All former Ukrainian officers employed in the Russian army will undergo a course of upgraded training in their military specialties at practically all the educational establishments of the Russian defense ministry, Bakhin said. The course of training has been scheduled for a whole year, he added.
Drills to upgrade the qualification of the former Ukrainian servicemen have begun at the base the Nakhimov High Naval School in Sevastopol. The main goal of the drills is to ensure adaptation of the former Ukrainian servicemen to the military service in the Russian armed forces and teach them operational, combat, technical and mobilization skills used in the Russian armed forces, Bakhin said.
Meanwhile Russia’s Defense Ministry has suspended handover of armaments and military hardware to Ukraine from Crimea to prevent the munitions and equipment from being used against civilians in the east and south-east of the country, Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said.
“I would like to recall that Russia complies with its international liabilities and under the Paris Charter, the Helsinki Act and UN and OSCE resolutions it has pledged to avoid supplying or display restraint regarding arms supplies to hot spots,” he said.
Antonov explained that the term “hot spot” was very appropriate to describe the current situation in Ukraine’s east and southeast.
So far Russia has returned to Ukraine 389 pieces of military equipment, including eight helicopters and three naval vessels, Antonov said.