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Samopomich: Only free people are the true defenders of their motherland

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has vetoed the law providing for entitlement of mobilized military to enter short-term contracts during the special period, and to resign from the army, renew or terminate the contract at the end of the term of the contract.

Thus, the Ukrainian military have been deprived of the possibility to make their own decisions on renewal of contracts. “Samopomich” calls this decision unfair and humiliating for the military.

“By merely specifying the terms of service for the military we could have restored justice and removed social tensions,” said a co-author of the vetoed law (which was voted by the Parliament back on July 12, 2016), Taras Pastukh.

“It was critical for the President not to veto the law so that we could let the defenders of Ukraine who really deserve it go home at least for the Christmas holidays,” he stressed. “Because of the imperfection of the legislation we have some categories of military personnel who have been actually fighting for years waiting for the “special period” to end.

First of all, this applies to the guys who volunteered at the beginning of the ATO – they could have been able to – but now CANNOT – renew contracts for 6 or 12 months. The second category are those who had signed their contracts before the ATO – in 2011, 2012 or 2013. These are the people who did not expect under what circumstances they would have to serve. In connection with the beginning of the “special period” such contracts were automatically prolonged for an indefinite period.

“We tried to legally limit this period to 12 months. Families would be able to see those who have served for 5 years,” said the MP.

Pastukh calls the statements of the General Staff – that because of this law a large number of military will immediately drop their weapons, and we will be left defenseless – a speculation.

“First of all, we are talking about just around 20,000 soldiers (another 2-3 thousand from the contract army).

Secondly, many of these people have become professional soldiers, besides their social protection has improved significantly (the average salary of a military man is now about 10,000). These people see their future in the Armed Forces, they will not rush to break contracts tomorrow,” said Taras Pastukh.

“But we cannot take no care of those who would like to return to civilian life but have got trapped and now have no right to do so. In our opinion, this is unfair. Since only free people with the sense of dignity are the best defenders of their motherland,” said the MP.

It is also important to note that the regulation on the extension of the contracts until the end of the “special period” was introduced in the Parliament by the Government of Azarov, the corresponding law was passed in September 2013 and it came into force on April 1, 2014.

“Therefore, these facts alone lead to the conclusion this law cannot apply to the today’s military who had signed their contracts before this regulation was adopted, and their retention in the Armed Forces is illegal. In the event of injury, disability or death of such a serviceman it won’t be the General Staff that will bear criminal responsibility, but the commanders of the brigades through whom these contracts are illegally prolonged,” warns Taras Pastukh.

Taras Pastuh
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