Updated at 22:10,27-11-2020

Ukraine's Turchinov 'throws Lukashenka under the bus' to Putin


Ukraine's Turchinov 'throws Lukashenka under the bus' to Putin
Ukraine's National Security Council Head Olexandr Turchinov and Belarus President Aliaksandr Lukashenka in 2014. Photo: UNIAN
Ukraine's Head of National Security and Defense Council Oleksandr Turchinov in an interview with gordonua.com recalls the developments in the winter-spring 2014 after new people came to power in Kyiv after the Maidan revolution. He was then acting as the country's president. According to Mr Turchinov, in late March 2014 after the annexation of Crimea when Russain invasion into Ukraine seemed imminent, Ukraine lacked resilient troops. The army was demoralized and almost destroyed.

"We can sort of crack jokes about it now but back then it was not at all funny," says Oleksandr Turchinov. Mobilization was just about to begin. I had ordered all more or less combat-ready units to deploy in the north and east of the country and dug in for defense. Well, there were not enough troops to secure the most dangerous areas where Russians could advance. There were no reserves available. I went to Belarus to meet President Lukashenka in order to secure the northen route. He promised that Russians would not advance from his territory. But when we were saying good bye, he said: "At least, I will warn you 24 hours before…". That was at least something to be grateful, you know."

The war in Ukraine eventually did not spread across the whole country and was somewhat contained in Donbass where the self-proclaimed DNR and LNR republics have carried on since then.