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 Authorities respond to Ukrainian soldiers’ address on Donbas blockade: servicemen sent to forefront, internal investigation underway, - journalist

The members of the 16th Mechanized Infantry Battalion of the 58th Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who requested President of Ukraine, Supreme Commander Petro Poroshenko to stop trade with the occupied territories faced consequences.

Censor.NET Chief Editor Yurii Butusov wrote on Facebook.

According to him, yesterday's appeal of the 16th Mechanized Infantry Battalion members to the Supreme Commander stirred a discord.

Read more: Members of Ukrainian Armed Forces' 58th Brigade support "DPR"/"LPR" blockade: "Each hryvnia transferred there is spent on terrorism"

"The generalship wants to show that it was an arbitrary action and misunderstanding: counterintelligence conducted interviews, inspectors arrived and launched internal investigation," Butusov wrote.

According to him, 16th Mechanized Infantry Battalion Commander Oleh Hromadskyi has not been suspended or dismissed but took a sick leave.

"Today all soldiers who supported the blockade received orders to pack up and were sent from their base to the forefront. However, the fighters do not consider it a punishment, but on the contrary, they are very satisfied of being sent to the combat zone. No problem with that.

Watch more: Blockade in Donbas: titushky arrive in Bakhmut under police protection, - MP Parasiuk. VIDEO

"The investigators believe that the soldiers have not violated discipline because the appeal was allegedly filmed as they were on leave. Well if the Army gives its soldiers so much credence to let them go on leave being armed with mortars and grenade launchers, we will also take this for granted. Of course, spending a vacation at the maneuver ground during combat shakedown is somewhat surprising, but it's okay if they say so...

"The only soldier whom they left at the military base was machine gunner Mykola Voroshnov, the one who read out the address and who they are 'working with now'. However, they behave quite correctly - Mykola is in a good mood and seems to have no serious problems. It is definitely useless to put pressure on the veteran, firstly because Voroshnov is a motivated volunteer whom the commanders think well of. Mykola is an outstanding person, an athlete, a hockey player, an active participant in the Revolution of Dignity. He worked as a sports coach in Canada when the war sparked but returned to defend his homeland. He would not be upset if they send him in the trenches as he himself seeks to get there in his strive to join his comrades-in-arms as soon as possible," he wrote.

See more: Unknowns cut rails of Luhansk-Popasna line blocked by ATO veterans, - MP Parasiuk. PHOTOS

Butusov added that the majority of the battalion servicemen and members of many other frontline military units support trade embargo with the territories occupied by the Russian Federation.

On Jan. 25, anti-terrorist operation (ATO) veterans blocked the Luhansk-Popasna haul, launching a trade blockade of the occupied Donbas areas. The movement of 12 trains with a total of 700 cars has been barred.

Later, Deputy Minister for the Occupied Territories and IDPs Heorhii Tuka said the decision to launch trade blockade was extra-legal. Minister for the temporarily occupied territories and IDPs Vadym Chernysh spoke against possible ban on commodities delivery across the contact line in the Donbas: "We need to be able to deliver coal, otherwise we will face problems throughout the country."

On Feb. 2, participants of the trade blockade barred another railroad track near Bakhmut.

Read more: Blocking of trains in Luhansk region jeopardizes Ukraine's energy security, - governor
 
 
 
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