"Remember the hysteria of the General Staff, the Security Service, hired bots, over the open letter of the Debaltseve bridgehead officers?
"Remember how the authorities and its yeah-sayers wer choking calling it a fake, and accused me and Censor.NET of distributing "fakes"? Remember how the SBU called it a "provocation by the FSB", and the General Staff "an attempt to destabilize the armed forces of Ukraine, saying that "unscrupulous media" are spreading it, and that in fact nobody wrote this letter?
"Today I met with the officer, who was among the authors of the letter, and who personally gave the original open letter to the presidential administration on behalf of other servicemen - Yevhen Bikrieniev, artillery reconnaissance group commander of the 25th separate mechanized infantry battalion. This "FSB provocateur" turned out to be a cultured intellectual, a true patriot, who voluntarily went to the front, leaving his business, and sacrificing a lot for the sake of service to the motherland. Yevhen sincerely cares about the army, and does not want any scandals, but prompt reforms in the army. Actual reforms, not Facebook ones.
"Those who slandered the authors of the open letter have indeed sinned by unreasonably offending honest people.
"Here is what Bikrieniev said:
"When we wrote this open letter to the president of Ukraine, we did not pass it to the media - it was agreed with everyone who was mentioned in the letter, and I, on behalf of my comrades, passed it on to the presidential administration and signed for it. We did not have time to get all the signatures physically - the units are scattered far from one another and we have not planned any publicity at all. We had hoped that the president would conduct an internal investigation regarding the facts we specified and would take measures. Instead, the signatories to the letter came under pressure to disavow the authorship. One of those who compiled the letter thought that without media attention the letter would disappear and no one would know about the problems in the army. And he passed it on to ICTV channel - it surfaced in the press two weeks after I passed the letter to the administration. I regret that this document was made public. But the facts are true. The letter is real, and I am ready to answer for my words, for what we have written together with comrades from the 25th, 40th and 54th battalions, and 128th brigade. Unfortunately, there was essentially no talk about what was written. We, the people who fought on the front line for many months, were not heard. But the army problems we specified are still not being addressed. And for that, we will once again have to pay with the lives of people at the front. It troubles me to this day. I do not want any hype or advertisement; deeds are what's important to me - I want to get across the real state of thins in the armed forces to the country's leadership, so we can start building a new army."
"By the way, Yevhen was recently decorated. By the order of Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak, Bikrieniev was awarded a badge "For Model Service."
"Judge for yourself who is right and who to believe, and how honestly and adequately the authorities treat the problems of the armed forces. War requires an honest attitude to things. If the powers that be begin to solve problems, rather than trying to shush them, the reforms in the army will begin. While even slightest criticism gets some dumb Soviet reaction and honest patriots are being offended by the power which these patriots are defending, order and responsibility in the army will not suffice.
"Left to right on the photo - Yevhen Bikrieniev, me, Yevhen's brother-in-arms, soldier of the 25th battalion Anatolii Adamovskyi - one of the Maidan heroes, who received a serious arm wound on Instytutska on Febr. 20, and immediately after recovery volunteered to join the army," Butusov wrote.