25 Feb 2019 17:36

Ex-Ukrainian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Zamana detained on treason charges

KYIV. Feb 25 (Interfax) - Ukrainian law enforcement agencies have notified Volodymyr Zamana, former chief of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, of his being suspected of treason.

"The investigation [...] culminated in declaring former Chief of the General Staff [...] Zamana suspected of committing a crime defined as treason under [Ukrainian Criminal Code] Article 111, Part 1," Ukrainian Chief Military Prosecutor Anatoliy Matios said at a news briefing at the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office on Monday.

Zamana's unlawful directives in 2013 led to the discharge of nearly 17,000 people, including over 14,000 military personnel, and the dissolution of over 70 military units and garrisons, primarily operational ones, as well as training centers and territorial staffing centers, Matios said.

In providing several details of the charges brought against Zamana, Matios said that, under directives personally signed by Zamana, in 2012 the Ukrainian Armed Forces were to be cut by 4,646 people more than was stipulated by the law on the strength of the armed forces.

Zamana also ordered dissolving air defense missile battalions armed with S-300V air defense systems and 19 Air Force units and entities and transforming the 114th Tactical Aviation Brigade into a squadron, Matios said.

In addition, on July 27, 2012, Zamana signed a directive subordinating Air Force units to the Navy's command; as a result, units of the Crimea tactical group and military units subordinated to it, including the 204th Tactical Aviation Brigade, were resubordinated to the Navy as of September 2012.

This "provided a significant advantage to the Russian Black Sea Fleet in controlling and blockading Ukrainian Armed Forces units stationed in Crimea in the case of a clandestine hybrid war or open aggression against Ukraine aimed at annexing Crimean territory," he said.

In September 2012, Zamana authorized an act for altering the technical condition of military hardware, under which 588 items of hardware, mainly air defense missile systems, were subject to dismantling, he said.

A number of directives signed by Zamana personally together with the Ukrainian Defense Ministry unlawfully limited the strength of the Ukrainian Armed Forces by 168,201 people as of December 31, 2013, Matios said.

Additionally, the 6th Army Corps and the 13th Army Corps were transformed into the South operational command directorate, he said.

Effectively assuming duties as defense minister, Zamana issued a directive to his subordinates to continue the dissolution of the Air Command of the Ukrainian Air Force, which caused damage to the Ukrainian armed forces' combat preparedness, Matios said.

A motion on ordering a pretrial restrictive measure for Zamana has already been submitted to a Kyiv court, he said.

"A motion on ordering a restrictive measure has been filed with the Pechersky District Court [in Kyiv]," Matios said. "The motion's hearing will begin today," he said.

The charges brought against Zamana stipulate pretrial arrest and do not provide for any alternatives, he said.

Zamana had earlier served as commander of the Ukrainian Navy and chief of General Staff (from February 18, 2012 to February 19, 2014). On the day of his discharge as chief of staff, then Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych appointed him deputy secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council.

On February 22, 2014, the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada appointed Zamana commissioner in charge of control of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. He served in this capacity until June 2014.