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General Staff colonel backtracks on "reintegration" remarks

General Staff colonel backtracks on "reintegration" remarks
Photo: Ukrinform

The General Staff of Ukraine will conduct an official investigation into remarks made by the head of the Civil Military Cooperation Directorate of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Col Oleksiy Nozdrachov, who said at a Kyiv forum that Ukrainian troops were ready to "reintegrate" with Donbas militants and Russian military, while "right-wing radicals" were an obstacle.

"Subjective assessments, including political ones, made by Col Oleksiy Nozdrachov during a roundtable at the Ukrinform national news agency on 12 January are not in line with the position of the General Staff and the Armed Forces of Ukraine," the Armed Forces press centre said.

It added that Nozdrachov "was not authorised to make any statements that would go beyond his formal functions and competences of his unit".

"An official investigation into this fact has been initiated by the chief of the General Staff, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine," the press office said, adding that they will follow up on its results.

Nozdrachov later apologised for his statement in a video address posted on Facebook.

"I made a big mistake - I was politically incorrect, speaking about veterans and military personnel performing various tasks in our fight against Russian aggression. I realise that my statements were ill-conceived, so ask you to forgive me for this mistake," he said, adding he was ready to be reprimanded.

Nozdrachov reiterated that "he did not express the opinion of the leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine".

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