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MP Kostenko believes that brigade commanders who did not build engineering barriers should be tried

He said that the military is responsible for the first line of defence, while local authorities are responsible for the second and third. 

MP Kostenko believes that brigade commanders who did not build engineering barriers should be tried
Roman Kostenko, MP, Secretary of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, Defence and Intelligence, ATO veteran
Photo: Max Trebukhov

Roman Kostenko, MP, secretary of the Defence Committee, and veteran, believes that brigade commanders who have not built engineering barriers should be put on trial.

In an interview with, the MP commented on the criticism of the lack of readiness of the defence borders. According to him, in the Kharkiv Region, "the borders are not blocked, they are crumbling".

"I never idealise the military leadership, and if a brigade has been standing somewhere for more than seven months and has not been able to build engineering barriers, then I think this commander should be put on trial. Because this is the direct task of the brigade and the military - to defend their area of responsibility, including building barriers. As an officer, I have always done this myself and taught my subordinates," he said.

Kostenko explained that the responsibility for the fortifications lies not only with the authorities. "The second and third lines of defence should really be built by local authorities - they hire the relevant companies. The first line depends on the military. 

"Of course, we all want the defence lines to be as drawn in books. The frontline often moves. But we still need to build a minimum of barriers and trenches where a soldier can hide. So there are problematic areas and good ones. But a lot depends on the local authorities and even more on the commanders when it comes to the contact line. Defence is a complex issue that needs to be addressed by both the military and civilians. Only then will it be sustainable," he said.

  • Criticism of the success of the fortifications began to be voiced after Russia's breakthrough in Kharkiv Region on 10 May. 
  • In April, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy inspected the construction of engineering structures in the area. 
  • After the Russian breakthrough, the head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration announced a report on the fortifications. 
  • The construction of engineering structures is accompanied by enemy shelling. In Kharkiv Region, four civilian construction workers were killed and 15 wounded. 
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