Kiev/Prague - "If the pro-Russian separatists capture a Czech citizen fighting in the units of the Ukrainian volunteers, he will be questioned and then killed, because they consider every foreigner on the Ukrainian side a mercenary," major general and ex-pilot Volodymyr Ruban, whose contemporaneous mission is to liberate the Ukrainian soldiers captured by the separatists, said in an interview for the daily Aktuálně.cz.
On the other side, the Ukrainian army would consider such a man a war prisoner, he added. He personally has not yet found any Czech citizen under the captives, but met some Serbs, Dagestanians, Chechenias, Georgians and also one Swede.
He admitted that the separatists as well as the Ukrainian army have tortured the prisoners. "I have no information that the Ukrainian army has killed a prisoner, but the separatist did so," he stressed, saying that he doesn’t want to publish the number of killed prisoners he knows about.
The separatist hate the oligarchs, Ruban said. There are ex-army officers and Afghan war veterans among them, and their leader, Igor Bezler, is a colonel and ex-member of an airborne unit with Ukrainian and German ancestors believing the Ukraine has no right to exist as an independent country but should be transformed in a small guberniya within the big Russian imperium.
Ruban considers Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatsenyuk a weak who should leave politics as soon as possible. Highly critical is Ruban also to the NATO that has, in his opinion, betrayed Ukraine. "My country is occupied and left to its own devices," he stressed. Ukraine has destroyed its nuclear weapons because the country believed that Western Europe and the US will guarantee its security and territorial integrity.
Ruban goes as far as to say that Ukraine still have some land-based missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons and could restart its nuclear programme. "We haven’t forgotten our nuclear know-how and we could easily renewed our nuclear status," he maintained.
He suggested that one year ago it was him who has warned Kiev leaders against civil war and desintegration of the country, but nobody wanted to hear him.
The general accused Yatsenyuk of decimating willingly the structure of the Ukrainian army and the ranks of experts devoted to the defence of the country. "Everybody was interested only in stealing away the Ukrainian wealth and hasn’t paid attention to our warnings," he said.