Ukrainian veterans fear accountability for killing Donbass civilians

07.03.2018, Kiev.

An activist from the Ukrainian Combatant Association said on March 6 that after a change of power in Ukraine, arrests of ATO (Anti-Terrorist Operation, Kiev junta’s name for the punitive operation in Donbass ― Rossa Primavera Information Agency) participants for killing civilians would follow.

 “Many ATO veterans already admit that for four years they have been fighting against civilians in the occupied territories; therefore, after a change of power in Ukraine, they will be seriously punished,” Oleg Bonchinsky said.

In his statement, Bonchinsky expressed regret that ATO servicemen can hardly adapt to civil life after they return from the contact line. According to Bonchinsky, this is due to indifference among Ukrainian officials and authorities who provide no support to servicemen returning from the front.

“ATO veterans are increasingly often refused jobs, or accepted only to companies that need physical labor,” Bonchinsky said. He stressed that servicemen feel useless in Ukraine after they return from combat operations.

 “Also, if another change of power happens in our country, we all will be brought to court for having taken arms and killed enemy soldiers, who were Donbass civilians de jure. It is quite likely that soon we will regret having gone to fight for our country,” Bonchinsky concluded.

According to the UN High Commission on Human Rights, the conflict in Ukraine left 34,766 victims in the period from April 14, 2014 to August 15, 2017. This includes both Ukrainian and Donbass civilians; among these, 10,225 people were killed and 24,541 wounded.

Source: Rossa Primavera news agency

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