A Ukrainian commander has been demoted following an interview with the Washington Post in which he complained about the Ukrainian army’s alleged lack of weapons and the poor training of mobilized troops who have replaced experienced soldiers.

Anatoliy Kozel, call-sign Kupol and battalion commander of the 46th Separate Airmobile Brigade, has quit his post after being transferred from the position of combat battalion commander to the rank of deputy battalion commander of the training center.

Kupol confirmed that he had been demoted on Thursday. In a comment to the Hromadske media, he said that the Commander of the Air Assault Forces, Major General Maksym Myrhorodsky, explained his demotion by saying that if he was talking with journalists about the poor training of the military, “I will let you train them yourself.”

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“Mr. Myrhorodsky called me for a conversation, saying, ‘well, if you’re so smart, giving interviews, then you’ll be demoted to the training center,’” the serviceman told Suspilne TV.

In response to this move, Kupol wrote a letter of resignation. “My next step is to resign because I don't want to serve with such commanders,” Kupol said. “It's a ‘dead end.’

“Let's see if I could be allowed to serve in other units. If not, it will show what kind of ‘democratic’ state we have.”

Valentyn Shevchenko, a spokesperson for the Air Assault Forces, said in a comment to Ukrainska Pravda that the internal review was conducted  because “an officer of the Air Assault Forces had disseminated false information in an interview.”

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“It was established that the serviceman violated several guidelines on public communication and the disclosure of information constituting a state secret,” he said.

“Following the standards of NATO armies, which have been implemented in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, permission for a serviceman to communicate with the media must be granted by his Commander, which was not done.”

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The Air Assault Forces stressed that 100 percent of the Air Assault Forces service members called up for mobilization had undergone training before their assignment to combat units. The training occurs abroad and in the Air Assault Forces training centers.

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