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In late March, a high-ranking Ukrainian army general was found guilty of negligence that led to the deaths of 49 soldiers.

An unprecedented decision in the country’s history, it has divided the society into those who welcome it as the end of the generals’ impunity and those who think it is a dangerous precedent that will weaken the army.

On March 27, the Pavlograd district court found General Viktor Nazarov guilty of the death of 49 Ukrainian servicemen who were in a plane downed by Kremlin-backed separatists in the sky over Luhansk on June 14, 2014, during the first three months of Russia’s war. Nazarov sent the plane into Luhansk despite intelligence warnings against it. He was sentenced to seven years in prison.

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Kelley Kunnanz

As someone with a military intelligence background, I can tell you first hand of the importance for a general to consider such knowledge prudently. True, risks must be taken. However, in this case, they should have flown them in after suppression of the area by attack planes and bombers. And equipped with proper countermeasures.

Evelyn Livingston

Being held responsible for his actions can only strengthen the army.

Stephan Khinoy

The general risked 50 men in trying to save Luhansk. War involves risks. If his judgment was bad, he should be stripped of his rank, not found guilty of a crime.
Otherwise, how could any commander issue any order --if he would be a criminal if he failed?

"Nevertheless, the general neglected the intelligence warnings and did not take measures on eliminating or effective suppressing the enemy’s anti-air defense, as required by Ukraine’s military manuals. For ensuring air supplies protection against hostile anti-air man-portable missiles, Ukrainian military doctrines recommend gaining full control over an area with the radius of at least 5-10 kilometers."

"So three non-combat planes carrying paratroopers were ordered to go unprotected through the combat area under hostile control. Moreover, the pilots were not warned of the possible threat and were not given the infrared countermeasure devices that could help confuse the attackers and save the plane."

"A group of Ukraine’s top military aviation and legal inquiry experts univocally confirmed the general’s guilt."

If a commander makes all effort to mitigate the circumstances on a particular mission using all the best intel the order given would be lawful and reasonable. However the items above from the article show that this General did not hence he was negligent. There needs to be a military set of regulations and a courts martial system in place to deal with military persons instead of civilian court.
Further the article doesn't state what the Generals branch of service, was he an Army general or an Air Force general? If he was Air Force he would be a pilot and would be fully aware of the extreme danger a MANPAD poses to IL-76 on the approach phase of flight.

When this happened 3 years ago I immediately thought that this was a poorly thought out operation and a needless loss of personnel and equipment.
Anytime you are flying transport aircraft into a hot zone the aircraft need missile detection and evasion systems and as the article states you need to have control of the surrounding area. An IL-76M is a low slow target when it makes its approach unless you are doing a tactical approach and even then it is a big target. The fact that there was intel that MANPADs were in the hands of separatists in the area means the mission should have been scrubbed.
The Ukrainian military like 90% of the worlds militaries need to have a separate set of regulations and a judiciary to enforce them. If Poroshenko thinks that a separate military judiciary would arrive at a separate conclusion then he is even more clueless than what I am beginning to think. The Soviet/Russian mentality of war fighting needs to be broken. All officers Lt. Colonel and below need to be sent to NATO courses same with senior NCO's. Soldiers fight for their country and they believe that those lawfully appointed above them are doing the very best they can to make sure the mission is successful,it is a team effort from bottom to top and back down again. In western militaries Generals are at the front it is not alien to them.

it is painful to change and improve. Mistakes will occur, but the nation needs to learn from them and realize improvement will occur. it is good to hold commanders responsible for their decisions but the heat of the moment in battle must also be understood.

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