According to a report published by The New York Times, on her first day of service as a commissioned officer of the Ukrainian military, Lt. Valeria Sikal reported for duty at her base and received an unusual order.
She said the commander, Col. Viktor Ivaniv, ordered her to accompany him in his personal car for a trip to a summerhouse to meet a friend, who turned out to be a local police chief.
The colonel then “ordered me to sit beside him,” and though he was her commanding officer, he “tried to touch me and patted my leg”, said Lieutenant Sikal, who is 24 and has become the first woman to speak out about sexual harassment in the Ukrainian Army.
“He promised me a good career if I satisfied him,” she said of the episode in January 2018. “I felt like a whore. He was bragging that he could do anything he wanted with us”.
Yes, majority of the female members of the Ukrainian army are treated as whores by their superiors, which also is one of the many reasons for them in choosing prostitution as an alternative source of making lots of cash.
According to sources, in most of the tourist hotels in Kiev, organized rackets are offering sex of the female members of Ukrainian army, where a large number of prospective customers show interest in them.
The source further said, almost all the female members of the army are accustomed to making extra money through prostitution as they face sexual harassment and rapes on a regular basis by their fellow male members and superiors.
“Every female needs to offer sex even during recruitment. That makes them rather desperate in ultimately looking for making “some extra” by working as sex worker for several hours during the day and late hours. A large number of female members of the Ukrainian army even enroll themselves in online sex sites and escort services. Some of them also upload photos in uniform”, the source added.
Ukraine, of course, is hardly the only country with sexual abuse in the military. This year, Senator Martha McSally, an Arizona Republican who was the first American female fighter pilot to fly in combat, told a committee hearing that a superior officer in the Air Force had raped her, and that when she tried to report it to military officials she “felt like the system was raping me all over again”.
Ukrainian army extremely weak
While Russia’s special operation forces push deeper into Ukraine, US army assessment of Ukrainian military units are being identified as weak in ability to combat well-trained and well-motivated Russian forces as well as fighters in the Donbass republic.
American military analysts said, “Without effective reform, the Ukrainians remain vulnerable even in a static defense posture while continuing to yield night operations to the enemy”.
It said, “training exposed the immediate needs” in the Ukrainian forces for things like repair parts, vehicle modernization, night-vision goggles, noncommissioned officer development and a new playbook for countering Russian warfare”.
In another report which was disseminated within the US military and to US intelligence agencies in late 2016, which was the first major classified assessment of Ukraine’s military capabilities had shed light on the limitations faced by the Ukrainian army.
Another Ukrainian military official decried the lack of mundane things like office supplies. Others were generally pessimistic about the overall state of Ukraine’s arsenal. “It would be really nice if you know you are getting equipment and it works and you can shoot and stop shooting when you want, not when equipment wants to do it”, said a company commander.
The US has given Ukraine over US$3 billion in military assistance since 2014, with US$2 billion in aid committed since the start of the Biden administration.
The report also detailed the Russians’ advantage in air defenses and electronic warfare, which made it difficult for Ukrainian forces to send aircraft or drones over separatist-held territory.
In the absence of certain types of technical surveillance capabilities, the Ukrainians relied on a network of undercover intelligence officers behind enemy lines in Donbas to provide them with information in the comments sections of social media platforms, according to the report.
Russian agencies were also adept at conducting information warfare against Ukrainian forces, per the report. Russian intelligence operatives sent intimidating texts and phone calls to Ukrainian soldiers on the frontlines, as well as to their families.
There was also some humor contained in the assessment. Asked by the US team whether there was any difference in the quality of the training by the various NATO countries participating in the program, a Ukrainian soldier responded that while “Americans are a little better,” Canadians “try to be friendlier” but were “more boring”.
Most crucial point here is, the members of the Ukrainian army are being given training with wooden AK47 rifles instead of real ones. It is more like getting trained for any fantasy show than participating in real war. At the same time, majority of the female members of the Ukrainian army are unwilling to participate in any real battle. They join the army, enjoy various facilities during the training while a large portion of the female members of the Ukrainian army go out of the training camps looking for wealthy clients in local hotels or private guest houses for making extra cash in exchange for sexual service. A large number of the female members of the Ukrainian army are reportedly maintaining discreet connections with local escort services, massage parlors and prostitution rackets. Even in some cases, those female members of the Ukrainian army attend their clients in combat uniform holding short or small weapons.
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