05:57 GMT +319 June 2019
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    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko delivers a speech during a ceremony marking the handing over of heavy military equipments to Ukrainian forces in northeastern town of Chuguev , Kharkiv region on August 22, 2015

    Kiev Army in Poor Condition Despite Gov't Spending ‘Cost of Two Mistrals’

    © AFP 2019 / SERGEY BOBOK
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    The military budget of Ukraine reached a record high in 2015, Ukrainian news portal Dialog reported President Petro Poroshenko as saying. The only question now is where that money has gone, as Ukraine’s military hardware is falling apart.

    Poroshenko said his country spent $2 billion to increase the military power of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, stating that the sum equals the cost of two French Mistral-class helicopter carriers.

    "It's the cost of two Mistrals," Poroshenko said speaking in Kharkov, adding that the government went above and beyond to make the army stronger.

    The President's words are close to being ridiculous, considering the poor condition and equipment of the Ukrainian army, especially its military hardware.

    Earlier this summer, it was reported that Ukraine had to repair most of its military hardware coming from factories in Kharkov within the first few weeks.

    In May, the Ukrainian Army received 59 new military trucks. Seventeen of them went out of service within the first week. Generators, gearboxes, front axles, breaks and engine cooling systems were all defective, said Yuri Biryukov, a senior adviser to President Poroshenko.

    Ukrainian T-64 tanks made in Kharkiv have serious manufacturing defects that decrease their ability to take a hit.
    © Sputnik / Sergey Averin
    Moreover, the Ukrainian army had huge problems with the supply of military hardware. Out of 226 KrAZ army trucks that the army was supposed to receive at the end of June, only 113 were delivered. That meant only 50 percent of the delivery plan was completed, Biryukov said.

    Two-thirds of all armored vehicles that the Ukrainian army received during 2014-2015 were out of service by June. The vehicles were broken not due to taking part in military action, but because of manufacturing defaults.

    After the fights in Debaltsevo, Latvian media said Ukrainian-made T-64 tanks had serious defects that significantly decreased their ability to take a hit. When Ukrainian tanks were hit, their top turrets tore away and hulls had abnormal damages, sometimes with welding seams breaking apart.

    It seems that Poroshenko is all talk and no action. Perhaps, it would have been wiser for Kiev to buy the two French Mistrals that Paris refused to sell to Moscow. At least then, the Ukrainian President would have backed up his own words. 

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    military hardware, Mistral, military spending, Ukrainian army, Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine
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