KIEV, October 19 (RIA Novosti) - The Monday rally of Ukraine's National Guard troops in Kiev was allegedly organized by a group of non-related civilians who are to go on trial for causing unrest, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said late on Saturday.
"Soldiers did not come there to demand that they be sent home. The peace was disturbed by civilian provocateurs who were sneaked into a military base and sparked off the unrest during the soldiers' meeting with their parents," Poroshenko told journalists during an interview with several TV channels.
"Both organizers and commanders who failed to uphold [the peace] have been brought to justice. We have traced down the provocateurs, who in fact had no relatives to visit [in that military base] at all," the president said.
On Monday, several hundreds of National Guard servicemen rallied outside the presidential administration building in downtown Kiev to demand that they be demobilized. Protesters claimed they had served with the army six months longer than the term stipulated by the country's enrollment act.
Speaking to reporters, the Ukrainian president stressed that provocations will not make him "demobilize and pull back the army during a military campaign."
Poroshenko later described the demonstration as a revolt in an attempt to discredit the Ukrainian Army, but soon signed a demobilization decree for those conscript soldiers who wanted to serve on contract.
In mid-April, Kiev announced a military campaign in eastern Ukraine to crack down on local anti-government protesters who were unhappy with the country's new authorities.