Based on the results of the preliminary investigation, the State Bureau of Investigation of Ukraine (DBR) has established the reasons and conditions that contributed to the collapse of the Armed Forces and the annexation of the Crimean peninsula. This was stated by the DBR’s press service.
It is reported that criminal actions to undermine the combat effectiveness of the Ukrainian army began in 2012 and lasted until Russia's invasion of Crimea in February 2014.
"The state's senior officials of that period - President Viktor Yanukovych, as well as the Ministers of Defense of Ukraine Dmytro Salamatin and Pavlo Lebedev are suspected of state treason,” the statement said.
Investigators have identified five main elements of the crime that eventually led to the annexation of the Crimean peninsula:
1. Unlawful reduction of the Armed Forces
Despite the return to non-aligned status, which required the army's build-up, the maximum number of the Armed Forces serviceman was reduced from 240,000 to 162,000 during 2012-2013.
2. Undermining the state of mobilization readiness
In 2013, half of the staff of military enlistment offices was reduced. As a result, military units were staffed by only 25-55%. In addition, the "literal" addition of mobilization resources to military units was curtailed and the registration of military equipment was diminished.
3. Destruction of Crimea's air defense systems
Control of the air defense system in the Crimea was transferred to the command of the Ukrainian Navy on the peninsula, which later moved to the enemy side. In addition, one of the two brigades of S-300V SAMs was reduced and the modernization programs of S-125 and S-200V SAMs were stopped.
4. Illegal organizational changes and leveling of strategic defense documents
The large-scale organizational changes carried out by the Armed Forces in 2013, which contradicted the legislation and were not included in the country's strategic defense documents, prevented the Armed Forces from implementing one of the scenarios.
5. Failure to take measures in order to respond to external threats
Despite numerous intelligence reports that clearly indicated the preparation of an offensive operation by the Russian Federation in late 2013-early 2014, no measures were taken to bring the Armed Forces to higher levels of combat readiness, to organize the territorial defense, and conduct large-scale military exercises in Crimea.
As we reported earlier, on May 4, ex-President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych was arrested in absentia for two months.