The battalion commander of the 28th Brigade, Volodymyr Pushkar, accused of aiding terrorists, smuggling and receiving from them more than a million UAH. He was arrested at the end of September, after loud accusations from military prosecutor Anatoly Matios live telecast. Then, to protect the battalion commander went Odesa activists, volunteers and soldiers of the 28th Brigade, a statement that the case was fabricated, and the evidence against Volodymyr Pushkar simply does not exist. Odesa Court dismissed the battalion commander. But the case was resumed, referred to the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv. There battalion commander was taken into custody for two months.
According to Anatoly Matios, Volodymyr Pushkar was detained while receiving the money, though watching him for two months. Also, the military prosecutor issued a recording of phone conversation with the alleged accomplice of the battalion commander. At the same time Volodymtr Pushkar denies his guilt and does not agree with accusations:
– I was on the front nine months without interruption. We fought, we were not up to the smuggling. During this time I saw my family four or five times. We in the Army are not engaged in passing and control of trucks. In the area of ATO this is the work of the guards and the SSU. Our positions are away from the track, where passing trucks.
The soldiers of the 28th Brigade also support battalion commander. So, for example, demobilized fighter Vasyl Dudko believes that the battalion commander want to substitute those, who are actually engaged in smuggling. The fighter is ready to be a witness in the case. Volunteers also actively support Volodymyr Pushkar.
We talked to one of the demobilized soldiers of the 28th Brigade, who spent a year at the forefront in the area of Mariinka, in the same place where was the battalion commander Volodymyr Pushkar. His name we do not disclose. He expressed his opinion. According to the fighter, the 1st Battalion of 28th Brigade, commanded by Volodymyr Pushkar, was stationed in a place where there are two roads: to Donetsk and Mariupol. From the very beginning, and we are talking about September 2014, behind the strong points of the team were placed border guards on the slopes.
– If Donetsk road near Marinka we tried to control – block traffic, when we needed to, could watch the traffic. As for road Donetsk-Mariupol, we did not touch it completely; it lay past our landing, which was mined. Behind us – border guards and “Kyiv-2″. The track was mined from two sides, but the admission we do not do. The inspection was carried out by border guards – shared the fighter.
Also, the fighter noted that at the time of taking office, which is the end of June 2015 year, the 28th Brigade has ceased to control the number of support points, went to other parts of the MAT.
– When he took office, the 1st Battalion came out of Mariinka, our unit went to Donetsk route along Mariinka. But the road itself to Mariupol, where was stationed the 28th Brigade, was not controlled by our strong point. Minefields were along this line, it is impossible to overtake. On the road you can drive, but on this track were guards.
A soldier explains that smuggling could not even theoretically romp without guards. For example, the captain “Rubin”, who was killed in the summer (his death caused a great resonance in the society) did not let border guards to control the territory of the 28th Brigade. Before being appointed, battalion commander Volodymyr Pushkar was at the observation post at the entrance of Mariinka, no contraband was there that he could not deal with it.
In addition, the 28th fighter stressed that the detention after the withdrawal of troops from the zone of ATO looks strange in Pushkar’s case: why, if the military prosecutor became aware of the crime, the battalion commander was not arrested before. There is also a discrepancy in the notice of the place of detention – first announced that Pushkar was detained in Donetsk region, and then – at the site of Shyroky Lan and found the money in the tent. But the fact that the tent is entrance, no one would keep such amount there.
– Pushkar accepted a position at a difficult time: this time in the battalion got into car crash the commander of 3rd company, enters the intensive care unit, was killed the commander of the 2nd company “Rubin”. There remains only one company commander. In my opinion, he is not guilty, – said the fighter.
Pushkar would not have time to establish a channel of smuggling – the first month, he took command, and a month later was preparing to withdraw troops from the front. To establish the smuggling is not easy, it takes time. And in the action are still largely Soviet standards, make the command instead of war, think of how close the “holes” in the accounts with burnt in combat uniforms or write off the mines, which mined the area. Therefore, despite the fact that the smuggling in the area of ATO ply, it is doubtful that Volodymyr Pushkar – is really a guilty man.