15:42 30.01.2015

Aidar soldiers to continue protest in Kyiv on Monday

2 min read
Aidar soldiers to continue protest in Kyiv on Monday

Soldiers of the Aidar separate assault battalion will continue their protest on Monday, February 2, and it will be even more extensive, Radical Party MP, founder and first commander of the Aidar battalion Serhiy Melnychuk said.

"We will now call it a day and our action will continue on Monday. We will be better prepared; there will be thousands of us. Let the authorities know," Melnychuk told the protesters near the Ukrainian Defense Ministry's building on Povitroflotsky Avenue in Kyiv on Friday.

"We will fully block the Defense Ministry, go to the Prosecutor General's Office and meet with the Main Military Prosecutor or even block the president himself as need be so that they finally hear us," he said.

According to Melnychuk, the action will start on Monday, noon, for which "people will come from the regions."

Aidar servicemen unblocked Povitroflotsky Avenue before Melnychuk addressed them. Vehicles are now moving freely.

The protest near the Defense Ministry on Povitroflotsky Avenue in Kyiv started on Friday morning.

A scandal over the lost seal of the Aidar battalion, re-registration of battalion documents and a name change happened recently. Melnychuk said the volunteer battalion "had officially ceased to exist."

In turn, the Defense Ministry said documents of the Aidar separate assault battalion were being re-registered, its seal was being replaced, its name was being changed and the battalion was being reinforced with men and armaments. The disbandment of the battalion is not on the agenda, the ministry pointed out.

The anti-terrorist operation staff confirmed that the Aidar separate assault battalion remained a combat unit and the ongoing documentation procedure aimed to strengthen it.

"The unit, which has proven its worth and possesses ample combat experience, shall not be disbanded. Aidar will continue its operations, it has the status of an assault battalion which is a key combat unit of the Defense Ministry," ATO spokesman Andriy Lysenko said at a press briefing on Friday.

Documents are being processed to change the seal, the name and the number of the military unit, Aidar, he said.

"Personnel and military hardware are being added to the battalion. Aidar remains a combat unit," Lysenko underscored.