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29 Dec, 2023 17:57

‘We will all die anyway’ – Ukrainian army adviser

An aide to Kiev’s top general has made a novel argument for mobilization
‘We will all die anyway’ – Ukrainian army adviser

Death in battle is preferable to in a car crash, Alla Martinyuk, an aide to the supreme commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, General Valery Zaluzhny, said in an interview on Friday.

Martinyuk, 37, is a former theater and TV actress who currently serves as an “external adviser” to Zaluzhny. In a broadcast shared on social media by the Kiev-based news agency UNIAN, she argued against the reaction of most Ukrainians to getting mobilized into the military.

“I now see when someone gets a summons, the mothers immediately write [that] they are already hysterical and almost immediately say goodbye to the lives of their sons,” Martinyuk said on air.  “But I will tell you, this is not right. All this hysteria is not needed. You need to believe that your son is a hero and the flower of the nation.” 

“We will all die anyway. Leaving this life with dignity is much better than walking down the street and [having] a brick fall on you or a car run you over,” she added.

Zaluzhny has distanced himself from Martinyuk’s words, saying on social media that “unpaid aides were not authorized to make public comments” on his behalf. He added he did not have any “unpaid aides and consultants” since Thursday.

President Vladimir Zelensky recently announced a plan to mobilize 500,000 additional troops to make up the battlefield losses, even as officials across the country admitted difficulties with meeting draft quotas. 

Zelensky and Zaluzhny have tried to pass the blame for this situation onto each other as the Ukrainian parliament debated lowering the draft age to 25 and allowing the mobilization of women into combat roles. Some regional governors have proposed even more drastic measures.

Former PM Yulia Tymoshenko, who now leads a small opposition party in the Verkhovna Rada, has argued that Zelensky’s mobilization proposal was both ineffective and unconstitutional. She also said Ukraine would be better off deploying police and trained security personnel to the front lines instead.