KYIV -- Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says that only 20 percent of the country's armed forces were combat-efficient when Russia annexed Crimea following the toppling of Russia-friendly Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in early 2014.
Poroshenko told the Kyiv Court of Appeals on June 15 during his testimony at a hearing into an appeal by Yanukovych against his high-treason conviction that the Ukrainian Army at the time of the invasion was extremely weak, a state Poroshenko blamed on Yanukovych.
"The army did not have enough gasoline, batteries, clothes, bulletproof vests," Poroshenko said, adding that Yanukovych bears full responsibility for the situation in 2014.
Yanukovych's lawyers filed the appeal challenging a Kyiv court's January 24 decision to sentence the former leader in absentia to 13 years in prison on a high-treason charge.
In early February, they also filed a lawsuit against the State Bureau of Investigation, alleging crimes by government officials, including judges who took part in trials against Yanukovych.
Yanukovych has called the sentence "illegal" and denied guilt in several other probes launched against him after he fled Ukraine for Moscow in late-February 2014 in the wake of deadly pro-European rallies known as the Euromaidan, during which more than 100 protesters were killed.
Weeks after Yanukovych's flight to Russia, Moscow seized and illegally annexed Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula of Crimea and fomented unrest and backed separatists in Ukraine’s eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, where some 13,200 people have been killed in the ensuing conflict since April 2014.
Poroshenko Blames Yanukovych For Ukrainian Army's Weak State When Russia Seized Crimea
What Has Russia Gained Or Lost From Its War On Ukraine? Muscovites Weigh In.2
Russia Is Using The Caspian Sea To Launch Strikes Against Ukraine. So Why Are The Caspian Countries Silent?3
Echoes Of World War I Highlighted In Mud, Shattered Trees Of Ukraine4
The Week In Russia: Untimely Death In Ukraine5
On Eve Of Russian Invasion, Ukrainian Court Catered To Yanukovych's Interests, RFE/RL Investigation Finds6
This Is What A Textbook Is Teaching Young Serbs About The Balkan Wars.7
'Loyal Soldiers Of Putin': Ukraine, Activists Call Militarization Of Schools In Russian-Occupied Crimea A War Crime8
Serbia's Plum Brandy Gets UNESCO World Heritage Status9
Ukrainians Say Russians Left Behind Bodies And Booby Traps In Kherson Region10
Russian Shelling Cuts Electricity Again In Kherson As Fighting Rages In East