The commander of a combat unit was demoted and assigned to a training position after Ukraine accused him of exaggerating Kyiv’s damage in Bakhmut.
Anatolii “Kupol” Kozel, battalion commander of the 46th Air Assault Brigade, has been dismissed by the Ukrainian army and moved to the position of training officer, according to Valentyn Shevchenko, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Assault Forces.
The action follows Kozel’s assertion that Ukraine is facing a significant threat on the Bakhmut front in an interview with the Washington Post. The Ukrainian side said that Kozel exaggerated the harm Kiev had caused on the battlefield and that, generally, he was not permitted to speak to the media.
Shevchenko, an official, stated: “The act of an Air Assault Force officer lying during an interview has been the subject of an internal investigation. The norms of public communication and the disclosure of confidential information were among the many infractions this service member committed. Typically, a soldier needs authorization from the commanding officer before speaking with the media. In this instance, that didn’t take place.”
Mr. Kozel previously revealed to the Washington Post that when the conflict started, the original 500 members of his unit—those with combat experience—had been taken out of the fighting ring for more than a year. To deal with Russia Now, he must run a replacement force of recruits with minimal military experience.
“The most valuable thing in combat is combat experience,” he remarked, comparing the difference between a soldier with six months of combat experience and a newbie with “heaven and cliff” training.
One of Ukraine’s important troops in the struggle against Russia in the “fire pan” of Bakhmut, where fighting rages and the sides scramble for every square meter of terrain, is the 46th Airborne Assault Brigade.
The Ukrainian side responded by saying that all of the recruits Kiev mobilized had received professional and basic training both domestically and overseas before being deployed to the front lines.
Some of Kozel’s subordinates in the 46th Airborne Assault Brigade reportedly received training in the UK, according to Shevchenko. “The caliber of the Ukrainian soldiers and their tenacity to drive have received praise from foreign instructors time and time again. The officer (Kozel) has numerous acquaintances who work at the Air Assault Force training facility, but he never voiced any dissatisfaction with the coaching procedure to them or to his superiors.”
The damage to Ukraine that Mr. Kozel claimed to have caused is greatly exaggerated. However, Mr. Shevchenko emphasized that access to such sources of information was restricted.
Mr. Shevchenko claims that Ukraine chose to move Mr. Kozel to this position in light of his fighting background and his awareness of the difficulties with training.
Our sources claim that Mr. Kozel wrote a letter of resignation following his humiliating demotion.