World Bulletin / News Desk
“I was given, to put it mildly, inhumane or in legal terms unlawful orders by my superiors,” Yatsulyak told Russian tabloid Komsomolskya Pravda (KP) daily. “The deployment of anti-personnel mines in particular.”
Yatsulyak was ordered in a phone call to accept the delivery of OZM-72 and MON-50 munitions and sign for it, while superiors would “stay aside assuming no responsibility.”
Refusing to carry through the order, he notified his superiors, and sent letters to the Minister of Defence, Ukraine’s parliament, and even the president, but “never received a single reply” to more than 85 complaints which he had sent to various ministries and officials. Eventually Yatsulyak was sacked as “unfit” for the position, and later left the country.
Both mines are illegal under the international Ottawa Treaty, as they can be activated potentially by non-combatants.
Ukraine signed the so-called Mine Ban Treaty in 1999 and ratified it in 2005. Kiev’s deadline to destroy anti-personnel mines stockpiles passed on 1 June 2010, but as of 2015 over 5 million anti-personnel mines remained in its warehouses.