O. Turchynov: a decent financial support of military servicemen is becoming an issue of the country’s national security

August 1, 2017

This is the fourth year of the military aggression against our country. It is the soldiers and officers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations, that thanks to their courage and heroism, at the cost of great sacrifices managed to stop the enemy and to liberate part of our territories.

Unfortunately, we are getting accustomed to the daily losses that our troops continue to suffer. But behind these dry figures there are great personal tragedies of parents, wives, children… Behind these figures there are lives of courageous patriots of Ukraine.

O.Turchynov

In daily fighting, constant shelling and provocations, our soldiers and officers are fulfilling the duty which requires incredible nervous and physical stress, and risk their lives every minute. Our duty is not just to make pathetic speeches about the defenders of the country, respect for them and their authority in the society, our duty is not only to provide the Army with modern weapons and military equipment, comfortable and high-quality clothes and footwear… But, – and this is extremely important – we must do our best to make sure that our military’s salary is up to their important place in the society. Incomes of our military must decently address their families’ needs.

In 2015, an important decision was made to increase the financing of the Armed Forces of  Ukraine, in particular, the minimum financial support of the contracted soldiers was set at 7,000 hryvnyas per month. This actually enabled the creation of a contract professional army. The  problem is that it is already the second half of 2017, but the situation with the military’s financial support has actually not changed.

At the same time, civil servants’ salaries have significantly grown within the last two years. For example, many heads of departments of ministries and other central executive bodies, since 2016, have been receiving a salary above 30 thousand hryvnyas a month. By contrast, today’s cumulative monthly income with premiums, bonuses and combat payments of a Brigade Commander, a Colonel fighting on the front line, is on average 19,500 hryvnyas.

The official salary of the head of a department of the central executive body is 9,115 hryvnyas, additional payment for a rank – 800 hryvnyas. While a Brigade Commander’s official salary is 1,200 hryvnyas, and for the blood-paid rank of a Colonel, he gets “as much as” 135 hryvnyas. By the way, even the salary of a civil servant of the lower rank (specialist), working in central executive authorities, significantly exceeds the salary of  a combat Brigade Commander and makes 4,200 hryvnyas.

I do not propose to reduce the officials’ salaries. Throughout the world, the civil service is responsible and decently paid work. I demand, at budgetary planning, that is taking place now, to significantly increase our military servicemen’s salaries!

Military salaries should not be lower than the corresponding salaries of civil servants who work in cozy offices of central executive branches of government. The supplement for a military rank should not be less than the additional payment for a rank of a civil servant!

The financial support of military servicemen should be the guideline for salaries in the civil service. At this, all (uncontrolled today) bonus rewards in government bodies should be taken into account. Consequently, if there is a desire to increase the officials’ salaries, this should happen only after the military’s ones have been raised.

Payments for our soldiers and officers’ military ranks (the infamous 5 hryvnyas for each next rank!) have not changed since 1999! They, as well as the salaries, should be immediately revised and become the basis of the financial support of the military.

The structure of the financial support of the Ukrainian military serviceman must be in line with NATO standards, where at least 70-80% is the salary and payments for the military rank. At present, this figure in Ukraine is 10-15%.

Today, a decent financial support of our soldiers and officers is the matter of professionalism and combat capability of our Armed Forces and other military formations. This is a question of the reliability of our defense, if nothing else, this is the national security issue! I have submitted relevant proposals for the formation of the defense budget of our country to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. If some officials disagree with this, they have the opportunity to prove their position in the frontline trench.


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