The military in the Crimea had every reason to fulfill their military duty and shoot at the invaders during the spring of 2014, Anatolii Matios, the Chief Military Prosecutor stated.

“I will say briefly about the events in the Crimea: the servicemen had all the basis to fulfill their military duty. First of all, no one abolished the by-law of the military guard service, written in blood. It clearly indicates all the necessary actions in the event of an attack on a military base, and so forth. There is no provision stating the need to sing songs and march in front of the enemy with the flag, they were supposed to shoot. In addition, there is an instruction of the General Staff of the Defense Ministry since 2006, which describes the actions of the military in the presence of unforeseen situations and direct attacks on military targets,” Matios said. 

According to him, the Military Prosecutor's Office is now checking the events of the occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula for compliance with the law.

“Undoubtedly, we are conducting investigation, this is a huge amount of information: tens of thousands of those who betrayed the state - this work will last for years. So, at the moment we see a violation of military oath," the Prosecutor added.

Reportedly, the Prosecutor General's Office suspects of a treason 73 government soldiers who did not return to mainland Ukraine following Russia's occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula. Suspicion have been brought against all of them. 

Indictments have been already sent to the court in 59 cases. The Prosecutor General’s Office noted that for the time being the court reviewed and delivered judgements in the two proceedings.
The review of the other cases is under way.

According to the Prosecutor General's Office, 12 proceedings were stopped, another two require special pre-trial investigations which are ongoing.

As we all know, after the annexation of the Crimea in 2014, 9940 Ukrainian servicemen did not return to the mainland Ukraine. Almost all of them are suspected of desertion.