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Heletei, Muzhenko responsible for Ilovaisk tragedy - parliamentary investigators

Former Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Heletei and Chief of the General Staff Viktor Muzhenko must bear the responsibility for the events in Ilovaisk, Donetsk region, which led to the tragic deaths of many Ukrainian soldiers.

This was stated by the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada's temporary investigative commission on the Ilovaisk tragedy, MP Andriy Senchenko, a Ukrinform correspondent reported.

"Heletei and Muzhenko must share the responsibility for the Ilovaisk tragedy," he said.

The commission concluded that the ex-defense minister had an opportunity to influence the settlement of the situation in Ilovaisk, because on August 23 he had information about the dangerous situation in the town, but his desire to take part in a military parade in Kyiv and "get another star" outweighed.

Another strategic mistake, the parliamentary commission said, was the decision not to introduce martial law at that time.

In general, according to parliamentary investigators, about a thousand Ukrainian soldiers were killed and injured in Ilovaisk. The operation was planned by General Khomchak and approved by Chief of the General Staff Muzhenko, read the conclusions.

An interim report on the Ilovaisk tragedy was signed by eight of 11 commission members. The report was not signed by two Party of Regions deputies and one UDAR lawmaker.

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