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After Maidan. Interview with Dmitry Bulatov


Дмитро Булатов

            On 14th October, Day of Defender Ukraine, Dmitry Bulatov, known public figure, former Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, a ATO veteran , graduate, and now again the student of KPI after Igor Sikorsky, took part in commemoration of Kyiv polytechnics, killed on Maidan and in the fighting in eastern Ukraine. He had given an interview to our newspaper after laying floral tribute at the monument to the Heroes of Heaven hundreds and memorial plaques to students and university employees, who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of our country.

            - We have remembered you since the Maidan. Most Ukrainian was horrifying when saw you after the torture that you had to go through.  We know you as Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine - in this capacity, you have even came to KPI and then met with students. And then you resigned policy and somehow, if not disappeared altogether, then retreated into the background. However, as far as we know, you continue to work for Ukraine's future. So why did you leave high office, what did you do then and what are you doing now?

            - After the ministry I helped mostly the army. Of course, I also helped my wife tighten things in business, but I put a lot of time and effort into army. For example, Rychkova Tatiana (known volunteer, from 2015 Assistant Minister of Defense and Chief of Staff, now a Member of Parliament of Ukraine) and I flew to Germany and met there with members of the Bundestag, persuaded them that this war is a result of Russian aggression. We gained understanding, asked about the exchange of experiences between the two countries. Germany was a very important country, as Mrs Merkel is the main person in the negotiations in Normandy format. We talked with officials not only in Germany but also in France and other European countries. We told them that we need help in the form of their advice and experience for those people who are currently working in the Ministry of Defence and the Army and helping through various channels. Although it was only one of the issues, we had to deal with. Logistical support was the other. When you realize that people have a need for something, you try to satisfy them, and in the fire order. It is important to understand that they need simple things. These are clothing, building materials, even soap, shampoo and so on. In fact, I was busy with it. And, naturally, after trips abroad, I came to the recruiting office and asked to draft me into the army. I outlined a work plan, and had to move to another stage.

            - Then there was an army. And where were you?

            - I served in the 92nd brigade. I came to war in the mid-May 2015. Two weeks later, I had gone to the city Schastya, and then had served there.

            - In the scene of fighting. Have you had some kind of training or combat training?

            - I had some preliminary preparation. Then, when I arrived at the place of permanent deployment – Chuhuyev, Kharkiv region, I have passed training at the firing range.

            - And where were you in position?

            -  I was an administrative officer of brigade to work with staff and moved to the negotiable-stronghold that kept the bridge in Schastya, and in December 2015 I was appointed as commander of the reference point-negotiable.

            - Did you sorry about work in the government?

            - Questions about politics, public administration and if I wanted to go back are asked very often. I want to say that. I've lived conscious life in business. There is such a thing as professional deformation of the brain. When you work in business, you should plan, calculate, register, prepare, enable, keep watch constantly, adjust accounting, control, engage people to understand their problems - or you will not be in the team. All this leads to profits. When you become a part of the machinery of government, you know, it's a parallel world. So, I got used to the fact that in order to have the money I need to earn it. You should do pretty much for it. And then people think how to dispose of money that they will get. This bureaucracy hides a lot of ways to avoid the responsibility - for example, for stolen or spent money improperly by the negligence, and it is difficult to track. It was stress for me to get into this atmosphere. Therefore, I have not the desire to return there. Will I do this? It may happen by a coincidence.  If not - then I would avoid it. I would be interesting to establish a business. One type of business is consulting. Today I am preparing projects that want to run. And I'm interested in the second higher education.

            - What is your first higher education?

            - The first one is KPI, Department of Electronics. I entered to FET, and finished FEL after connecting departments of electronic and electro engineering.

            - And are you studying at KPI now?

Дмитро Булатов            - Now I'm studying at VPI on a specialty "Printing media technology." Of course, it is correspondence course, in the master course. I have thought about the second higher education - legal, economic or any other for five years. I have worked in the economy all my life. I even went to the presentation of the study on MBA (Eng. Master of Business Administration, Master training programs in Business Administration - approx. Ed.), however, it is still not my cup of tea. I am not the humanities, I'm a geek and proud of it. So I could not reverse myself, and still came back to KPI. I It is interesting to study here, I have pleasing communication and discussion.

            - When have the Army period finished?

            - In the mid-July 2016. I went to serve in the fifth wave of mobilization. However, there, I had a break in service in Schastya - after flying and removing splinter in the stomach.

            - Were you operating in Charkov?

             - No, I was operated in Schastya. After fighting I was taken to a local hospital immediately. There are military doctors: a field hospital, but doctors are allocated to the hospital. And my shirt was put off and I was on the table. In fact, doctors are mobilized guys.  Honestly, I'm proud of them. They have always helped us. Well done, I just take off my hat to them.

            - Had you returned to the military unit?

            - Yes of course, but it took some time. I moved to Svatove, then - at the Kharkiv hospital. There I spent just over a week, because I was sutured there in the seventh or eighth day after the operation. The injury was twelve to five centimeters in depth. I was left in Kharkiv and then I moved to Kiev hospital, because I live in Kiev. Here I was treated and came back again. And in the mid-July I was dischargeed, with the fifth wave mobilized.

            - And you, as I know, do volunteer services.  Does the cooperation with the Armed Forces and those whom you serve last?

            - It is a state of mind. At this point you want, or do not want - you're magnetized. That way un order what do you do - you will help them.  In any way and by any means.  Surely, the most popular question related to logistics support. Here, for example, brought the boys to Mariinka. They need a provision, establishing life, when they come to a new place. And we are preparing to send them to one or another thing, primarily building materials. To a lesser extent, we have to deal with the solution of organizational problems. I communicate actively with different departments of our brigade. Well, for example, now we have a year of aviation, including air defense. It is very important that contact was established between the troops and the top institutions in the form of General Staff and the Ministry of Defence. I'm not an expert on air defense, but I can build communication "bridges" to help people with organization.

            - Do you work with any volunteer structure, or collect the most necessary and imported in military units? If yourself, in which way, do you choose what it will be and what should you take?

            - Practice showed that it is better to work with any unit - more or less - and provide targeted assistance to him. There is nothing like this. I had sixteen posts, one hundred and fifty people, on the strong points of company position. I need a lot of batteries every month. There were rechargeable batteries, electricity has worked somehow - the men forgot to charge or anything could happen. So there is need in batteries, as everybody had to see all night - must work "nightlights' - thermal camera. It spent very quickly. And if you count a number of these little things, you start to realize that the process of delivery is eternal. I had a laptop, a printer, a modem on company position. So you need to refill the cartridge, to buy paper and flash, because sometimes we should provide information to the media and establish a connection in several ways, and so on. So we need a lot. And there are lots of nuances to consider. There are your brothers in the army, someone calls, I immediately record. This is even so that it can interrupt the connection, it can at this time will cause somewhere and he forgets what would order may interrupt communication, which disappears several times a day ...

            - As far as we know, you work in other community projects?

            - Indeed, there is a public project, which I am doing now. This project "AKM - Anti-Corruption Monitor" is a platform of public control procurement. The project conducted a public anti-corruption examination result of public tenders in Ukraine. This is the website: http://acm-ua.org/. We were doing this project slowly, steadily, quietly half a year ago. We might put forth and make it faster, but it is better to be slower.

            When there were "fire" questions, I participated in legislative activities - especially when it was designed and approver law on contract for six months service in the Armed Forces (Law 2356 "On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine" On Military Duty and Military Service " (specifying the timing of military contract service ", approved  on October 6th, 2015 - approx. ed.). With this contract, experienced fighters, who after demobilization would extend or renew a service in a combat zone, may again return to service for a term of six months. Previously they could again return to the service or signed a contract before the end of the special period, which, in fact, is not defined as a specific term, or in one of the waves of mobilization, that is approximately 12-14 months. The army really needed this legal act.

            And because cooperation with the Verkhovna Rada was for me one of the main activities I actively involved in this work. After all, when I came from the war, I could comment on this or that position. Well, for example, Law 4210 ( "Law on Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on strengthening responsibility of servicemen and some others."  On October 18th law-in-draft was passed in the first reading - approx. Ed.). It allows making changes including the "Disciplinary Statute of the Armed Forces of Ukraine," because it has not been spelled out in Disciplinary statute that alcohol, drugs and psychotropic substances are forbidden for soldiers. Thus we write down protocols, punish the perpetrators of such actions, and it is not defined by legal system. Surely, it is somehow works, but why "so somehow" if we can clearly add to the statute, and everything will work properly!? But all these " infighting "concerning the promotion of the project, the coordination of the committees of the Council, MPs, experts, overcoming some obscure internal barriers - such struggle takes too much time and effort. So I back off this, because I cannot deal with everything. I have a business, I have a public monitoring project, I study. And surely, I will continue to go to the guys to the front ...

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