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An interview for the Globalization Research Center

Author: Ayre от 12.11.2014, 00:02
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  1. UN estimates that over 3660 people have been killed in the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine. Can you describe the extent of the humanitarian crisis affecting ordinary people in Novorossia?


UN estimates are far from being accurate. In reality, junta’s armed forces alone have lost anywhere between 12 and 18 thousand soldiers. Militia lost around 5-6 thousand. Several thousand civilians have been killed in the conflict. The real death toll stands at about 25-30 thousand + tens of thousands of wounded militia fighters, civilians and junta’s soldiers. Officially, the number of civilian refugees who fled Donbass region is over 250 000, unofficially – close to a million. Donbass region is already de-facto suffering a humanitarian catastrophe.


  1. Will the people of Donetsk and Lugansk regions be given the right to decide their own fate? The right of nations to self-determination has a long history in the region. When Bolsheviks came to power in 1917, Lenin declared the right to self-determination for ethnic groups residing in the territory of the Russian Empire and Finland used the right to gain independence. In your opinion, why is it that USA and their European allies are refusing to accept the national aspirations of the people of Donetsk and Lugansk regions?


The people of DPR and LPR already made their choice during the referendum on May 11th (which took place despite Kiev’s opposition, and despite Moscow’s attempts to prevent it from happening). That choice was obvious – cessation from Ukraine. And that was a choice that cannot be undone. The US are refusing to recognize the new reality because they are fighting a hybrid war against Russia in Ukraine, and they consider the formation of the two republics a Russian success, which goes against their interests. The fact that they are following double standards when they recognize the cessation of Kosovo from Serbia, but not the cessation of DPR and LPR from Ukraine is a common practice for Western powers when their national interests are involved.


  1. The return of Crimea to Russian Federation is now being used as a pretext for economic sanctions against Russia. Do you believe that these sanctions will have a substantial effect on Russia’s policies/actions in regards to Novorossia?


The sanctions have already had an effect, forcing Russia to recognize the legitimacy of the junta in Kiev and drop the idea of an open military involvement to support the People’s Republics. But the pressure that is being applied has a limit to its effectiveness. Despite Obama’s threats, Russia does not want to give in and will not concede, which means further sanctions will simply escalate the stand-off. Economically, the sanctions might become more effective, but the political effectiveness will continue to decrease.


  1. Poroshenko’s regime began the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) in June aiming to destroy the “terrorists” in Lugansk and Donetsk. Over the summer months he made numerous statements claiming to have defeated the Novorussian militia, and on 24th of August of 2014 he declared the total annihilation of “separatist forces”. Despite all the declarations, Novorossia army was not defeated. Can you tell us why Poroshenko never realized his military goals?  


Triumphant declarations by the punitive operation command were nothing but propaganda. The Ukrainian army, while having decisive superiority in manpower and equipment, suffered a series of catastrophic military defeats losing thousands of soldiers, dozens of planes and helicopters, hundreds of armored vehicles. Main reasons behind the defeats – the tenacity of militia fighters and Russian military-technical aid on one hand, poor level of combat readiness of Ukrainian army units and punitive battalions, unsatisfactory state of logistics and intelligence, and insufficient training and expertise of command personnel, starting with the Minister of Defense and Joint Staff, and ending with brigade and battalion commanders on the other hand.


  1. During the summer, Western mass media was full of aggressive articles demanding more and more sanctions for Russia, accusing it of invading Eastern Ukraine. After the ceasefire agreement signed in Minsk, Western media went silent on the topic of war against the people of Novorossia. Did the ceasefire agreement actually halt military actions against the people of Novorossia?


Sanctions against Russia were introduced long before the start of the “active” phase of war in Donbass region and thus have nothing to do with Russia’s support for the militia. Russia is being punished with sanctions for accession of Crimea and supporting the popular uprising in Eastern Ukraine. Minsk agreements did not stop the war, if anything, they simply dropped the intensity of the fighting. Despite the ceasefire, junta’s artillery continues to shell Donbass cities and every day more and more civilians and militia men are dying. Some days the number of casualties reaches dozens. Militia, for its part, continues to attack junta’s positions, inflicting numerous losses, sometimes also reaching dozens of dead soldiers in a day. In other words, there is no peace in sight in the region.


  1. Kiev regime is facing a number of crises. The economy is collapsing and it will get a lot worse as more and more cuts and measures are undertaken to meet IMF and EU demands. The refusal to settle Gazprom debt is leading the country into an energy crisis. And finally, numerous defeats suffered in August in Eastern Ukraine have brought on a military crisis. What is the probability that Poroshenko will launch another military campaign against Novorossia after the elections?


An offensive is certainly possible after the elections and it is also possible before the elections. Poroshenko might launch a military campaign just to boost his ratings before the country go to the polls. Strategically, war is something that US needs to escalate its confrontation with Russia, a so called fight against Russia “to the last Ukrainian”. Junta itself needs the war to cover up the socio-economic catastrophe in the country and attempt to resolve the issue of Novorossia by force.


  1. Can you describe the significance of the emergence of active neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine? During recent events, several such groups, most notably “Svoboda” (Freedom) and “Pravyj Sektor” (Right Sector), were used in Euromaydan protests to remove Yanukovich from power. They were used in attacks on professional union activists, members of the Communist Party, and members of smaller Socialist groups such as “Borotba” (Struggle). Moreover, they were widely involved in scare tactics and attacks on Russian-speaking population in Eastern Ukraine. Many left-wing activists in Europe are dismissing these neo-Nazi groups as insignificant. What do you think?


Nazi and Fascist groups are the combat avant guard units of large Ukrainian capital. They are involved in realization of its main goals, which consist of suppressing the worker class and facilitating the needs of large capital, which is now openly and officially ruling in Ukraine. The US-controlled oligarchs are no longer even trying to hide behind puppet politicians, they have openly seized the power in the country. Just as any other “version” of Nazis, they are going after Socialist and Communist activists, regardless of their actual political affiliation. This shows that Communism remains the bitterest enemy of Nazism. As an “add-on”, Ukrainian neo-Nazis are infused with primitive Russophobia that makes them think of ethnic Russian and Russian-speaking population of Eastern Ukraine as “less than humans”, and refer to them in terms such as “vata”, “colorad”, “moskali” and “sovki” (all these words are derogatory terms that are used to describe ethnic Russians or citizens of former USSR). Millions of people in Ukraine have been de-humanized, and Ukrainian Fascists, with the help of oligarch-controlled mass media, played a major role in this process. Nazism implies that its enemies are somehow defective, not worthy of being treated as humans, and that removes moral and ethical barriers to killing them. This was used as a basis for killing thousands of people in Eastern Ukraine. The fact that some of the left-wing groups in Europe do not understand this shows their political short-sightedness, similar to what European left-wing movement experienced in the 20’s and 30’s of the last century when the threat of German Nazism was grossly underestimated. In my opinion, anyone with leftist or Communist views living today must be involved in some way in the fight against Ukrainian Nazism as it is a threat not only to people in Ukraine, it has the potential to trigger a large-scale war that will take not thousands, but millions of lives.


  1. The war in Eastern Ukraine attracted foreign volunteer fighters who joined self-defence militia in Lugansk and Donetsk. According to Paul’s report, international volunteer fighters will form a brigade called “United Contingent”. Do you think a connection can be made between this brigade and the international brigades that fought against Nazism in the 1936 civil war in Spain?


There is a direct connection here. We must remember that the majority of Novorossia fighters in Donbass region are local residents. Russian volunteers contribute about 10-15%, while other countries account for another 1-2%. There are volunteers from USA, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Brazil, Columbia, Serbia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Abkhazia, Southern Ossetia and a number of other countries. Their main motivation is a fight against Nazism. They do not really understand what they are fighting for, but they definitely understand who they are fighting against. Therefore, just as the volunteers in Spain back in 1936, today they are fighting against Nazism. As the number of left-wing and Communist units in the army of Novorossia grows (especially in the brigade “Prizrak” lead by Aleksey Mozgovoy, who is openly advocating for liquidation of the power of large capital and transferring the ruling power to the people of Novorossia), this analogy is becoming more and more obvious. Having said that, there are some really odd cases. For example, one of the most successful units in LPR – Rapid Response Group, under the command of Aleksandr Belov (call sign “Batman”), consists of fighters with various ideological views, some of them are Communists and one of them is a Russian new-Nazi who posed with a swastika. In the unit everyone jokes that he is “killing his own”. One must understand that the fighters in combat units of Novorossia represent all kinds of political and ideological views – one battalion can easily bring together people of various religions (Orthodox or others), atheists, Communists, anarchists, monarchists, nationalists and others. The struggle against Ukrainian Nazism is the bond that holds these sometimes polar opposites together. This is why Armed Forces of Novorossia quarters can have images of Lenin peacefully residing right next to icons, Cossacks from Black Hundred units can be guarding Lenin’s statues against vandals and a unit commander who doesn’t sympathize with Communists can be using the slogan “For Motherland, for Stalin!” to launch his soldiers into an attack. Even Russian left-wing movements still haven’t fully comprehended this phenomena, but I think that the time to analyze the global repercussions of the war in Novorossia is still to come. For Russia and Europe this is not just another war. It is our Spain of 1936-1938, and a large scale bloody war is about to follow. A war that will resolve the cardinal contradictions of modern globalized capitalist world.



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