Znak.com Internet Gazeta
Translated from Russian by ComradeRon
March 14, 2015
Ex-Minister of Defense of the DPR Igor Strelkov, who arrived in Yekaterinburg for a presentation to the local branch of the party “New Russia”, said today at a meeting with his supporters in the royal hall of the Ural Mining University that Russian President Vladimir Putin might expect the fate of Emperor Nicholas II, who was shot in the Urals in 1918, according to a correspondent of Znak.com. Another option, according to Strelkov, which might await Putin is that of Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, who passed away in 2006 while imprisoned in The Hague.
Commenting on previous peace talks in February this year in Minsk, Strelkov mentioned that the West “has set its sights on the repetition of events a century ago — the First World War.
“There was a powerful patriotic upsurge in 1914. People with flags welcomed the speech of the emperor, who said that Russia has decided to stand up for Serbia and fulfill their patriotic duty. Then came a grievous war, which went on for years. A war in which victory was suddenly replaced with defeat. Then began a severe economic crisis, giving great strength to a building anti-war sentiment. And under these conditions, the “Fifth Column,” which then existed, and included the Grand Dukes, the upper strata of Industrialists, and the State Duma, all of these cried out about patriotism, but created a conspiracy, which resulted in Russia suffering crushing defeat and plunged itself into many years of turmoil,” said Strelkov in his own liberal interpretation of Russian domestic history.
He continued: “Now they have exactly the same plan, which they have quite excellently implemented. With what transpired in Spring, the President received such credibility – simply colossal amounts of public approval. And then came the incomprehensible confusion over the status of Novorossiya. At first there is a Novorossiya, then there is not a Novorossiya, and then there are the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic, and then there are not really People’s Republic, instead there are two ‘self-proclaimed’ republics, and now already it’s ‘segregated districts of Ukraine’ and the people don’t understand – what’s going on?! They spoke vaguely about the Russian world, how it’s necessary to support their own… They really are theirs, these are not Kiev rabble rousers, who speak Russian, and cry that they are ancient Ukrainians. Considering this, the matter concludes itself, opposing the president will be not only the Liberals, but the Patriots will also turn on Putin. Then he will repeat the fate of Milosevic, who was overthrown in a single thrust by the liberals, with the local patriots, since his policies were too narrow and too few could support them. [Translator’s Note: literally they were ‘neither yours nor ours.’]. He wouldn’t bow to the West, and he couldn’t support the Serbs, which led to mass genocide, and war in Kosovo.”
Strelkov also noted that in the spring of 2014, Vladimir Putin had already made, in his view, a wrong move. “It was a missed opportunity to free all of Novorossiya virtually bloodlessly. Why was this not done, to stop now makes no sense. But I reckon that it made a “fifth column”, which convinced the president that we need another way. And as a result we received no real end and more bloody war, and some parts of the war aren’t immediately obvious. We have received sanctions, and unprecedented international pressure.”
Another step in this direction by Putin, according to Strelkov, was made in February in Minsk. “The ambiguous position of Moscow in regards to both republics,” said the ex-Minister of Defense, “leads to the fact that the Russian side has set up a ‘semi-blockade.'” This is expressed through a [tough; lit. “hard enough”] border regime and right now for activists more problems have arisen, with the transfer of “humanitarian goods” across the border. “Now, any cargo must undergo customs clearance procedures, along with payment of taxes. Not all goods can be transported. If the load is food, that’s one thing; if it’s uniforms and equipment, that’s another,” said Strelkov.
Everything that happens, he figures, has been planned by this “fifth column.” In it he apparently includes adviser to the head of state, Vladislav Surkov, who, according to Strelkov, in Minsk “ran back and forth to persuade” leaders of DPR Alexander Zakharchenko and LPR Igor Plotnitsky to sign the peace agreement. In broad terms, Strelkov calls the fifth column “people who view Russia as a resource base, are guided by their own interests, and occupy high positions in the government or in industry.” “They can actively cry about the interests of Russia and quietly sponsor ‘Echo of Moscow.’ [Translator’s Note: Echo of Moscow is a somewhat controversial free media radio station.] During the day they are patriots, and in the evening they support [chief editor ‘Echo of Moscow’ Alexei] Venediktov. Their most characteristic feature – they live and work here, and all accounts, property, and family [are] abroad,” said Strelkov.
He himself, however, represented today in Yekaterinburg a movement which also considers Russia as a resource base. “We are engaged in collecting aid for the militia, aid for the population, the wounded, and assisting in the rehabilitation of those who need long-term rehabilitation treatment,” said Strelkov in the meeting, stressing that one of the main objectives [was to] “feed and dress 10-15 thousand militiamen” to prepare for the beginning of the summer campaign. The fact that it is bound to be, he has no doubts. The fact that there will be a summer campaign, he has no doubts.
“Despite the formal ceasefire, despite the fact that the mass information resources demonstrate the process of resolving the situation in Novorossiya and Ukraine, we are trying to increase the amount of aid. Because what our own analyses, along with information received from the field, all testify to the fact that [by] the Ukrainian side the third truce is seen as an opportunity to prepare themselves to further manage combat operations, with the goal being the complete suppression the national liberation movement of the people of Donbass, and its utter destruction,” said Strelkov.
“No manner of concession by Kiev, which is ruled by America, will go anywhere. These people have no indepenence, they have been, are and remain tied to the junta, created on foreign currency. Ukraine – this is the instrument which is against Russia. Even if the war in the Donbass had not taken place, even if Russia had not annexed Crimea, all the same the current Kiev government would be led to war with Russia,” continued Strelkov. “We come to the conclusion that in this year military operations on the Donbass will resume, and resume soon enough, and the war will unfold in an even more widespread manner than it was conducted during the autumn and winter campaign.” With this, he several times specifically mentioned that Ukraine “is a part of Russia”. “They wait for Russia in Odessa and Kharkov, and in Kherson and Nikolayev. In fact many people wait for Russia in Kiev. They wait for Russia in Kiev, including people who consider themselves Ukrainians. Yes, they are crushed by propaganda, terror, but they are there,” said Strelkov, hinting at the size of the future theater of operations.
It’s interesting that he is far from having a very high opinion regarding the existing orders in DPR and LPR right now: “In Lugansk there is a generally Makhnovist [after Nestor Makhno, a Ukrainian Anarcho-Communist] sentiment, which goes alongside destructive conflict. And this applies not only to the [attempted] assassination of [“Ghost” brigade commander Alexei] Mozgovoy (March 7), but also including crime in the property and finance sectors. The Donbass region has always been criminalized and the conditions of military operations sank them to the level of the robber barons. There are military units which have never been on the front line and don’t assemble. Nevertheless they consider themselves militia and Cossack guard.” Strelkov did not hide the fact that part of the humanitarian aid for the southeast of Ukraine was simply stolen, stressing only that his movement is trying to fight it.
The meeting at the USMU lasted more than two hours. Originally planned as a press conference, it was reduced to a conversation with the like-minded of the ex-defense minister of the DPR. Strelkov left the college, accompanied by his wife Miroslava Reginskoy. On the front porch the couple waited for a Mercedes S-500 with Perm numbers (yesterday Strelkov opened a branch of the “New Russia” party in the Yekaterinburg).
[Translator’s Note: I have styled the political party, “Новороссия” here as “New Russia,” to distinguish it as a separate political entity from the confederation “Novorossiya.”]