Militias are persecuted in Russia: Donbass volunteers threatened with criminal charges
Vladimir Dergachev, Gazeta.ru, Oct 31 2014
Militia independently supplying the goods in the Donbass, faced the scrutiny of law enforcement bodies of the Russian Federation: they hint at possible criminal charges. Supporters of the breakaway republics attribute this to the “preservation” of the situation in the East of Ukraine and the doubt of the loyalty of the volunteers to the Russian authorities. Law enforcement agencies refrain from commenting. The coordinator of the science-related goods in our militia Alexander Zuckowski told “Gazeta.Ru” that recently he has repeatedly been offered to buy or sell weapons and it looked like “a cheap police provocation.” And a few days ago he received a strong signal from sympathetic law enforcement officers that he “wanted to remove from Novorossia” and maybe delay. He said:
This is not the first signal, so the probability is very high. I just blink, so I took precautions.
The head of the press service of the internal Affairs of St Petersburg and Leningrad oblast Vyacheslav Stepchenko was unable to quickly comment on whether there are or are preparing criminal charges against Zhukovski and his associates. Oleg Melnikov, formerly known as the human rights activist and leader of the movement “Alternative” who fought against slavery in the Caucasus, is now fighting in DND as a field commander. Now Melnikov is in Russia for the purchase of equipment. He says:
There started hints from the law enforcement bodies, there was an agenda for unknown reasons, tried to call to talk. One of my friends in the FSB said that they do not like us and are trying to stop our activities. In this regard, Alexander (Zuckowski) decided temporarily not to appear in Russia. I cannot disappear, I have a family, child, and nowhere to hide, whatever. If criminal cases, it is unlikely they will be connected with this activity, try to find some unaffiliated reason, as it was for Navalny with Cerulean. Delivery we do not stop, we continue with Alexander to oversee this area. My departure from Russia is associated with search equipment for a large number of people in my Department.
Melnikov tied the attention of security forces from the fact that the conflict in the Donbass ends, the boundaries are clear, and many opposition leaders of Russia had joined the militia in the East of Ukraine. Now they may come back with their weapons. He said:
The election will take place on the final demarcation of borders, the conflict will glow, there will be big fights, leave the airport, Debaltsevo. Everything will remain at the level of small positional battles without development. In this regard, a large number of volunteers will come back. We went through about a thousand people, and not only we are engaged in supply of people. If in the Donbass people enough Pro on Putin and Russia, the Russian volunteers though and motivated, but not fans of Putin and United Russia. Now there is a certain fear. They try to scare us, but it is unlikely they will succeed. You don’t shoot people and not get killed, but we have a lot of political prisoners and the situation is not better than in Ukraine, all the same. But all who wants to, can stay there.
The public relations center of the FSB told “Gazeta.Ru” that they had “no orders to comment on these issues.” Nationalist Igor Mangosi of the “Light of Russia”, which also supplies assistance in LNR and was present on Thursday at a press conference the former commander of the armed forces DND Igor Strelkov in Moscow, confirmed that to him constantly come law enforcement officers. He said:
Yes, it is a continuous process, they come and go.
He refused to comment on the secret of his immunity. On the question whether the absence of obvious problems in his relationships with Strelkov, Mangosi answered in the negative. Earlier searches were held in the office of the “Other Russia”, Eduard Limonov, and among the possible reasons of the visit of the security forces, the politician called shipments in the Donbass. While Limonov asserts that Donbass accurately relates the case of Oleg Mironov, convincted of spraying pepper gas at the concert of Andrei Makarevich. Limonov told “Gazeta.ru”:
His protest was not drawn to the criminal case, it is an administrative matter. And he was given an article 213 of the criminal code (“hooliganism”), that is meaningful. Then we received two searches throughout the night, one of them four hours long, with strange, incomprehensible purposes, don’t know what they were looking for, they unpacked and examined the bags of cargo.
If asked, did to him signals about the desirability of the termination of the “Other Russia” in the Donbass, the politician replied in the negative. He said:
We were never threatened, and we could have been planted immediately. Your hypothesis is not just, you are in a hurry, and this panic. Russia needs volunteers in the Donbass. Can be searched initiative of the generals, the colonels, who wanted to get more stars in epaulettes.
Strelkov himself, who led the movement in support of Novorossia for targeted assistance to the field commanders, answering the question of “Gazeta.Ru” about recent searches of “The Other Russia”, said:
If law enforcement interferes with us, they can make our work harder, but we will continue our work forcefully.
Meanwhile, the militia in Donbass, with whom “Gazeta.Ru” spoke directly, said that in the republics intensified the staff of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation who are looking for “information” on the warlords. First of all they are supposedly interested in those who control the central government in Donetsk and Lugansk, where in the elections of Nov 2, obvious favourites remain current Prime Ministers Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky and their electoral blocs. Zuckowski said:
The investigators do not know, but the Russian military are “assigned” to many commanders and units. They exert relatively tight control, mainly in the South. Two weeks ago, the “Voentorg” was restarted. A lot of equipment goes down, probably Russian. Security officials want to keep the situation under control regarding weapons. Become more stringent staffing and distribution of weapons, eliminated all autonomous groups, in general, rebuilt the military chain of command, to get any ideas.
On Oct 2, Igor Prosvirnin, editor-in-chief of the nationalist site “Sputnik and Pogrom”, reported that he was summoned to the police station for questioning about the work of the resource. “SIP” provides information support for pro-Russian forces in the Donbass, in particular activity of the same Zhukovski. Prosvirnin told “Gazeta.Ru” that he had no contact with suppliers humanitarian and non-humanitarian goods in LDNR, this was only Zuckowski. Prosvirnin said:
Logically, they are now trying to consolidate all the power around Zakharchenko, because he can fight anybody who doesn’t want to have to cut all the supply channels except for Zakharchenko’s own ones. Roughly speaking, I want to get a coat for the winter, I have to go to Zakharchenko, acknowledge his authority. Any decentralized supply for them counts as sabotage. In the case of Zuckowski, that means he should either be built into the system, or leave the space. If you were to compare Novorossia with the colonization of America, first go private conquistadors, romance, and then comes the state, and the conquistadors end. Previously it was possible to assemble a squad and conquer Ukrainians, like the Indians, and then came the state, and all only gets done (с правочке) with signature and seal.
Prosvirnin believes that Strelkov is unlikely to have problems, because he is a man “soldier”, a biography of the FSB. Prosvirnin says:
He will deliver the goods to the right people. At one of the forums he wrote that if the birthplace of the order, he will lead at least courses in cutting and sewing. And here in the homeland, he has been ordered to lead a social movement “Novossia” (А тут Родина приказала возглавить общественное движение «Новороссия»).
Interestingly, Strelkov himself, though not complaining of problems with the security forces and showing loyalty to the Russian President, disappears from the field of view of the pro-Kremlin media. None of the Federal channels sent the crew to the press conference of Strelkov on Thursday, nor issued aired a story about it. In general, his citation on the Federal TV after the August resignation fell almost to zero. Colleagues of Strelkov told “Gazeta.Ru” that the former commander-in-chief, criticizing “the fifth and sixth column” in power and the current leadership of the breakaway republics, had hit the stop-lists. When booking sites for the press conference, the organizers had to change a few places.
I can see I need to counterbalance this with something derogatory of Russians. So, let us condemn them out of their own mouths, as is fitting. Here is a slice of authentic, Russian male sexual misery:
This by the way is from January this year, which makes it quite prescient:
Most obviously, if the militia leaders have successfully quelled the problem of racketeering and black-marketeering, then why are the consignments of humanitarian aid still not reaching their intended recipients? No answer. And if this account is reliable, all the other obvious questions are similarly obfuscated and avoided. It remains possible that either (a) Strelkov’s proposed aid organisation will simply be a part of the system of deliberate near-starvation evidently favoured by Moscow, to keep Novorossia as weak and unpopular as possible without visibly murdering it on the public media stage, or (b) Strelkov and his particular religious clique will seek to direct all the aid they gather to their supporters in Novorossia, which is to say the right-wing religious elements, and away from the Left Wing, which must certainly be fed up with Strelkov’s reactionary norms by now – RB
Igor Strelkov announced the creation of the Association “Novorossia”
Arthur Avakov, mk.ru/politics, Oct 31 2014
The latest press conference of former Defense Minister DND Igor Strelkov was crumpled and uninteresting, as the guest journalists were not able to specify one of the main speakers Novorossia important issues. Primarily, oddly enough, this was because to get to the event the trade press has failed. There were only bloggers and small publications. Strelkov had to answer questions about the dress code, Orthodoxy, to accept invitations to visit the temples, to think about how much experience he has gained as a result of his military operations, and so on… Funny on this background looked the organizers’ calls to journalists, to recall their professional duty and not be silent about what is happening in the Donbass. It is a pity that those journalists could not hear these teachings, because they were not allowed to enter the hall. And in the hallway broadcast was not… Well, it’s so – features of the organizational process, which partly explain the mess that is going on now in Novorossia.
Meanwhile, the press conference was arranged like on any important occasion. Igor Strelkov in his introductory remarks declared the establishment of the public Association “Novorossia”, which won’t be of a political nature, but only humanitarian. The objective of the Association is to provide alternative delivery of humanitarian assistance in LDNR. Because under the present system, the loads do not always reach their destination. In addition, the task of the Association is to help the militia wounded in battle, and also to help their families. According to Igor Strelkov, the relevance of humanitarian aid for Novorossia is now greater than ever, due to the impending winter. In his opinion, if Russia will not increase humanitarian aid in the Donbass, the nearer we get to winter, the local population will be on the verge of survival, and therefore to us again flood of refugees. However, Strelkov hopes that Novorossia will receive help not only from Russia, but also from the indifferent international community. He noted that the indifference of Russian officials was one of the main obstacles to humanitarian assistance of Novorossia. He refused to comment on the upcoming elections in LDNR, because he believes that during the war, elections should not be held there. But if they are necessary for the legitimization of local authorities, he has nothing against them. To the question, if he wants to lead the Orthodox Army of Novorossia, Strelkov said:
The will of the people can be expressed in different ways. But I do not currently see this form. Now it’s just impossible. Don’t ask rhetorical questions. The more specific the question, the more specifically I will answer it. Of course, I would like some time to find my place there.
Fighting today in the Donbass militia he wished resistance, as he believes that peace will come soon. One of the journalists asked Strelkov about the relationship between militias with local criminal elements from the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Strelkov replied that in the beginning of the war in the Donbass, the militia actually confronted the local criminals. Some of the bandits fled to Kiev. According to Strelkov, at the head of these bandit clans stood Akhmetov and Taruta: “They are at the head of the food chain.” In Donetsk same area they had to deal only with низами crime. And some people that had problems with the law decided to join the militia. Some of them even tried to use their experience in this new role. However, commanders of armies successfully coped with such incidents. Another topic of discussion was the so-called “fifth column” inside Russia, which according to Strelkov threatens the future of the country. He is convinced that if law enforcement agencies will be honest to fulfil their duty, no Maidan in Russia will occur. In turn, the movement created by Strelkov will also confront the supporters of the Russian Maidan. He said:
Our movement will not walk the line, because we are all partisans volunteers. It should consist of enterprising people, who themselves should seek the opportunity to apply their talents for the good of the common cause.
At the end of the press conference, Strelkov awarded crosses of St George to members of the militia for the defense of Slavyansk.