Commentary to the Events of June 19 and 20
Q: Various Ukrainian mass media outlets published information about the losses of the [Ukrainian] punitive forces, and [according to them] the total figure is approximately 35 dead and 40 wounded.
A: If our sources in Izyum are to be trusted, the number of wounded, that were relocated there or sent to Kharkov after this battle, exceeds 300 men. However, I cannot guarantee this information – [it came to us] by way of the gossip mill. On the other hand, the numbers publicized by the Ukie media may well be right. Our losses in dead and wounded are approximately half of [the enemy losses] – our battalion was not destroyed, merely dispersed. It is now slowly coming together again. Once they are all back, our irretrievable losses will become clear. For now, there are 15 wounded in the hospital. They were evacuated in the first hours of the battle and at the end.
Q: What happened to the morning advance of the government forces? Are they still standing in columns, or have they been turned around to go hunt the tank forces [of the Novorossiya Armed Forces (“NAF”)]?
A: They turned around and left, all of them. Our battle group (from Lisichansk) has again occupied Yampol – those fighters that were unable to break through across the bridges to the south shore are now returning as well. They are taking up their previous positions. I am glad that the appeal to Russia was not left unanswered – the mere movement of Russian forces toward the border eliminated the Ukies’ attempt to break through to our rear.
Q: What is the status of the preparations to repel the Ukrainian army’s assault on Slavyansk?
A: The situation has changed dramatically. In the morning, we were preparing to repel a decisive attack, and now … I won’t tell you what we are preparing to do … (smiling).
Q: Igor Ivanovich, can you please comment Valeriy Bolotov’s statement about the urgent subordination to the Lugansk Republic of Alexey Mozgovoi’s units?
A: Mozgovoi is subordinated to the headquarters of the DPR (“Donetsk People’s Republic”) militia. And, for a long time now, he has been fighting in close coordination with [our forces]. Successfully fighting. His weapons and ammunition supplies come from us. In this case, Bolotov is engaged in misplaced parochialism.
Q: Igor Ivanovich, would you please explain what is being done with respect to the apparent disunity of the [militia] detachments? Is anyone trying to solve this dilemma, trying to organize unified headquarters of LPR (“Lugansk People’s Republic”) and DPR under the command of a single Commander-in-Chief?
A: What is there to explain? Even in DPR we have no single [unified] headquarters. And you are asking that there be one for two republics … When the time is right, there will be. An army should be commanded by a single person, who is both a military professional and an experienced administrator. I am hoping that some volunteer general with combat experience and combined arms leadership [skills], able to build high-level contacts with Russian colleagues comes to our aid. Otherwise, this guerilla warfare will last a very long time.
Translated from Russian by Gleb Bazov / Edited by S. Naylor