“A little extract from Igor Strelkov’s two hours talk in front of a students of Eurasian Club of Financial University (under the Government of the Russian Federation at the Faculty of Political Science and Sociology), November 19, 2014.”
“A little extract from Igor Strelkov’s two hours talk in front of a students of Eurasian Club of Financial University (under the Government of the Russian Federation at the Faculty of Political Science and Sociology), November 19, 2014.”
Is Kiev preparing the new military operation in the East of the country? What are the disadvantages of the current government of Novorossiya? Has West declared its war on Russia? The former Minister of Defense of DPR (Donetsk People’s Respublic) Igor Strelkov has answered these and other questions in the live broadcast interview to the journalists of “Kommersant FM” Anatoliy Kuzichev and Konstantin Eggert.
AK .: You obviously understand the internal processes that occur in the conditional area called Novorossiya. The Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said that Ukraine should prepare for the combat operations in the Donbass, and it seems preparing it Then his words were disavowed. Later he said that the information about the impending of the attack was premature, but nonetheless, something is happening there, some kind of movement. Can you comment on this? What are your comments of this situation from the height of your understanding?
IS .: First of all, I noted that you call Novorossia a “ onditional territory”. For you it’s a”territory”, but for me it is a real state, which at the moment is composed of two regions, the two republics. I hope it will not stop there. Regarding the statement of the Kiev military commanders, and the government officials, they haven’t stopped producing such statements since March. First they were going to get back Crimea, now they are going to return Novorossia.
The war did not stop even for one day, so nothing has surprised me in their statement. The shelling didn’t stop for one day even after the Minsk truce. Recently the scale of it has noticeably increased. For example last week in Donetsk in some areas the shelling became hurricane-like. Kievsky and Petrovsky districts are shelled practically daily. Not practically, but literally daily, several times a day. For example on Friday I received an information that at least four houses have been burned down in Donetsk from direct hit. The reports about broken glass-windows or bombed garages are not even counted. So nothing is surprising here.
Kiev is openly preparing for the war and continuing an urgent repairing of its military equipment, recruiting troops and strengthening their positions.
K. E.: Igor, you say that for you it (Novorossiya) is a country, and it is an important part which will be expanded. Then why you are not out there but here in Moscow?
I.S.: You’re asking me a rather difficult question.
K. E.: We don’t ask simple questions anyone.
I.S.: I have repeatedly said that I’ve resigned.
K. E.: But you could go there as a volunteer, as a simple soldier.
I.S.: The situation there is not easy, as I already said. My appearance there may lead to undesirable consequences. Despite the fact that I’m very skeptical about the Minsk truce, and to some other activities of the new government, but I still believe that it is unacceptable to bring a disorder in the rear of the People’s Republic of Donetsk.
A.K.: Do you think your appearance will cause a confusion out there?
I.S.: I think that my presence may lead to a concentration around myself all sorts of discontent. This is unacceptable.
A.K.: In other words you don’t want to allow deconsolidation of the unity of monolithic structure of the DPR?
K. E.: What kind of discontent, if it’s not a secret?
I.S.: A lot of it. I think that in certain issues some of this discontent is rightful. But in some cases it is due to the fact that the guerrillas, who make up most of the volunteer units, are reluctant to be united into one regular army.
K. E.: So you’re saying that the banditry is dominating there, huh?
A.K.: There are different approaches…
I.S.: I want to say that the discontent takes place there. There are some objective reasons for it. There are reasons that do not deserve respect but overall my appearance there may served as a magnet that will attract all sort of discontented people.
A.K.: I know what you mean. Evidently it is not on a basis of some concepts but on a basis of specific individuals, specific persons. One gravitates to one thing, the other – to the other. I understand you. I associated your refusal to go back with your intention to be engaged in politics. Firstly, please tell me, is it so that you really decided to be seriously engaged in politics? Secondly, we have all read, sorry to quote Boroday’s words again, about how suitable would it be for you to be engage in politics? You’ve probably seen it.
I.S.: I’ve seen this interview. The only thing I can say – I’m very negatively evaluate the actions of Boroday during my stay in Donetsk towards myself in particular. As for his statements about me trying to be engage in politics there, they do not correspond to reality. On the contrary, I was trying to avoid dealing with politic, and tried to deal with military matters only. That’s what I was actually engaged with.
I put everything into Boroday’s hands first, and then into hands of Zakharchenko. And to begin with, I didn’t even take political matters on my shoulders. As for the comparison me with ballerina, I leave it on his conscience. I don’t claim any political role. If we talk about the movement, “Novorossiya”, which I now head, it does not set any political tasks. It sets targets to provide a maximum assistance to people there who are on the verge of a humanitarian disaster.
K.E.: From one hand, you say that you’re not engaged in politics, but I remember that last summer, if I’m not mistaken, you made a statement, that if President Putin will not give a compulsory military assistance to the separatists and to Novorossia, he will repeat the fate of Slobodan Milosevic. What is it, if it’s not a political statement?
I.S.: This is just an opinion of a person who is well aware of the history, including modern history. Especially that I was there, in the former Yugoslavia and could trace all the stages of Milosevic’s retreat, started from Knin Krajina and ended, through Bosnia and Kosovo, in The Hague.
K.E.: Did you fight there for a long time?
I.S.: Yes, I have fought in Bosnia for a long time in 1992-93 as a volunteer and as a part of the Russian volunteer corpus.
K.E.: Are you not afraid that now, after you have such publicity, you will attract attention of all sorts of international courts, and you will be featured there in international context as a war criminal?
I.S.: Shortly: No, I am not afraid.
A.K.: You yourself outlined that Novorossia is not just some kind of region, not just formation, that for you it is a serious ideologically important concept, it is a country. But these people, whose names have already sounded in our previous broadcasts: Zakharchenko Boroday, Pushilin – are they the right people to implement this extremely ambitious project, a concept?
I.S.: In this case I don’t want to discuss with you the actions of Zaharchenko and Boroday or anyone else, because I do not want to turn our conversation into an extramural squabble. As for Novorossiya, the only thing that I can say is that this is rightly emerged Russian state, inhabited by Russian people, the same people as you and me. And I believe that it has all the rights and all the possibilities for its further existence. Although initially people clearly rebelled to join the Russia, and I hope the time will come when Novorossia will be a part of Russia again as it always been since its inception in XVIII century.
K.E.: Igor, the history of Novorossia is currently being discussed very actively, and even its geographical concept is under attack from all sides. It is quite obvious that if this tendency you dream about will be implemented, Russia will get into a tough international isolation. There will be more sanctions, more stress, and some more very serious blows to Russian economy. You are the Russian citizen, doesn’t it bother you? Doesn’t it disturb you that these ambitions which so far have been realized only on a certain level, could force the 140 – million country to face very serious problems?
I.S.: In 1812, when Napoleon led the “12 languages” army to Russia, it also could be said about the general isolation. However, no one was going to give up.
K.E.: Yes, but nobody has invaded Russia now.
I.S.: What makes you think that nobody invaded Russia? In fact, by organising the revolution in Kiev the West put a gun to the Russia’s head, by creating an anti-Russian regime. Do you suppose that the present Kiev’s regime is not anti-Russian? If you think so, then you are very much mistaken. In fact, the war has been declared to us, or rather the next stage of it was performed.
K.E.: But how can you compare the invasion of Napoleon, the armed invasion of the best army in the world to the territory of the Russian Empire with the emerging of Poroshenko as a president, for example? To me it’s an absolutely incomparable things.
A.K.: Igor says, and in fact, I’m totally agree with him, that the methods and the possible existence of Ukrainian nationalism – it is a harsh Russophobia, aggressive, radical and unequivocal.
K.E.: Well, let’s assume …
A.K.: It is a fact, Kostya.
K.E.: Suppose it is so. But to compare it to Napoleon’s invasion ?
I.S.: I’m not going to draw a historical parallels here.
K.E.: But you’ve done it!
I.S.: Yes, I did. I’m just saying that Russia, throughout its history was a subject of a fierce international isolation, more severe than the present one. Let’s remember the Crimean War for example. There it also began with the invasion of the Western powers into Crimea, and a few years later the war had started. I think, two or even three years later.
K.E.: In one year approximately. But Crimea was the territory of the Russian Empire. Again, it is incomparable things: the emergence of President Poroshenko, however russophobic he is, with the invasion of Napoleon
I.S.: We will not argue here about the history because to parse the history of the Crimean War or War of 1812 in the context of the Novorossiya is incorrect. I’m just saying that Russia has repeatedly found itself in the mode of international isolation and even direct invasion.
A.K.: In general, we will endure.
I.S.: If to be afraid of any isolation, then you can give up your sovereignty entirely.
Translation by Larasdvatri
The text below has been compiled on the basis of material, written between 2011 and 2013, by Igor Strelkov, who served as the leader of the Donbass peoples’ militia. In Parentheses we see the editorial credits of ‘Sputnik and Pogrom’
Picture below captioned as follows: The rules of the game by Colonel Strelkov, Russian Officer, 44 years old, Slavyansk.
“Regarding Greater Russia: Unfortunately, given those currently in power there was always a possibility that Greater Honduras could be constructed within the boundaries of what was the Russian Empire. I feel that this already has been completed.”
Russian, Ukrainians (Ruthenians) and Belorussians represent three branches of the Russian Ethnos. The task of these Ukrainian Nationalists and their Russian counterparts seems to be to maintain ill will towards each other. What needs to be understood? The fundamental task – to prevent the re-emergence of a unified, coherent state based on these shared Slavic roots.
War is, above all, fear, a fatal numbing tiredness, inescapable filth. Moreover, war, for those directly participating in it, is a colossal explosion of emotion and sensation, after which civilian life seems simply without meaning. In war both the finest and most degraded aspects of the human condition assume their most vivid form.
This can manifest itselves in alcoholism and debasement. However one can also realise oneself in a positive way. The disciplined forces of a great Empire are simply morally and spiritually beyond comparison to those of a mob.
I was present during the collapse of the [Soviet] Union as an aware adult (20 years old). Even at that point I was a conscious monarchist but, being subject to the anti-Soviet hysteria, I was overwhelmed by contradictory emotions. On one hand I felt satisfaction at the sight of the destruction of what was fundamentally an anti-Christian, anti-Russian and inhuman state. On the other hand there was the acknowledgement that the State was being literally destroyed and from those fragments it was fanciful to hope for the rebirth of the old Russia. There was also a strong premonition that those who spearheaded the revolution, represented none other than the most vile elements of the Soviet Nomenklatura and acted purely in support of their own material interests. Unfortunately that premonition came fully to fruition.
If during our age a serious war breaks out (I wouldn’t discount the possibility), do you really think that anyone could go through it with “unsullied hands”? From personal experience I can testify that saints in the modern-day Special Forces simply don’t last very long.
After having understood that I am a soldier, all the “young students” (as it turned out) started to accuse me of “serving the evil regime of Medvedev & Putin” and of being an “enemy of Russia”. I was frequently referred to as a “scoundrel” or as “ignorant” and other “pleasant” epithets (including some that are not fit to print).
I am speaking about those who are not only able to stare at the accursed TV-box but who meditate upon it and take action. In any society this comprises between 5–6 percent of the population (in our case it is probably less given the baleful effect on Russian minds of the Soviet experience). On their behalf the struggle must be fought. (That struggle itself is already in process.)
Even the status quo itself teeters on the brink of catastrophe. The collapse could happen in a matter of years and, should it not be averted by some kind of miracle, it will inevitably occur, burying for ever even the remains of our Russian civilisation from which by day we draw nourishment, all the while struggling to ignore what is going on around us. In order to escape this trap it is imperative that a rebirth of Russia is required in order to have any hope at all of preserving any of our past traditions.
If the people are armed and organised then the plans of our rulers to count on the followers of Kadyrov will turn to dust. These people are heroes only in their own legends (they are essentially all traitors and deserters from previous wars) and are hardly likely to place themselves on the line. They are perfectly capable of shooting someone in the back from an ambush but they would not put themselves in danger. In the event of a real ‘dust-up’ they are likely to simply spit on it all and go off and rob a few jewellery stores.
I consider myself a committed ideological adherent of autocracy (monarchy) in Russia. At the time I was one of the first oath-takers to Vladimir Kirillovich. I was young and impressionable. My disappointment was bitter. [Vladimir Kirillovich Romanov (1917-1992) – the son of grand prince Vladimir Kirillovich, cousin to Nicholas II; Head of the Russian imperial household and pretender to the Russian throne.]
Gentlemen! All elections are really held in the FAPSI (Federal Agency of Government Communications and Information). It doesn’t matter who and how many people voted. In the GAS (Automatic State System) election system the result is predetermined by which ‘favourites’ simply cannot receive a percentage of the votes less than input. The chosen candidate simply cannot poll less than 60% even if only a couple of people in the whole country voted for him.
May God be merciful to Russia and grant her a sovereign ruler. There is simply no-one who fits the bill amongst our contemporary politicians.
The Fatherland is an abstraction. To each and everyone the word means something different. For some it represents a value for which one is willing to sacrifice. For others it’s just an empty sound and a comfortable alibi for their own disreputable dealings. However the State has a completely concrete meaning. There is no gain in mixing up the two, State and Society – they are fundamentally different things. Kadyrov was dubbed a ‘Hero of Russia’ by the State (in fact his own nominated government) for some services or other to the State (again his government). For him Russia is absolutely not his Society.
The definition of the White Idea is extremely amorphous. I’m inclined to consider that it best finds it expression in the works of Solonevich and Illyin. There are many who could differ with me on that view.
I am 100% convinced that Bolshevik power still holds the reins in Russia. I also agree that the Bolshevik idea has mutated so much as to become unrecognisable. It is clear that the formal ideology of the Bolsheviks has become its antithesis. However in its deepest essence it retains critical aspects; its anti-Russian, unpatriotic, heretical trajectories remain fully intact. Its adherents are the linear ideological heirs of those who perpetrated the October revolution in 1917. They have changed their brand but the essence is exactly the same. Now having shed the ideology which hindered their personal enrichment and their diversion into material pleasure, they have remained in power. In 1991 there was a coup. The counter-revolution, to this day, has not been carried out.
Given the Western imperatives [to destabilise Russia], the attacks on Putin will not cease. They will continue with renewed vigour. Does this mean that we should support Putin? Of course not! More to the point, rather, it would be possible to support him, on condition that he make a change of course, a break with the criminal and that thoroughly bandit circle around him. However the likelihood of him taking that course is vanishingly small. His policies swing like a pendulum. He tried to satisfy at the same time the West and bases his constituency on Patriotism. This is the typical politics of a Latin American ‘Banana Republic’ Dictatorship which has fought its way to power and, will at any costs, maintain it.
In line with demographic projections, within 15 years in every single Moscow school, Tadjiks, Kirghizis and Kazakhs will comprise no less than half and up to two thirds of the children enrolled. Azeris and other Caucasians will comprise another quarter. The Russian enrollment will comprise only between 10-15%. We already see in our infant classes (I know from personal experience in one case and I have been informed by teachers regarding other instances) where the number of Kazaks and Asians is greater than the number of Russians enrolled. Do you seriously imagine that they will care about exhibitions and museums commemorating some distant civil war (where Russians killed other Russians)?
It is deeply unfortunate that honest Russians, patriots, caring about the fate of our land, interpret our epic and tortured journey through history as an inspiration for the resumption of enmity and bigotry. It is precisely this enmity and bigotry that devastated our land.
Rogozin is simply a project in public relations. You want Nationalism? You’ve got it! Look at me! It’s a tactical card played by Surkov, nothing else. This is simply a façade to prevent the emergence of a genuine leader. The presidential administration has a production line that regularly outputs such figurines.
The people are one, one whole – indivisible. You can’t really categorise and separate them into simple and educated. When the people really do “break themselves up” then you get confusion and civil war. It’s only when these artificial barriers are broken down that these wars can end.
Statement by Igor Strelkov, colonel in the reserves:
The key to success in the new type of war is to carry out preventive special operations rather than large-scale military ones. With the timely elimination of selected leaders, be it by methods that are not always outwardly legal, such operations can save thousands and thousands of lives and even entire regions. This is precisely how Israel’s armed forces and special services operate, and the results are clear: notwithstanding a hostile environment, the security of Israeli citizens is of an order of magnitude greater than that of any other country of the Middle East. But there is one major problem with this approach, namely the willingness to strike outside the borders of one’s own territory, including against states which support terrorists. We believe that victory over terrorists is impossible unless their bases are destroyed.
At the same time, strict control over one’s own borders is essential. Syria’s problem, as I see it, is that its borders are not in fact closed, and with the exception of a few areas, channels providing replenishment and equipment to fighters operate with little or no opposition from the government.
We must be realistic. Strikes are carried out against countries in which the situation is ripe for it. The crucial question arising for us in this context is whether the situation in Russia has reached a point where a repeat of Syria is likely here. It should be recognized that Syria was vulnerable from the start. 80% of the population are Sunni , while power is in the hands of the Alawites, representing 10%. The remaining 10% are composed of other ethnic and religious groups.
What happened in Libya ? Power was in the hands of a group of tribes representing about 10 % of the population . Under these conditions, the so-called revolution was in fact supported by the majority of the population. I see similarities with the situation in Yugoslavia in the early 1990’s. Political and demographic changes largely determined that in 1999, Yugoslavia was ripe for invasion, and this aggression did indeed take place.
We are now observing a situation in Russia which is similar to what we witnessed in Yugoslavia and what we are seeing in Syria today. This must be our basic assumption. When we speak of the actions of the armed forces, the special services, or the law enforcement bodies, we must not forget that if we do not pull out the root, we will not achieve victory over the enemy. The enemy attacks when he believes us to be at our weakest. We are currently seeing a highly alarming demographic situation throughout Russia, and this is primarily the case for ethnic Russians. The demographic composition of our society is changing more quickly than has ever been the case anywhere. We are seeing a powerful process of displacement of ethnic Russians from the Caucasus, the Volga region and Tuva. In some areas this process has already been completed. In Tuva, for example, the proportion of the Russian-speaking population has dropped from 33% to 8%.
In addition, there is mass migration into Russia, estimated at between 15-20 million people. Some are people quite alien to our society, who can not be “digested” within one or even two generations. Finding a solution to the problems of migration is very difficult. Today, any employer, company or state organisation needing workers is interested in attracting foreign manpower, as that is always more advantageous. Even when the wages paid to Russian citizens and to migrant workers are identical, it is always more advantageous for employers to hire foreigners. Frequently, no taxes, insurance or benefits are paid on their behalf. This is why large corporations have lobbied for the mass importation of migrants, and will continue to do so. According to statistics, a migrant in Russia works on average for three years. Afterwards (if he hasn’t been there from the start) he enters the shadow economy or trade. So a new worker needs to be found to replace him. And nobody ever goes back. This is why these flows are only increasing, and that is a trend that will continue. In Kyrgyzstan, for example, every second resident works in Russia.
The danger is that these people are often objectively disenfranchised and vulnerable, and so are fertile ground for radical Islam. Islamic centers, like the one recently closed in St. Petersburg , exist in other cities too. Moreover, they are no longer mono-ethnic, but bring together different ethnic groups professing Islam.
It is therefore essential to decisively fight the spread of radical Islam. This fight should be lawful but tough. It might perhaps even go beyond the framework of human rights. We must be aware that the enemy in such a war shows no restraint. The migration process can not be stopped or banned. We can detain hundreds or thousands of illegal migrants, but we will not succeed in stopping this process unless we take decisive measures at the level of the state.
In other words, the situation is continuing to move towards a tipping point. And once it is reached, it will all happen. If there are no radical changes in the development of the political situation in the country, if the authorities fail to understand the root cause of the problem, if there is corruption, then the danger of explosion within the country seems very high. We would then find ourselves in a losing position, would be attacked, blown up from within, and crushed. Today we face a situation when war could start any moment, at the click of a finger. As soon as the economic crisis breaks out, war will immediately begin. If we fail to draw the appropriate conclusions, we will meet the same fate as Assad, Qaddafi and Milošević. It must be understood that a potential enemy will inevitably attack us as soon as the authorities activate their efforts to consolidate the state. At that point, the Syrian experience might prove very useful to us.
Moreover, I do not quite agree with those who say that we are facing a new type of war today. The new is just the well-forgotten old. In that sense, there is nothing new to the new type of war. In 1917 we experienced exactly the same situation. A portion of the political elite conceived of the idea of an overthrow. It began implementing this idea, notably with the help of thoroughly propagandized street crowds as well as troops who did not want to go to the front. As a result, since it had failed to take timely measures to neutralize this elite, the powers in Russia were unable to crush the street, and under the pressure of this elite, the power itself in the end collapsed. Remember that in 1917, the activities of dissatisfied political elites were guided and supported by foreign embassies as well as other covert and secret international structures. So it is only in quite relative terms that we can speak of a new type of war.
The main problem facing all security services is to prevent the fraying of the “fabric” of the state. If the situation deteriorates, it is necessary to proceed to the next phase of security operations, and at that point, targeted special operations alone will no longer be sufficient.