DONBASS WARLORDS

WITOLD DUDZIŃSKI

The successful bomb assassination on Aleksander Zacharczenka, a chief of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, is inscribed in the series of mysterious murders of separatist leaders of republics and is an extra evidence that four years after they appeared their future is unknown. Or if one thinks that makeshift is the most permanent.

Ukraine and its partners are still demanding the return of the region under the control by Kiev under Minsk agreements, which is verbally supported by the Russian authorities. However, ‘the republics’ reject the idea of getting joined to the rest of Ukraine. As a result, the eastern regions of this country remain at the state of a permanent war.

Identity of Donbass

At the times of the USSR the regional strengthening of Donbass, being the effect of its specific history, was favoured by its particular status. Miners were the avant-garde of the USSR, and Donbass was called the heart of the country. After Ukraine began to exist, Donbass was becoming more and more isolated from the rest of the country in a political, economical and cultural sense. Because although a majority of inhabitants of Donetsk and Ługańsk voted for the independence of Ukraine, expecting that this country would take care of their interests, it did not happen so.

Inhabitants of the region ‘feeding Ukraine’ – who lost the high status from the times of the USSR – lived with a feeling of injustice. Ukraine became a foreign country for Donbass very quickly , which did not respect its status but considered it as the Trojan horse. In these conditions the Russian services must have been trying too much, to cause the outbreak.

A new cult

Today both republics are chasing together in legitimization and emancipation and are distancing from Ukraine more and more: the signs of the past affiliation are liquidated, a historic policy is pursed to revise the previous examples and evaluations of events. There are attempts to enforce the term ‘the nation of Donbass’.

There are appearing new feasts (for example the anniversary of the operation in Debalcew and Czernuchino, when nearby Debalcew the armies of Ukraine were crushed). Both para-republics, which without the help of Russia – initially the military one, and also the financial one – could not exist, are trying to create new heroes and are commemorating those who were killed by ‘the Kiev oppressors’.

There are new interpretations of the war events of 1941-45, comparing them to the current actions ‘against Ukrainian fascists’. A new cult helps in make para-republics oppose to Ukraine. The effect is to create a new community of Donbass.

On the way to a wedding

A lot of commanders from the times of fights of 2014 were put aside, often in a violent way. But they were not killed by ‘the Kiev oppressors’. Those who are really for the ‘Russian spring’ in Donbass, do not need self-sufficient leaders. For this reason, the death of Zacharczenko is not the exceptional one. The series of warlords’ death going on till today began in the beginning of 2015. Aleksander Biednow, the former chief of the Luhansk Inner Ministry and the division ‘Batman’ was killed then. Being accused of abuses, he refused to give in. A train of cars in which he was going, was attacked with shootings by a special division of the Inner Ministry.

A few months later, Aleksiej Mozgowoj, a commander of a brigade ‘Prizrak’ (Widmo) was killed in an assassination on the way to his own wedding, and then Paweł Driomow, a commander of the 6th Cossack regiment was killed. Neither of them wanted to get subordinated to the authorities of the Luhansk People’s Republic, Driomow even announced an idea of creating a Cossack state.

A firepower

A bomb also killed Oleg Anaszczenka, a chief of the Luhansk People’s Republic militia but Giennadij Cypkałow, the former ‘prime-minister’ of the Luhansk People’s Republic was found after hanging himself. Before that, having drunk coffee with the envoys of the Luhansk People’s Republic, his predecessor, the former ‘prime minister’ Walerij died. Another leader Igor Płotnicki, who had conflicts with the neighbours from the Donetsk People’s Republic in, was saved by deciding to leave for Russia for ever.

The death of Aren Pawłow, nicknamed Motorola, a chief of the Battalion ‘Sparta’ echoed loudly in the Donetsk People’s Republic: somebody planted a bomb in a lift of his house. His companion Michaił Tołstych, nicknamed Giwi, was killed in his office with a bullet from a grenade launcher. In Russian gorki Jewgenij Żylin, an organizer of a division which got a control of a building of the town council in Donieck, was killed. Zacharczenko supported the command of Żylin.

The circumstances of the latter one’s death – in a restaurant belonging to him – prove that special services and people knowing a schedule of the warlord’s day and a way of security maintenance were involved in the assassination. These were professionals: only Zacharczenko was killed. And although the Russian propaganda keeps pointing to the Ukrainian saboteurs as culprits, it is not right to think so. It will surely turn out by the way of other possible assassinations.

Translated by Aneta Amrozik

Niedziela 37/2018 (16 IX 2018)

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Lidia Dudkiewicz • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl