Lost in translation: is it Novorossia police, militia, or armed forces?


February 26, 2015

Kristina Rus

Minsk-2 points:

“Disarmament of all illegal groups.”

“The creation of people’s militia units [police] upon the decision of local councils in order to maintain public order in individual areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions”

The change from militia to Novorossia Armed Forces and back to militia has occurred mostly in the information space, but in reality it never changed.



Ministry of Defence of DPR

People’s Police Corps of MD DPR

The term “People’s Police” has to be seen in the light of the points of the “Minsk agreement”, according to which the People’s Republic cannot have their own armed forces, which is why NAF units are now formally referred to as the “People’s Police”, or militia.

However this change did not occur after Minsk-2. Back in November 2014, when Novorossia was consolidating the various armed groups under one command, it already had the name of “People’s Police (or Militia) Corps”.

Meanwhile you would rarely hear the term “police” in frontline updates and Russian news reports and Novorossia military is often simply referred to as Ministry of Defense Corps in official statements or “militia”, which in Russian can mean both “self-defense forces” and “people’s police”.

So for the West it’s just “police”, but for Russia it’s “self-defense”.

The LPR militia will not be disbanded under the Minsk agreement, said the head of LPR People’s Council, Alexey Karyakin.

The Minsk agreement legalizes NAF/militia/People’s Police on the constitutional level, basically allowing LPR and DPR to have their own armed forces under a soft term “People’s Police” (to calm the West and the Ukrainian war party?). While at the same time calling for eradicating illegal armed groups (now left only on the Ukrainian side). Is this why there was such a rush in November/December/January to get all the militia units under one command? So now Poroshenko, Merkel and Hollande have basically signed off under Novorossia army.

Clearly the Minsk agreement was designed to mean different things for different sides to calm their respective constituencies and to make “the whole greater then the sum of all parts”.

Now Poroshenko can find consolation in the fact that UAF was decimated by the People’s Police and not by Novorossia Armed Forces. 

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