May 23, 2015
By Russkiy Malchik
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
As to those who are angrily yelling that Russia abandoned its guys in Kiev’s captivity and is doing nothing to save them, I’ll say only one thing–shut up and stop lying.
You don’t pity these guys, you only need another reason to complain about Russia and its leadership. To engage in a little schadenfreude over a difficult situation and to stir up hatred: in Ukraine toward Russians, and in Russia toward the authorities.
Here’s what is really going on:
1. More likely than not, these were Russian military servicemembers on active duty. And it’s good that they are there, on the Donbass. And that they fight against the punitive units, supporting the militia and protecting the civilian population. The Russian Army should and will defend the Donbass, one way or another. Moreover, our soldiers go there as volunteers, those who don’t want can refuse, and then they are sent back to their units.
2. Yes, Russia does not acknowledge the presence of its troops on the Donbass, since we are not fighting against the people of Ukraine, we fight against US puppets who gained power in Ukraine adn who use that nation as sheep to be shorn. That’s why they released UAF soldiers, not taking them prisoner last fall. That’s why we don’t acknowledge Aleksandrov and Yerofeyev are prisoners of war or even members of the military. But that doesn’t mean that Russia is abandoning them as citizens. Rather to the contrary–the Kremlin said it will do everything possible to have them returned.
3. It’s nothing terrible that our guys were captured. Avoiding even a single slip-up in over a year of combat operations, when you are dealing with thousands of people, even military people, is unrealistic. It’s remarkable there was only one such case. Given the scale of operation it’s a minor slip-up. Almost as in the Crimea.
4. Russia will do everything to get its guys out of captivity. As to the guys themselves, their main task is to not allow the Banderites to break them psychologically, not succumb to brainwashing, withstand humiliations. I hope they were trained to do that. As to what specifically should be done to secure their release, that’s something that MOD, MFA, and the Kremlin know better since they have more complete information about the situation. It’s pointless to give advice on the basis of what’s reported in the media or rumors in the blogosphere. It’s stupid and may even be harmful.
To all fighting for Novorossia: respect.
J.Hawk’s Comment: Aleksandrov and Yerofeyev most likely were there on an official mission, though not a combat one. Given their proximity to the front line and the small size of their team, they likely served the role of trusted eyes and ears on the ground. Given that what happens in LPR could lead the world to a brink of nuclear war, it’s only to be expected that the Kremlin would want trusted sources of information on what is happening at the front lines. OSCE is not going to provide it, neither will Kiev or even LPR/DPR authorities who have their own priorities which may not always coincide with that of the Kremlin.
As to how they were captured, there are two not necessarily mutually exclusive possibilities.
1. UAF got lucky. But given that there are few such prisoner snatches in recent history, they must have either gotten very lucky indeed. Unless…
2. They were betrayed by someone within LPR. SBU likely has agents in both LPR and DPR, and moreover LPR has a long history of military formations refusing to accept LPR’s authority. Because, let’s face it, whichever LPR unit they were attached to at the time of their capture, it did not exactly do a very good job of protecting their charges. I’m sure conclusions are being drawn even as I type this, unless they’ve been drawn already.
As a final note, it is a testimony to how low Ukraine has fallen in Western eyes that the case is not getting the 24/7 coverage it would have gotten even a few months ago. Remember how even a couple of months ago everyone was predicting a new UAF campaign sometime in the spring or summer? Well, it would seem this is it. The whole point of all these battles was to convince the West Russia was invading Ukraine. Except that the West was none to eager to listen then, and is even less so now.