June 5, 2015
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
On June 5, 2015, Deputy Corps Commander of DPR MOD Eduard Basurin answered journalist questions. His answers will probably disappoint some people. Especially those who believe that the best way to counter the current Ukrainian government is through an offensive operation aimed at Kiev.
Q: If UAF provocations continue, how will you react?
Basurin: We’ll suffer and wait, until they come to their senses.
Q: But civilians are dying.
Basurin: Please understand that we are soldiers. We are carrying out orders. Right now we have only one order–to implement the Minsk Agreements. No matter how difficult it is for us, we must do it.
Q: Tell us, how many UAF soldiers defected to the DPR?
Basurin: I can’t tell you. As far as I know, these numbers were cited by the Republic head. You have to understand these things happen quietly. People who defect to us have family and friends on the other side. Therefore nobody is advertising that fact, to prevent their families from suffering the consequences.
J.Hawk’s Comment: I think Basurin’s statement makes it pretty clear what the Kremlin strategy is, since that “one order” most likely did not originate with Zakharchenko but much higher up in the chain of command… And the strategy is very simple: in Ukraine’s two-front hybrid war against both the West and Russia (with Sochi serving as a latter-day Yalta of sorts), it’s not worth it for Russia to march in Kiev if the consequence is going to be a falling out among the “allies” and a new Cold War. We’re not talking about Nazi Germany which was too powerful to allow its continued existence, even if it meant risking a confrontation with the West. Ukraine is not in the same league, and if the West views it as a target, it’s essential not to do anything that might persuade it to view it as an ally.