"Игорь Стрелков. Интервью журналистам Газеты. ru 17. 11. 2014"
Igor Strelkov. Interview to the journalists of Gazeta. ru 17. 11. 2014
00:00 – 12:18
Dergachov: - Hello. We're on "Main Theme", I am Vladimir Dergachov, a journalist from "Gazeta.ru", and here's my colleague Peter Vlasov. Our guest today is the former commander of the Donbass volunteer corps - Igor Strelkov. The first question will be rather cliched. What is your name actually - Igor Ivanovich or Igor Vsevolodovitch? Why do you have this
Strelkov: - Well, you probably know that security service members often make up undercover names for themselves that they use while working in the regions, let`s say, with difficult operational situation. This name was chosen by me in 2000.
D: - What was the situation?
S: - In the Chechen Republic, where I was in military service for quite a long time - from 1999 to 2005.. I served there on a regular basis about two and a half years, and I also undertook five or six long trips there. So in average in these years, more than half of the time I spent on the territory of Chechnya.
D: - Why the name of Strelkov?
S: - "Strelkov" was my grandmother's last name
D: - One of the coordinators of DPR, who supplies the weapons and equipment - Alexander Zhuchkovsky - recently arranged a meeting with you. He told me about the meeting. Now he is persecuted by Russian security forces. Aren't you afraid that is goimg to happen to you as well? You're actually involved in the same activity.
S: - First, a small remark: neither Zhuchkovsky nor me are involved in delivering weapons. No weapons or ammunition whatsoever.
D: - He calls it non-humanitarian aid.
S: - Non-humanitarian aid, that is, supplying components and equipment, but not weapons. Is it possible to define as humanitarian aid the acquisition and delivery of thermographic cameras or night vision devices, that are used in combat? It would not be quite humanitarian aid, because it is aimed at strengthening the combat capabilities of the fighters who use this equipment. But there's no way you could define this as weapons. Therefore, let us define the terms at once: neither I nor Zhuchkovsky supply any weapons. We neither have the right to do it nor the mere possibility to do it. As for being afraid, "If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen". If you presume you could be imprisoned for any action aimed at real help to the volunteer corps, to the defenders of the people of Novorossia and of Russia in a wider perspective, you can't help but feel threatened. But I'm actually past that for a long time now, and so are most of my colleagues. We all have places reserved in Hague or Kiev. Certain people on the net even mention Nuremberg. But I can frankly say I am not scared.
V: - You can well estimate how successful are forces in Russia in delivering humanitarian aid to the people of Lugansk and Donetsk - just how massive is this aid?
S: - You have to distinguish between the aid provided by the state of Russia as such and non-governmental aid. According to the "field info" that I get every day, by e-mail, by phone, on Internet forums from Donetsk, Luhansk, etc., I can surely say that the aid provided by the state of Russia is extremely insufficient and that it hardly even reaches the population of those regions - it ends up on the market fo the most part.
V: - You mean the aid provided by Russia gets stolen and eventually resold?
S: - Exactly - those who receive this aid directly and are supposed to pass it on to the population of the republics are mostly fraudsters.
V: - Are those the people who work in the official structures of DPR and LPR? The official authorities of the republics?
S: - I cannot answer this question because I'm not there right now and can't see for myself. The people who usually report to me about it, are not really linked to the authorities in DPR and LPR.
V: - Are you going to find ways to deliver this aid directly so it reaches the people it is supposed to reach?
S: - We actually do have the 'channels' that can honestly ensure proper delivery, but not even nearly enough of them. The social movement "Novorossia" that I guide just doesn't realistically have the capabilities to feed many millions of inhabitants in Donetsk and Lugansk regions. We don`t even set such goals. Our primary goal is to help the battling volunteers, their families, the wounded, the bereaved families directly hurt. It is a narrower problem, but at least it can realistically be solved by us, even if only in part. Still, let me repeat -- large-scale official humanitarian aid from the state of Russia to the people of Donbass is necessary. We cannot cope alone.
V: - Do you monitor the humanitarian situation now in the areas touched by fighting? What do you expect for the winter? What will several millions of people encounter? How serious is the threat of real hunger and cold there?
S: - I just received a report today that states that 70-80 percent of the civilians in Donetsk are on the verge of starvation. While they still have something to eat, the reserves are insufficient. What's important as well - it's often the older people and the disabled people that are still there and suffer, not the younger, able-bodied poulation. They don`t have the opportunity to make money, they don`t get their pensions from the state of Ukraine, they don`t get any other kind of welfare they're normally entitled to. That means they depend on humanitarian aid alone. If they don`t get it then they will find themselves on the brink of starvation.
V: - Do you have any info that suggests someone intends at least to solve this problem - be it the Ukrainian government, the Russian government or international organizations?
S: - I know that Kiev does deliver humanitarian aid. There's been two deliveries this week, as far as I know, the aid reached the population. Akhmetov provides assistance as well. So the fact that the aid from Russia, which is much more large-scale and is really being sent, doesn't reach the people of Donbass is particularly outrageous. Who is to blame for this - I believe this should be handled by competent authorities.
D: - Let's go back to the beginning of events in Slavyansk. The local press wrote that there were well-armed, well-equipped people there. They were even confused with the notorious "polite people" at first. Can you tell us about this operation in detail? Who gave the order to take the city of Slavyansk? Whose order was it?
S: - Mine. There wasn't any other.
D: - So at that very moment you didn't coordinate your actions with the Russian authorities, did you?
S: - Of course not. Nobody could coordinate my actions.
D: - But in Crimea you acted in cooperation with them?
S: - I'm ready to cooperate with the Russian authorities even now, if they show real interest in interacting with us. I am still a reserve officer, I swore allegiance to the Russian nation, to the state of Russia. If the Russian state wants to interact with us, and if our goals happen to be the same, I am always ready to carry out orders. Like I said, I'm a reserve officer, after all, and I can be called up for service at any time. I can obey orders.
D: - Can you be called up for service? Boroday said that you are a hero, but not a politician. Therefore you have been "squeezed out".
S: - Let's distinguish clearly between the Donetsk People's Republic and the Russian Federation. I am a reserve colonel. If there's mobilization to be announced, I can immediately be called to serve in this status. As for the People's Republic of Donetsk, despite the fact that I was the one-time commander of the volunteer corps, I am neither a citizen nor an official. In fact, although the volunteer corps in DNR was created and developed largely under my guidance, I'm not officially its member. I created it, and it's just me who issues orders within it. I didn't consider it possible to issue an order enrolling myself officially in its ranks. In Slavyansk I defended the interests of Russia, the interests of the Russian people. Including the Russian population of Donbass.
D: - Did you have disagreements with Zaharchenko? He's been criticizing you quite harshly, claiming that you want to blow up two nine-storey buildings because it will eventually make it easier to defend the city of Donetsk.
S: - This is completely false. This "info" has been made up by Mr.Purgin. The last time I've been in Donetsk for a month, we met just once, although he claimed he sees me every day. This is where the lie about the explosions originated. There's not a gram of truth in this. Besides, I've never had a conflict with Zakharchenko before I left the People's Republic of Donetsk. Before leaving, I handed over to him the position of the Minister of Defense. Until that, he couldn't be in a conflict as such with me - he was my subordinate and obeyed my orders unconditionally, including taking part in combat operations, where I sent him.
V: - Igor Ivanovich, don`t you have feeling of a disappointment? The people you actually were brothers-in-arms with, are basically backbiting you now. How do you feel about it? How have you changed your opinion about those people?
S: - I am somewhat disappointed in Zakharchenko. Actually, I've never made it secret that I'm disappointed in him.
V: - Do you think that you were motivated by different goals?
S: - I did suspect he had a slightly different motivation than me. Our tactical goals were the same at the momemt, and I didn't consider our differences particularly important back then. Still, I had a better opinion of him, so to speak.
V: - What was, in your opinion, the main motivation for the people who came to participate in this conflict? What were their views, what was it that they wanted, what was it they came to fight for?
S: - We didn't really conduct "polls" among them. I assume their motivations were varied. Those who served in our departments in Slavyansk, were mostly aiming to protect the Russian people.
V: - So, some kind of an ideological motivation?
S: - Yes, I think that the majority of the volunteers were fighting just for that. Besides, all our units were composed entirely of volunteers, people who really wanted to come there. We didn't have the time nor the means to call a "mobilisation".
Сообщение отредактировал Izhitsa: 17 December 2014 - 08:27