Ex-Secretary of the security Council, the DNI, the former commander of the brigade “East” Alexander Khodakovsky is sometimes defined as the main local opposition. But the film, for all its “opposition” retains influence in the units formed of the commanders and fighters of the “East”, controls the situation on their fronts and continues to occupy with his staff his usual former base units of the SBU “alpha” in the center of the city.
Alexander Khodakovsky gave on this base in Donetsk unprecedented candid interview to the correspondent “MK”.
photo: Dmitry Durnev
— Passed the message on capture of the Ukrainian army another thousand meters “gray zone” under Debalcevo, advances and skirmishes under the Avdeevka, battles near the village of Spartak… What’s happening?
According to our data, at some distance from the front line are armored forces, missile and artillery units of the enemy, and they are sort of waiting for some large-scale operations. But they are quite far from the front line, and the line of contact at APU do not have the resources to go on the offensive. But are these forces enough to make any serious aggravation. Ukraine dominates at the expense of artillery suppression, and it gives them the initiative in a “grey zone”.
They like doing? Just dig in our direction message and immediately cover it with logs. From heavy infantry weapons, from the same AGS (automatic mounted grenade launcher. — “MK”), not to take them. And they do branch, digging new bunkers and so are moving constantly in the “grey zone”. But throws forward the kilometer range on one sector of the front now, no. Although the situation and Jack up last month.
— You all in April, he urged the population to prepare for the outbreak of the great war, and then suddenly announced that the summer will be calm…
— I’m not talking about a quiet summer. Just a large-scale offensive, which would’ve expanded our territory would not.
— And in April it was prepared?
— The military people have a lot of their “bells” and “jingle bells” that indicate that something is being prepared. Not to mention the operational capabilities and insider information. At my level of analysis of all said that he was preparing a massive offensive. Ukraine was also preparing but is unlikely to be decided on a proactive operation.
We had a lot of symptoms. First, under some tasks were charges of reservists. Of course, they had to fight themselves — under the guise of reservists would be fought by volunteers. Here — second: the Internet zapestrili reports of a training camp of volunteers in the Rostov region under the auspices of the organization of veterans of Alexander Beard. Gunmen began to appeal to veterans that do not succumb to the agitation for the creation of new battalions. This is all the people who fought here — the information went through the chain of friends, and to conceal it was impossible. These are signs of preparations for a major operation soon here and not in Syria. Well and there were plenty of signs, which they say is not worth it.
Our small operational headquarters here all this was interpreted unambiguously: or “Ukrainian partners” scared to push for some political decisions, or (preparation of forces and means talked about it) there is a possibility for a certain political situation to push their much more serious. The situation could swing anywhere. And in the end she is now, after a visit to Moscow Tillerson, yet swung in favor of a political settlement.
— Do you believe that the local approach in the overall picture of this war could have something radically change?
Well, here is how to look. If you say that a successful offensive would solve all problems, so no, it wouldn’t, and added many new ones. But some of the problems of the population of the urban conglomeration around Donetsk decided. Look at the map and estimate the population density somewhere in the region of the great Novoselovka, Dobropole or local — and compare it to Donetsk. There is quite empty, and we can say: “Fight, without disturbing people!” Would be a serious moral effect on our tired population.
Well, then you had a lot to assume and plan — for example, that just 40% of the most combat-ready units of the Ukrainian army is in our area, in the case of boilers and the withdrawal of these troops from the game could be completely different political situation in Kiev. Maybe it would be possible to speak about federalization, if we had not “certain areas”, and two full-fledged region. But what to talk about this now? This has not happened.
— You can explain your status in Donetsk?
— Over the years developed a relationship that some units don’t fight. (Laughs.) Any conditions stipulated when we are “East” filled given to us quotas in law enforcement bodies. Then it was already clear that there are commanders who are willing to interact only with me and to fulfill someone’s orders only after a conversation with me. Understand that this is impossible neither in Russian nor in Ukrainian armies, but here, too, it happened, and this system is there optimum.
For example, we had 4,000 people in the “East” and in forming the army corps received 2200 staff vacancies on the 11 shelves. The others — fifteen hundred battle-hardened, trained and effectively warring people — which on the street to drive? They in the end are all integrated into different security agencies, but under the now-public education, which I direct, they are still connected. This compares with a lost status of the commissioners, when they were at the beginning of the Patriotic war on the same level commanders. Let’s assume that I am the Commissioner of all divisions created from the former soldiers of the brigade “East”. This is the answer to your question?..
— Yes, the answer is. We decided that a decisive attack in the Donbass to fall will not be exact. But this inflated trench warfare much your people are still willing to stand? Three months, a year or two?
— The individual units sustainability and survivability more than others, but the resource people are of course limited. How long we can hold on, I’m not ready to predict.
Here, of course, not the Syrian option when before lunch, shoot a tank, then drank tea, then another shot and went to sleep… But in his departments we have built the most sparing mode of living, leisure, martial work as possible on the front line. People systematically around the conditions are in position, but survival rates are still high, there is a rotation, and the war for many has turned into a job for which they “go”.
However, the lack of meaning of the present war, clear perspectives, a lack of understanding of what is happening affects our people. And if you take soldiers who are in other departments much more severe conditions are, there is a level of patience runs out faster. Save these units only that the official report on dismissal, to the translations that are written in batches, are simply ignored for months are not considered by the command to fight because there will be nobody.
And new comers of the military come?
— No, a big no-flow. There are a number of statements directly and in part through military enlistment offices in the building, but it is insignificant. I deny the stamp that in the army there appeared a class of “pjatnadtsatitysjachnyj”. For salaries of fifteen thousand roubles in our corner of the world, of course, possible in any engineering units to go, but in order for the money to go to the “front”, needs to be internal motivation.
But the rear is staffed with?
— I think just the rear service problems with staffing have not. A lot of guys tell me that the soldiers, fifteen thousand zakontraktovana through the military, knowing that they are distributed to the front, immediately fired. There are such cases.
photo: Dmitry Durnev
But there is another serious factor. It is difficult to talk about proportions, but at the time in the “East” to 40% of the personnel were from the territories which are under the control of the APU. They just have nowhere to go. Their house remained there, and there is a high level of unemployment, and their civil capacity are not applicable. They are forced to fight and to survive, must learn military Affairs in the best way. And they — the permanent backbone units. If all scatter, these will remain.
Just yesterday we took in as a shooter polka, which in our area for the third year, though, and speaks with an accent still. Strongly lit, the home already waiting for her with the criminal case. Foreigners do not have the weather, but they are. And they also have nowhere to go. And not only them.
We have recently solved the problem with the restoration of documents for the Russians from Rostov, who fought together with us here at the airport lost a leg. And now were not wanted: guy, 29 years old, with his wife, sick with cancer, was thrown out on the side of life. He holds, did not drink, did not ask for help but information about it came, and now we are booking him as a clerk to us so at least some salary was. Sent help him to Rostov to recover documents…
A lot of different cases, but I talk about them, mainly to show that many would not have dragged this war — there will always be those who corny nowhere to go. Always in this war, who and who fight.
It is understandable that people are deformed, despite all the conditions we create, and many can no longer live in a civil mode. This is a problem of all protracted conflicts.
Well, then how people of this war you can make a prediction: what will happen next?
— My opinion: the end of this year should be decisive. Russia and Ukraine will enter the race, and they will need to enter them with some certainty on the situation in the Donbass. And here we have a decisive word — only their own opinion to voice. Neither option is optimal: neither a full-scale offensive, nor the implementation of the “Minsk”, nor is the current state of “neither war nor peace”. Need, in my opinion, some kind of new format.
We cannot afford to ignore our changes, nor the changes that occurred in Ukraine or Russia’s problems associated with sanctions, with pressure from the West, with the internal situation.
I’m more inclined to the version that all parties recognize that the situation has reached a dead end and she should settle.
— How much to settle?
— Not one year! Let’s look at Transnistria. In fact, the passion that moves people, when they are four months of fighting in 1992, has already left. People in Transnistria are now living more modestly than in Moldova, and is much more modest than in Russia. My prediction is that if anyone would resist the accession of Transnistria to Moldova, so only the elite that had this pseudo-the most direct benefits. And people if there’s now to say that Ukraine is blocking us, smuggling is impossible, and from the entry to Moldova you can enjoy all the benefits bezveza, joining the EU has normal relations with Russia, strongly resent are only few activists.
But to such options we can discuss — it would take more than twenty years after the war and, without war!
How many of us here for such a need — I don’t even know. But if Russia is not ready for military action if it has no strategic plans at this point, we just need to recognize the objective of the status quo. We cannot say that we now lead with Ukraine any constructive dialogue. If Ukraine for a ribbon administrative responsibility now comes — what kind of Amnesty it is possible to speak to us, the gunman and fought against it?..
The situation of “neither war, nor peace” cannot last long — everyone was tired. So I even went to the introduction of the peacekeeping contingent, which is rigidly “sanatorium” the line of contact and the parties will return to its internal agenda. Restore over the asphalt surface under Gorlovka — we’re right back to each other to go…
— You have the option of Transnistria as an example of a situation where the preserved economic ties?
— What is the “Transnistria” as a status, which allows you to relive and dissolve the mutual hatred and negativity between Ukraine and the us.
If we don’t consider the option of a full-scale war, then the phasing is simple. To take all measures to take control of both sides of the front line. Decipher what this means: on the other side has blotches, which they call “third force”. Deceit of the highest order when the government and APU saying “we do not shoot here, and the position “press” and fighting out of control “the Right sector” (banned in Russia – “MK”), with the support of some artillery “third force”. From our side also in the front line there is a patchwork of units raznovidnostei subordination, in which some units comply with the order to cease fire, and others are not. In 2014, the Deputy commander of Land forces of Russia the General Linkov very effectively here supported the truce. Then it was observed clearly, and, you know, there have been episodes when the APU themselves suppress groups of “Right sector” (banned in Russia) if they do not comply with the order to cease fire.
If it is decided at the political level — it is necessary to achieve reliable and complete cessation of hostilities, as it was then. Will not escalate the coffin situation will be calmer and in the information field. And everyone will go about their problems. Maybe a year still popllama through the line, spitting pavitram, and then forget for a couple of years of each other. But we’ll see.
— Do not turn into a swamp — behind this “concrete”?
— We and so for these three years has turned into a swamp, if you objectively look. But any swamp to drain — you just need to understand in which direction we should dig ditches. In Ukraine we have them now just to dig will not. You need to look at the situation objectively: a lot of active members in the social movement “Donetsk Republic”, there is “Free Donbass”, the militia, the public sector… People directly “tied” in the country and falling under the article about the “separatism”, “cooperation with foreign intelligence services” and other Ukrainian criminal prosecution — several hundred thousand people!
— Ukraine is preparing an Amnesty for any and all civil officials of the breakaway republics. They are working on this problem too…
— No questions! But the shooter in the direction of Ukraine is also already under a hundred thousand will be typed. If only the “East” during the three years of war passed through its membership of 8,000 people! Not counting civilians, there is a huge number of people in the case, law enforcement agencies, police departments and others. Those that voluntarily on the chopping block will go? No, of course!
No need to introduce us “uporotyh” opponents of any dialogue with Ukraine — we may have a lot in common: air, water, minerals and wildlife, the environmental consequences of war in the territory, where two hundred years was continuously dug the mine. But any attempt at reconciliation and transfer of the territories under the control of Ukraine there is a powerful terrorist threat. There are many people who, if it is to develop such a scenario, considers that any such arrangements do not concern them. The same number of people (and I suspect much more) is in Ukraine. If these people at the hands of a huge quantity of arms and acquired combat experience and the care of the “security zone” in the front line, which is still some level of filtering and differentiation provides, these people who fought to move. Add to this the issues of language, symbolism and other factors of irritation — and you can predict that the war that is now somehow localized around the front line, spread throughout the territory.
And then the question of the Ukraine is not a political community, and the country: whether it is necessary to Donbass returned in these circumstances? For example, I don’t want assholes, wherever they were, blew up civilians. I would rather that here was a concrete fence, until we solve the internal problems, we will confiscate weapons and explosives from hands to fight, pacify the population. The same thing Ukraine should do with their radicals, the rhetoric of change, in the end.
As for our complete isolation, it will not. “Concrete” is only one side — from Russia. Russia is going to integrate with us now — albeit not to the extent that we want it. But it can be understood: it is not a good life for border crossings from Russia are imported large x-ray machines to Shine through heavy machinery on the subject, we are not driven if there is something to shoot and blow up… It’s okay, that’s right, security measures should be taken, and integration needs to be calm, planned, without “berganini”.
My future “bog” a little worried — I’m more worried that now the situation is a stalemate, and no one offers any reasonable solutions that would be at least minimally optimal. “Minsk” for these years are already outdated…