#NOVOROSSIYA - #STRELKOV URGENT APPEAL/INTERVIEW - June 16, 2014 - PLZ RT WIDELY
Urgent Statement/Interview by Igor Strelkov:
“Immediate and Widescale Assistance from Russia is Needed”
by Alexander Kots and Dmitry Steshin
translated into English by Gleb Bazov
The Commander in Chief of the DPR militia believes that, if Moscow does not intervene, the self-defence units will be unable to withstand [the onslaught] of the Ukrainian army.
The Commander in Chief of the Donetsk People’s Republic’s militia told us about the massive artillery shelling of the residential neighbourhoods of Kramatorsk and offered an unpromising prognosis.
- Right now you are hearing explosions, the enemy is shelling the outskirts of Slavyansk and the city of Kramatorsk with several batteries of heavy howitzer artillery. The massive strikes are directed exclusively at the residential neighbourhoods and industrial complexes. While Slavyansk has, by now, become accustomed to constant, unending, daily, and nightly artillery strikes, in Kramatorsk there is now a state of panic. For the first time, apartment buildings and private houses there have been hit with heavy ammunitions. There are fires, explosions, a multitude of dead and wounded. This is being done to show all the cities of Donbass exactly what will happen to them in the future. They have [nearly] obliterated Slavyansk. Almost half the city’s population has fled to Russia. Now they will obliterate Kramatorsk, and Kramatorsk is larger than Slavyansk. We will end up with another several tens of thousands of refugees, the major part of which will end up in Russia. As far as I am aware, Russia is entirely unready to receive tens, hundreds thousands, and then millions of refugees. After Kramatorsk will follow Druzhkovka, Konstantinovka, Gorlovka, Makeevka, Donetsk, Lugansk, and then – everywhere else. We can see [perfectly well] how the Ukrainian army acts. They do not strike at the positions of the militia, [they strike] at the infrastructure. They promise to grant passage to the repair brigades, and then they shoot at them. They claim that we hit our own schools and water-purification facilities. As if we do it all, like terrorists, while they have nothing to do [with this destruction].
A brief prognosis. The enemy has transferred its main infantry and tank forces to the north of the Lugansk oblast and to the south of the Donetsk [oblast]. Each day they advance by 10-15 kilometres, methodically cutting off the “rebellious” regions from the border with Russia. Cutting [us] off from any and all help. [Cutting us off] from arms and ammunitions, which, hypothetically, could someday be supplied, from food and medicines. I can assure you that, if Russia does not take immediate steps, they will achieve success.
Even the several thousand militia, which are now concentrated along the border, armed with several tanks, a few artillery pieces, and perhaps even a large number of machine guns and grenade launchers, will be unable to withstand for a long time the aviation, artillery, and the multitude of tanks. The ration of tanks can be estimated at 1 to 500, of APCs – 1 to 300, and of artillery – 1 to 800. There is no point to even mention the aviation. A week, two, three, maybe even a month, will pass and the most battle-ready detachments of the militia will be bled dry and, sooner or later, will be routed and eliminated. This, how the enemy is acting, we have observed in Mariupol. They surrounded the city, blocked it with checkpoints, using their equipment, and cut it off from any possibility of help. After that, their punitive units entered. These special units, composed of the so-called volunteers, who, in reality, are mercenaries, the Azov, Donbass and other [such battalions]. Once done, they clean-up the city of the few militia there and move on to the next city. And, meanwhile, a garrison is moved into this city, which takes up key positions, routes all the “malcontents,” and places them in filtration camps. … That is what awaits us.
Now let’s talk about the social debate, where two alternatives are offered: a full-scale war and non-interference in the affairs of Novorossiya. What this non-interference represents is – inculcation into the Russian society of a belief that the local Russians, by themselves and without Russia’s help, will be able to defend Novorossiya, repel the enemy’s onslaught and hold for as long as may be necessary. So as to give Russia time to make some kind of decision. The second alternative is a belief that the commencement of war is not in Russia’s interest, that it will lead to serious economic consequences. I can say this: the war that is, even now, already ongoing, will end for Russia disastrously in an economic sense. Russia will suffer economically from this war because it did not intervene in time, did not introduce peacekeeping forces. [Russia] could have occupied the entire Donetsk and Lugansk regions when they rose up against the adversary. It could have been done painlessly right after the referenda. But Russia did not [intervene] and from that moment on we started to lose ground.
As it now stands, a peacekeeping intervention is impossible without engaging in a large-scale war, without aviation strikes, without artillery fire, without an incursion with tanks, without a partial mobilization of the Russian army. I will tell you honestly, we are biding time, we are mobilizing our paltry resources and people. But we cannot catch up to the enemy. Some think that the Ukrainian army will fall apart, should you only spit at it. It will fall apart once it meets a counterpart able to match it at least part-way. But what we have here is not even a fight between David and Goliath, it’s [an encounter] between an elephant and an ant. An ant can cause lots of pain biting an elephant. But even an old and sick elephant will crush an ant. Even if its legs buckle, the elephant will crush it with its sheer mass. It should not be forgotten that the enemy receives economic, financial and military aid from all of Europe and the United States. The hryvna floats after two month of war not because it’s a stable currency. This is just ridiculous. How could anyone think that we can stand our ground [when our enemy receives] such massive support? Yes, we can hold Slavyansk a month, maybe a month and a half, but sooner or later they will still eliminate us. We cannot transfer our garrison to another city without abandoning this territory. We can organize five Slavyansks, which will be encircled and eliminated, together with their populations. There is only one alternative to war or complete abandonment of Novorossiya – immediate de facto recognition of Novorossiya and Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and the provision of real, large-scale and urgent military assistance to them. I am addressing Russia as a Commander in Chief of the Donetsk People’s Republic’s militia and as a patriot of Russia and the Russian people. You can take it as a address from the name of [the entire] Donetsk militia.
Now, as for the tactical situation report. At this time, there are five howitzer batteries of the enemy near Slavyansk. They are comprised of twenty full-fledged heavy artillery pieces, with calibers ranging from 122 mm and larger. Four to five mortar batteries, with calibers 120 mm and 80 mm. The enemy has fortified its positions well, and its infantry numbers exceed ours. Furthermore, the enemy forces at each of its checkpoints equal our garrisons in Slavyansk and Kramatorsk combined. And I mean our entire garrisons. I am not even raising the equipment’s functional state. We have not even one tank. The enemy has them at each checkpoint. There are six tanks at their checkpoint near the turn onto Krasniy Liman. If I were to send the militia to assault this checkpoint, they would be hit with mortar fire in open field before even getting there. And then, from up high, the [enemy] aviation would bomb them, then the howitzer fire, and then the tanks would crush them. And what we’ll get is [a repetition of the battle] at the Donetsk airport, except with even higher casualties. When the militia, bled dry, would retreat to their starting positions, they would have no means not only to advance, but also to defend. And this breakdown is the same on every front. We can bite the enemy, we can attack from the flanks, we can operate in sabotage-intelligence groups and destroy 1-2 armoured elements a day. All made possible solely by the heroism of the fighters, who can penetrate into the enemy’s deep rear and hit him point-blank. But heroism alone, armed with light arms, grenade launchers and several mortars, cannot change the balance of the battle. We can only defend. Unfortunately, the enemy has superiority over us on every section of the battlefield. There are rumours that we have armoured vehicles, tanks. Never are there more lies than during war and fishing. I know that Alexander Mozgovoi conducted a good operation, seized some trophies, destroyed a few others. But all this is peanuts. The enemy can replace any number of destroyed or seized equipment from the endless Soviet reserves. And we don’t even have a secure rear for repairing armoured elements, we have no spare parts or supllies. One APC cannot stand against 20-30. And even the three old, aged tanks, which were, with great difficulty, restored in Gorlovka, even these three tanks cannot match thirty. Or, rather, sixty, ninety tanks. Ukrainian tanks can be counted in the hundreds. We won’t even speak about the Su-25 flying overhead – we do shoot them down, from time to time, but they maintain full superiority in the air.