Translated from Russian by Gleb Bazov / edited by @GBabeuf & S. Naylor
I logged on with the purpose of jotting down a few lines (thankfully, we have a quiet period here—the Ukies are waiting for rocket deliveries).
I constantly read comments of the following kind “why should Russia help those who refuse to fight for themselves?” As if ninety percent of Slavyansk residents are hiding at home… And the writers of those comments refer to my own statements (“Strelkov said it himself”).
I consider it my duty to provide an explanation:
1. If we had sufficient weapons, then the Slavyansk garrison alone would have numbered several thousands of fighters.
2. If we had the ability not only to arm (as well as to provide clothing and boots to) our fighters, but also to provide support to their families financially, at least at the level of an average local salary (do not forget, people come to risk their lives!), then in Slavyansk alone we already would have had a division and would have had to deal with a queue waiting for weapons.
3. If we had a secure rear (and an army at war is critically dependent on a secure rear), then we could have conducted a mobilization that would have given us tens of thousands of fighters—and people, who even now are working (and I mean really working, not lying around on couches like the great multitude of “office plankton” in Russia’s megalopolises, who have long ago forgotten what it is like to work in industry and in mining) would have readily and en masse come to our aid.
There will always be a dearth of volunteers. My address [Note: Igor Strelkov is referring to a video address in which he blasted the lack of men willing to fight] was intended not for Russians, but for Donbass residents, and was aimed at slightly increasing the numbers of recruits. The video address achieved its goal. Now we have almost too many recruits, but we have neither weapons nor boots, nor uniforms with which to equip them and to put them into action.
The assistance that now comes from Russia [Note: Igor Strelkov is referring to weapons and volunteers that arrive on a private basis] was needed a month ago. At that time, it could have brought us significant success. As things stand now, this assistance is barely allowing us to stand our ground; it gives us no chance to turn the tide in our favour (see earlier post about “the chewing of a certain substance by the Kremlin bureaucracy”).
We have nothing. Everything is delayed not just by days, but by weeks… And laugh all you want, but the Ukies significantly outpace us. However clumsy their [military] machine may be, it is now directed by competent guys from overseas (although I can only imagine how they rage and “climb the walls” because of Ukie slowness and screw-it-all siesta attitude—just about how I feel about their Russian counterparts). And these [overseas] guys are chasing the [Ukrainian] dilapidated [war] machine forward with kicks—forward to eliminate and to erase [us] from the face of the Earth. And, [while they drive Ukrainians onwards], with their other hand they throw the Kremlin various carrots in the form of “partial payment for [natural] gas”, “negotiations”, and so on.
And [while this goes on], days turn into weeks, weeks into months—and still we have no real help, and the successes we achieved early on, while we were on the rise, have long since dissipated. The stick bends and it bends, it cracks and it fractures, but, for now, it still bends… When the stick finally snaps, with a crunch, it will be much too late.
We need Russia’s help now like we need air to breathe! We are prepared to die in the ruins of Slavyansk, but we need reason firmly to believe that the dead and the wounded that fell to the unending howitzer fire were not sacrificed in vain! A firm belief that it was not for nothing that we took a stand and brought war with us into this beautiful city, and that the victims among its population did not fall in vain! But our faith rips, it is torn by storm winds like thin plastic—polyethylene stretched out in the face of a hurricane—and every day, it rips deeper and deeper.
As for the freaks who preach about the “lack of political and economic rationale for Russians to defend the South-East [of Ukraine]”, I would have—no, I would not have them shot! Here, we have what has become a standard punishment—the “penal sapper squad”. They dig trenches under fire in Semyonovka. Well, I would have sent these [analytical] freaks to this squad. For a week. So as to help them remember that, first and foremost, they are Russian, and only second—“Russian citizens.”