Address by Igor Ivanovich Strelkov, September 11, 2014
Translated from Russian by Gleb Bazov (Subheadings by the Translator)
Edited by S. Naylor
It has been a month since the moment when I had to resign from my position as the Donetsk Peoples’ Republic (“DPR”) Minister of Defence and the Commander-in-Chief of the Militia. I will not say that this decision was easy for me. Nor were the circumstances, in which it was made, simple. The city of Donetsk and the entire grouping of the DPR armed forces were in an operational encirclement, repulsing with great difficulty the unending attacks of the punitive forces, which were coming from all directions.
Only a few of those in the leadership of the Republic knew that within the next few days significant changes would occur, and that the enemy would be dealt a decisive defeat. I was one of those few, but I could not even hint to my subordinates that soon we would be on the offensive and start to retake the positions occupied by the enemy. It was even more difficult to realize that the liberation of the abandoned towns and settlements of the Donbass region (abandoned pursuant to orders made personally by me) would have to be led by someone other than me. Morally, it was hard to abandon my comrades, leave them, so to speak, in the “early hours before the dawn,” when the death of our common cause seemed to many to be inevitable.
I will not focus on the circumstances that forced me to resign. I will only say that the decision I made then has justified itself and –– on the eve of the offensive – allowed leadership of the armed forces of the DPR to unite in the hands of one and to avoid many of the conflicts, which, akin to leprosy, were eating away at the Republic; and also to ensure a reliable supply of everything necessary to our units and detachments.
On the Precipice of Victory and on the Verge of Defeat
Over the past several weeks the situation at the front in Novorossiya had fundamentally changed. In most areas, the punitive forces had been repulsed after suffering enormous losses, and had gone on the defensive. The prerequisites for the complete liberation of Donbass from the punitive armies and the units of the Kiev authorities had been formed. Snarling, the enemy started to back away to the west under the blows of the DPR army, and panic had seized its forces and its leadership.
But what happened next? Right before our eyes the forces that once almost destroyed the Russian Spring intervened, and thereafter never ceased their attempts to eliminate the People’s Liberation Movement of the Russian people of Novorossiya. There is no villainy, which is beyond these forces that have repeatedly manifested themselves in the modern history of our Fatherland in the most sinister of forms. It was these forces, directed from abroad, that played a decisive role in the destruction of the USSR in 1991, and thereafter throughout the 90’s openly abused the peoples of Russia; organizing an orgy of looting of the enormous Soviet economic and cultural heritage. They staged liberal experiments – monstrous in their consequences – on the remnants of our Motherland; not caring in the slightest about the consequences for the country, which they referred to (and to this day continue to mock) with contemptuous epithets.
Russia Rising from her Knees
This bacchanalia of collapse was accompanied by bloody wars that they provoked, by a savage orgy of rampant crime, by immorality, by propaganda, of the most vile vices that can be imagined, by the destruction of economic independence and national sovereignty. Even after failing in the attempts to deal a final blow to Russia in the early 2000s, these forces did not go away. They secretly continued their destructive work, in the hopes that their hour would come again, and that, in time, they would complete what they had started.
However, dawn of the Russian Spring broke on the horizon; and our country started – not in words, but in reality – to rise from its knees. But as soon as Russia attempted to rethink the results of Gorbachev’s capitulation and to regain the rights and the territories that belonged to it from ancient times – to achieve real independence – the Fifth Column mobilized all the forces available to it. The return of Crimea to Russia shocked it, and the uprising in Novorossiya caused true panic, and forced it to manifest once again its true face.
The web of numerous agents that for many years successfully masqueraded in the sheep’s clothing of “patriots” and “statists”, and under this guise infiltrated the highest echelons of power, and even the entourage of the President of Russia, was raised on alert and thrown into battle. Acting, in reality, against the interests of the country and its people, these traitors nevertheless continue brazenly to assert that they are the President’s “friends”, and to portray their frankly subversive activities and sabotage as the only true measures to strengthen Russian sovereignty. From where, you might ask, do they draw such arrogance and confidence in their own invulnerability? The explanation is extremely simple: all that is valued by the representatives of the Fifth Column (in other words, money and other material resources, as well as families and offspring) has been exported abroad long ago, and its preservation depends entirely on the mercy of their foreign owners.
The Militia as the Guarantor of Novorossiya’s Freedom
Over the five months of the struggle, the Russian people of Novorossiya felt for themselves the full measure of the impact of the “fruits” of these types of subversive activities. At a time when Russian military aid was vital to the virtually unarmed militiamen, and when this assistance could – almost without bloodshed – lead to the liberation of all the Russian-speaking regions, the agents of influence howled in unison about the impossibility and the impermissibility of direct military aid to the rebellion. While the punitive forces were burning people alive in Odessa, bombarding Slavyansk with heavy artillery and urgently forming a combat-capable army, their accomplices, who penetrated the foreign policy leadership of Russia, not only sabotaged any and all military and political assistance to the Militia, but also – in complete understanding with Poroshenko, Turchinov, Akhmetov, Taruta, and other representatives of the Ukrainian oligarchy – worked to split the ranks of the Militia’s leadership; preventing the creation of a unified command, and through joint efforts attempted to lure the President of Russia into the traps laid by them.
The persistence and selflessness of the Militiamen did not allow the punitive forces to quell the uprising before the real help from Russia finally reached its addressee. The Militia commenced its offensive. However, here also the traitors manifested themselves in full measure. To the punitive army that was on the precipice of total defeat they immediately extended a “helping hand” by arranging a ceasefire and attempting, in the course of the negotiations, to surrender literally all the gains made by those who rose up; placing them at the mercy of the Kiev Junta. It is simply impossible to come up with more disgraceful covenants that those currently being discussed in Minsk.
And in the meantime, Kiev is hastily replenishing, rearming and training its army, preparing to continue the genocide of the Russian people of Novorossiya. As a result, we now have absolutely the same situation as in the beginning of our movement, except that we find ourselves in more difficult starting positions. Whereas in April-May Kiev had neither a combat-capable army, nor the support of the population, now the punitive forces have been mobilized and armed to the teeth, and the population of Ukraine, subjected to the massive influence of propaganda that extensively uses techniques of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, has, to a large degree, been zombified and brainwashed, and can no longer distinguish truth from falsehood.
Choose Shame over War, and War Will Follow
During these same months, several rounds of sanctions have been imposed against Russia, and the half-forgotten claims regarding Abkhazia and South Ossetia have already begun to sound from the mouths of senior military officials and diplomats of the Western countries; unconcealed threats are also heard from Islamist militants controlled by the United States. They are preparing to fight Russia for a long time and in earnest. The West and the Fifth Column make virtually no secret of their plans to overthrow President Putin; and subsequently to completely dismantle Russia. Their agents of influence use all means at their disposal to convince the leadership of the country that reconciliation is not only possible, but also singularly necessary. The fact that nothing but Russia’s complete capitulation will appease its enemies is being carefully concealed from the public and, possibly, even from the President.
As a result, all the exceptionally favorable conditions that were available to Russia in the spring remained unrealized, and – on the contrary – we now face a continuously increasing military threat. The responsibility of the Fifth Column for this result is undeniable.
Why is it that our liberals have acted out so implacably and perhaps even suicidally against the President and his political path? What is it that has made them so bold that they openly challenge him and his policies? In my opinion, two main factors are present here, and the first of them is that for the Fifth Column there is no other path but mutiny (still concealed, but only for now). The “Revolution from Above” that was begun by Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin leaves them no chance of political survival, while their foreign owners are not permitting them to simply leave the country for their “earned with back-breaking labour” overseas possessions.
The second factor is even more obvious: having a strong presence in the leadership and considerable financial resources, the traitors expect to seize the power for themselves, and to start –with relish – a new stage of plundering the remnants of the once great country, and the “utilization” of the peoples that inhabit it. But to realize their plans they need to implement many more preliminary measures. They need – in the first place – to deprive President Putin of that incredibly broad popular support which he deservedly received, as a result of foreign and domestic actions in recent years. And what can be more advantageous in this regard, than the betrayal of the Russian people of Novorossiya, followed by the laying of all responsibility therefor on the President himself? After all, the representatives of the Fifth Column hide in his shadow, like hyenas, avoiding any and all publicity.
The path that has already been set out by the enemies is crystal clear to us. The maximum prolongation of the war, accompanied by as much loss of life and hardships for the Russian population on both sides of the border as possible – that is their task. Giving the Militia not even a chance to win, they hope to create an ever more bleeding “ulcer” on the borders of Russia; into which Russia will pour, drop by drop, its resources; and where, as a result of “one step forward, two steps back” policies, no decisive success will ever be achieved. At the same time, the Russian Federation will continue to be saddled with an ever-greater burden in the form of – at first – hundreds of thousands, and then millions of refugees; while Western sanctions gradually undermine the financial and economic health of the country, all the more so because the homegrown oligarchs will try to shift the costs of the sanctions onto the general population.
The traitors hope eventually to bring the situation to the conclusion of a most shameful and humiliating peace treaty, accompanied by the betrayal of the Russian population of Ukraine, in order to cause an additional wave of indignation in Russia itself. And then – in full compliance with the political technologies already perfected in the early 20th century – to bring about a Moscow Maidan, where the right and the left, patriots and liberals will unite in supposedly justified indignation. The proven scenario of 1905 and the 1917, that follows the scheme of “shameful defeat – economic crisis – discrediting of the authorities – popular uprisings – palace coup” is once again in action.
In This Struggle There Can Be No Compromises
In this regard, the defence of Novorossiya and the support of its population are important for the preservation of Russia itself and the disruption of the Fifth Column’s plans. If we are able to secure a victory there – we will preserve Russia. If we lose – we will accordingly lose the remnants of our Fatherland. In this struggle there can be no compromises, and he who tries to convince otherwise is, consciously or not, grist to the mill of the enemy. It is all or nothing – either Russia will restore its real sovereignty in full measure, or it will be destroyed by the coalition of external and internal oligarchic clans.
Having assessed my own place in the fight against the plans of the subversive forces, I would like to say that I have made my choice. The main front of the struggle for Russia is currently here. I hope that it is in Russia that I can do the most good. At the same time, I will emphasize, once again, that those who hoped or still hope to use me or my name for destructive purposes will be sorely disappointed. However critical I may have been with respect to the internal policies of the President, in the circumstances of a war being waged against us, I consider it unquestionably vital to speak out in support of him; as the only legitimate Commander-in-Chief, and the principal guarantor of the freedom and independence of our country. In my opinion, to really protect Novorossiya, which is being subjected to Nazi genocide, we must expose and remove from power those of Novorossiya’s “well-wishers” that have brought us to the brink of military defeat.
And to those who have diligently started to sculpt in the mass media the image of “Colonel Strelkov – the leader of the popular protest”, I declare that they have no chance of bribing me with false praises and promises. The essence of an officer’s duty is to serve his country and his people. It would be the height of dishonor for me to exchange the often thankless, but faithful service, for false glory and popularity of the enemies of the Fatherland. Let them understand, once and for all, that in Russia there are still people (and I am just one among many) who place their Duty and integrity above their own benefit and vanity. And, as the events in Novorossiya have demonstrated, there are still a great many of people like that! And we will not allow for Russia to be ripped asunder and ruined again and again in the manner in which the Russian Empire was destroyed in 1917, and USSR – in 1991.
September 11, 2014
Игорь Иванович Стрелков / Igor Ivanovich Strelkov