Matyushin discusses the final merger of the DPR Republican Guards into the Army Corps:
The Army of the Donetsk People’s Republic almost completed its reorganisation: Republican Guards merged with the Corps of the Ministry of Defence of the DPR.
This week, the former Defence Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Igor Strelkov, reported in social networks that the DPR Republican Guard had ceased to exist, and half of its staff, he noted, had been scattered “to the four winds.”
The volunteer Alexander Matyushin (call sign Varyag), in an interview with correspondents of the Kharkov News Agency, said that in reality the Republican Guard of the DPR has undergone a reorganisation and has become a part of the Army Corps. The bulk of the Guards became a separate Guards Motorised Brigade, while some battalions were reorganised into other divisions.
“For example, the battalion in which I served became a separate special forces battalion and now performs some functions distinct from those entrusted to it in the Guard. Again, this does not mean to say that the Guard has ceased to exist, the basic structure of both officers and ordinary soldiers has remained in service and continues to protect the approaches to the territory of our young republic,” said the Militiaman.
Varyag: The Guard has not ceased to exist. The basic structure of both officers and ordinary soldiers has remained in service and protects the approaches to the territory of our young republic.
Varyag noted that in the process of bringing all military units under a single command, this would in any case have come to pass. Sooner or later. This action, emphasised the Militiaman, has a historic derivation.
“After all, I have more than once said that in order to achieve victory it was necessary to establish unity of command in the army. Partisan detachments will never defeat a regular army. How were we able to win so many victories in last year’s campaign? I will answer. The fact is that, last year, in the initial phase, Ukrainian troops also did not know how to fight. The only part of the Ukrainian Army which were capable of doing anything (and even that at a great stretch) were the volunteer battalions, and the so-called élite units such as the Airborne,” said the Militiaman. According to him, they also, as did the Militia, learned to fight, to forge a fighting spirit and the like. Varyag emphasised that the Militia learned to fight a bit faster, and that the morale of the Donbass’ defenders, in spite of everything, was much higher than that of the Ukrainian Army.
“Because we stand on our own soil and defend the very existence of our people for the future of our children. In no case am I diminishing the merits of the people who rose up to protect our young republic from the first day, but the fact remains that before the creation of the first Army Corps we did not have an army, but a bunch of semi-partisan detachments,” said the Militiaman.
Varyag said that, since the formation of the Corps, an army began to formed out of the Militia, and that it became only a matter of time whether all armed groups would be merged into it or would be disarmed. The first to join were the Slavyansk Brigade, Oplot, Kalmius, and others. Statutory army discipline began to be established in the Corps. “Many people who did not want to join with the Corps, but continued to defend the borders of our republic, entered the Guards in January of this year. The Republican Guard comprised a plurality of units of different composition and ideology, but we were united by one thing—fidelity to the ideals of the “Russian Spring”. The first major operation which involved the Guard was the Uglegorsk-Debaltsevo operation, where Guard units played a key role,” said the Militiaman.
Subsequently, continued Varyag, the Guard took part in the defence of Donetsk from the direction of Peski municipality, held back the enemy from the direction of Sarinsk and contained the enemy’s onslaught at Shirokino. When the question arose regarding the final establishment of a unified army, the command of the Guards battalions, dropping their own ambitions, decided to join the Corps. “Unlike the Cossacks, by the way, who do not understand that the ‘Ataman’ [term for a traditional Cossack leader –ed.] times are long gone and that to defeat the enemy we must not be divided, but must become a monolithic army,” concluded the Militiaman. Recall that an active process of reorganisation of the Frepublican Guard of the Donetsk People’s Republic took place in the early summer.
PS: In fact the previously announced centralisation and merger of the vast majority of combat-ready units into the Army Corps has come to pass. The times when two or more parallel overlapping power structures might exist are truly in the past. In fact, the process of recruitment into the army is changing as well.
At the start of the war people volunteered at random—people would just come to the tents at the Donetsk OGA [Regional State Administration –trans.] or the Lugansk SBU and enrolled in the Militia. Then, when the various units crystallised and they began advertising themselves, people could already choose where to sign up—with the “Strelkovtsi”, with the Cossacks, with Mozgovoy in Prizrak, with San Sanych in the RRT [Rapid Response Team, such as Batman’s Militia unit –ed.], with Kalmius, etc.
The next step was the actual reorganisation of the DPR’s MoD, after which military conscription offices started to function more or less, and there commenced a definite system in staff recruitment.
After the Army Corps and the Republican Guard were established, the structures continued growing stronger and more centralized. In fact we are now coming to the end of the process whereby the military structure of the republic went from simple unarmed militias and irregular semi-guerrilla units all the way to a complete regular army of the industrial period.
There were, of course, also some failures along the way. Thus an attempt to coordinate the actions of the militias through Krasnodon failed, when “Dolphin” and “Elbrus” could not cope with the huge conglomerate of disparate groups.
Nonetheless, the newly formed brigades proved themselves in the battle for Debaltsevo. There were also other problems. They still exist. But they were just growing pains, since the construction of a regular army in a short period is not, of course, a trivial task. However, after a year and a half of war, we can confidently state that the Donetsk People’s Republic has truly created a fully-fledged army. Who helped to create it, I think there is no need to explain.
PS2: Plus a couple of clips of how both the DPR and the LPR celebrated Tankists’ Day.