Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard 14:28:43 20/04/2017 izvestia.ru The official representative of the Armed Forces of the DPR — about connections between the Ukrainian military and Islamic radicals, prospects of the Minsk process, and possible provocations from Ukraine. In the daily reports of the DPR Armed Forces, violations of the ceasefire regime by the Ukrainian side are noted. Information on the shelling of residential quarters, schools, and kindergartens arrives. As a rule, everything happens at night. How the tactics of the Ukrainian Armed Forces have changed, what affects the military personnel of the DPR Army, and why radical Islamists fight on the side of Ukraine — the official representative of the Armed forces of the Republic Eduard Basurin described all of this in an interview to the correspondent of “Izvestia” Aleksandra Krasnogorodskaya. How have the tactics of the Ukrainian army’s offensive actions on the territory of Donetsk changed? “Nothing has changed. Shelling still continues, despite all agreements. Shelling, as a rule, happens at night — at night the OSCE representatives can’t record violations. Breaks are heard, but who shoots — it is difficult to understand. We already got used to it. The Armed Forces of Ukraine (UAF) continue to work in small groups. I call it “reconnaissance through combat”, they probe our defense. They try to come nearer to our positions and to dig in. But so far they haven’t manage to do it. We remember the recent powerful UAF offensive in the area between Yasinovataya and Donetsk, the so-called road of life. It was said that as a result it was captured and there was an attempt to surround the city. “This road was not taken — it was shelled more than usual. As a result we anyway put them in their place, although there was a breakthrough attempt. They tried to seize Yasinovataya depot, it is also called Donetsk depot. But there was no control. There was only shelling. They shout that they control this road from Gorlovka to Donetsk or from Yasinovataya to Donetsk. But that road for a long time dead, nobody has used it since 2014.” You repeatedly claimed that Islamic radicals fight on the side of the UAF. From where do you have this information? What confirmation is there? “I will say more: in the south of the Republic, in the region of Mariupol, they create a whole battalion, which is supervised by an officer of the National Guard of Ukraine. According to our data, there are about 500 Wahhabis. The majority are from Chechen gangs, which fought under Dudayev. There are representatives from Central Asia, the Middle East, and Crimean Tatars. To what extent are their methods of war applicable to the conditions of the Donetsk region? “Chechen militants have skills of mountain combat, the experience of saboteur work. There were cases when they set up mines, land mines, so peaceful people and military men perished. It is possible that they prepare young staff that will then be sent to Syria.” Are they related to the forbidden in Russia organisation ISIS? “It is impossible to affirm that it is precisely ISIS that controls this base, because if it is the National Guard, and they became a part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine — then it is an official part of the UAF. In 2015 a law was adopted in Ukraine, according to which any foreign citizen can serve in the Ukrainian Armed Forces. As the option — it is precisely the “bedding in” of people who will then be sent to Syria. We can’t affirm that the order for training of these fighters comes from some third party. But it is known that ISIS terrorists from Syria and Iraq already in 2014 came for treatment in Ukraine.” Is there more information on the connection between the UAF and ISIS radicals? “We know that ammunition from the Middle East was used for carrying out artillery strikes across the DPR territory, in particular from Lebanon. It is no secret that Ukraine sold weapons to ISIS in large quantities, the evidence of which they now try to destroy by exploding warehouses with ammunition in Balakleya. All of this isn’t so much questions of concrete war, but big-time politics. Ukraine shows to the Muslim countries their loyalty and openness. Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia — all are financial donors. The most scandalous thing is not in the fact that Islamic mercenaries are here, but that Ukraine recognizes them, and is employing them. It means interaction with terrorist organizations from the Middle East. Ukraine recognizes them and maintains cooperation with them.” The presence of “Ukrainian” saboteurs in the south of the region can provoke new acts of terrorism. Are you ready for this? “According to the methods that Wahhabi terrorist organizations use, it is possible, although it is extremely difficult for them to find adherents among the local population here. But it is impossible to exclude such a possibility. Because the main thing for them is not to kill, but to seed fear. Any act of terrorism is fear. It is to achieve changes in the country favorable to certain circles due to fear.” What moods are in the armed forces now, what do the fighters say? “All awaited with excitement the approaching of Easter, because the enemy accustomed us to the shelling of residential quarters, precisely on the eve of big orthodox holidays. We observe that the number of shellings constantly increases, the civilians again suffer, direct hits on houses became frequent.” Are the fighters disappointed in general? “No. There is fatigue, it is by this that trench warfare is terrible – when there is no action. It was like that since the beginning of time. There is no advance neither forward, nor back. We can’t go forward — there are the Minsk agreements. According to them, we also can’t recede. In politics not everything is done immediately. If we look at the Ukrainian press, already there are mentions of the DPR and LPR. The OSCE already say “DPR and LPR”. They gradually accustom others to the thought that there is a territory that wants to prove in the normal civilized way that it has the right to live on those foundations and rules that were civil society itself determined. This is the criterion of democracy in Europe and America. The only problem is in the assertion that we are legitimate, that people living on this land are legitimate, because it is necessary to speak with them as legitimate. This is again “Minsk”.” According to our sources, in the middle of May a powerful offensive of the Ukrainian army is expected. Can you confirm it? “I can’t provide the intelligence data, but Poroshenko claims that all UAF units that are on the contact line are fully prepared. But this is a lie. There is data that they don’t have enough staff to start an operation because mobilization in Ukraine was cancelled, and there are no people interested to serve under contract. Turchynov declared successful tests of certain types of arms. But all of this is the purposeful shaking of the air in order to distract the attention of Ukrainian citizen from internal problems. The conflict in Donbass is favorable to the Ukrainian authorities as a uniting factor. Defeat or victory here — for them is the next pretext to raise flags. It is necessary to understand that in Ukraine preparation for elections is ongoing at full speed. Ukrainian politicians now need an imbalance in the country. To frighten or consolidate.” Are there plans to raise the monetary allowance of serviceman? “There is, and it is being discussed, but the economic situation is still very complicated. To raise the allowance, additional money is needed. And where to obtain it? To take it from grandmothers or from widows with a small child? Absurdity. The desire is there, but the opportunity isn’t present right now. We have to approach this question differentially. To pay additional payments to those who risks their life every day, who sit in the trenches. They first of all need to be paid the so-called combat wage. When you go to the rear — there is no additional payment.” What sum are we talking about? “Additional payment is estimated usually as a percentage of the monetary allowance or salary. Financiers like to operate with exact figures, while the sum can be made up: for example, 2,000 rubles per day, or to somehow calculate it from the minimum wage. So far it is at the discussion stage.” Copyright © 2017. All Rights Reserved.