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By Russell Bonner Bentley

To the People of the Donetsk People’s Republic,

I want to give my sincere thanks for granting me the honor of citizenship in our Republic. It touches my heart to have a new home and a new homeland in Donetsk, and makes me very happy and proud to join you in building our new Republic, a new and better world, and a better life for us all. In return, I pledge my life, my blood, my work, my love and loyalty to our Republic and our people.

When I came to Donetsk in December 2014, the days were dark and the future was uncertain. I was not sure I would survive through the Winter, but I came here to fight Fascism, and to share the fate of the good people here who defended their homes, land and families against a foreign coup and the puppet regime that Western fascists installed in Kiev. Serving with the brave volunteers of Novorussian Army was the best thing I have ever done. I thank God and my comrades that I and our Republic have survived. And I will always remember those who gave their lives so that others could live on. Eternal memory to our Heroes!

My 6 months as a soldier on the front lines at Donetsk airport and Spartak, during some of the heaviest fighting of the war, were difficult and dangerous. The soldiers I served with in the Essence of Time unit, Vostok and XAH are some of the finest people I have ever known. Their courage and determination, along with their generosity, humor and humanity have been an inspiration and example to me, and to all good people in the world. Though I am no longer a soldier, and now work in the fields of information war and human aid, I keep my “airport bag” packed, and am ready to be back at the Front on an hour’s notice if our Republic or its People are threatened again by Fascist aggression.

But not only the soldiers are Heroes here – I have met and become friends with doctors, nurses, teachers, clergy, human aid workers and average citizens, young and old, who have shown true heroism, and the greatness of our Russian Spirit,and of our great Republic, which can never be defeated. The friends and comrades I have met here will be in my heart forever.

I also want to thank the administration of Alexander Zaharchenko and the government of our Republic. While the quality of life in Western Ukraine, Europe and even the USA has declined over the last 3 years, life here has improved daily since I came. The Donetsk Republic is far stronger and far better today than it was when I first arrived. This is thanks to you, our Armed Forces and all the good people of our Republic. But the proof is in the ever-increasing quality of our lives that you have led us in the right direction.

Your job, like that of our soldiers, is difficult and dangerous, but you have done it bravely, adequately and well. While no administration can be called perfect or ideal, and while every administration must always strive for improvement, I can proudly and honestly say that I believe the administration’s first priority is to protect the people and to improve their lives in every possible way. If I did not believe so, I would not say it, and if I thought it were otherwise, I would not be afraid or hesitate to say so. That is, after all, the job of every loyal citizen of every great Republic. For all of us, our work speaks for us, what we do shows truly who we are. You have seen my work, and I have seen yours. You have my trust, thanks, support and respect for what you have done.
Forward together, with our People, and for our Republic!

Donetsk is my home, and will be so for the rest of my life. Whatever the future holds, I will be here to share it with the People and Defenders of Donbass. God bless the Donbass People and the Donetsk People’s Republic! Our cause is just, victory will be ours!

Russell “Texac” Bentley

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