Psychiatric Effects of the Pharmacological Maidan and ATO

Translated by Lada Pyatnitskaya


The Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov shocked the Ukrainian public with information that about 500 veterans of the ATO had committed suicide. This statement was made against the background of constant reports about the psychopathic behavior of the former “volunteers”, who organize fights and uproars, often commit senseless murders and practice robberies and other offenses. It is not by accident that such concepts as “activist of Maidan” or “a veteran of the anti-terrorist operation (ATO)” have become synonyms with the word “crazy” or “criminal” in mass consciousness.

To be honest, the resonance was caused not by the number of suicides but by the fact that it was announced by such a high-ranking person, one of the main “inspirers and organizers” of this war. And, characteristically, a significant part of his lengthy opus, published by “UP”, consists of abstruse arguments about the specifics of the impact of the “hybrid aggression” on the society that fades into the postulates, designed to prove that “we are like everyone else”:

“For example, according to psychologists, after the September 11th attacks almost 70% of New Yorkers had post-traumatic stress syndrome with varying intensity. After six months this amount fell to 30% (not counting, of course, the family members of victims). Until now, many people are still experiencing anxiety, depression, bad sleep, and have completely lost the joy of a carefree existence. They have this condition preserved and even consolidated.

Those who had survived the Spitak earthquake in 2013 had the symptoms of post-stress syndrome (increased anxiety, loss of concentration, loss of joy of life, depression up to suicide) returned and increased in 30% of cases after 3-5 years. The earthquake lasted only 30 seconds.”

Arsen Avakov also remembered the “more familiar to Ukrainians ‘Afghan syndrome'”, but not as a medical or, more precisely, a health and social problem of society, but the tragic life stories of relatives, friends, acquaintances… The Soviet “Afghans” were often unable to find a decent place after returning from the war, they “were sent by no one”… Drug abuse, suicide, aggressive and confrontational behavior, broken families, destroyed lives…

According to affordable, clearly inaccurate Soviet statistics, 546,255 people – about 0.2% of the population of the USSR – passed through the military conflict in Afghanistan. No programs for the rehabilitation and social adaptation were conducted then. The “Afghan syndrome” has remained the private tragedy of each individual of the ‘Soviet Afghan family’.

Summing up, Avakov reports, “the universally recognized international standard for military conflicts is that 90-95% of combatants subsequently have a medical (related to nervous system) and social problems, and about one-third of them have PTSD, which is often suicide”, which is corrected with the statement of the head of the parliamentary Committee on Health Olga Bogomolets a year ago, “according to our experts, up to 95% of the fighters need psychological rehabilitation and 60% of the fighters need physical rehabilitation”.

Naturally, it is difficult to argue with professional psychologists (though Arsen Avakov did not lead to any specific references), but let me look at the problem from a non-professional point of view. A psychologist’s work is to look for all sorts of “syndromes”, and they can hardly find a completely healthy person. “We are all disabled in this life,” said Verka Serduchka many years ago.

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A rare man is able to avoid serious stresses, life-threatening situations – and we still live. I did not notice any mental changes in my relatives living in New York City, although the tragedy of September 11th “breathed” on them very much: a daughter worked in one of the towers on the 97th floor, her working day began at 9.00 am and the first plane hit at 8:45, most of her colleagues died, her mother spent several hours in nescience for mobile communication collapsed. Earthquakes and other natural disasters occur regularly in different parts of the globe, but I never heard about “cities of psychopaths” according to their results.

Finally, the generation of our fathers and grandfathers returned from the fronts of the Great Patriotic War – the war where one had to go through inhuman hardships and the chance to stay alive of those who were on the front lines was estimated by a few percent. Yes, not all civilians could full adapt to peaceful life but the vast majority of the generation of victors did not just “come back”, but they managed to restore the country destroyed by the most terrible war. For decades, the word “veteran” has been the best recommendation (and now employers avoid hiring ATO volunteers). And they did not need any “psychological rehabilitation” – they did not even know such words then.

And the consequences of “Afghan syndrome” seem to be greatly exaggerated. I could not find either any statistics or studies on the Internet or any rehabilitation programs, according to Avakov. And it’s very strange for political constraints from this topic were lifted in 1991, if not in the Russian Federation, but in other republics (including Ukraine), for sure because this topic is “grateful”.

Apparently, the numbers were not “impressive” for speculation and getting grant programmes. And really, let’s say, all my friend-“Afghans” remained full members of society.

And the fact that “something is wrong” almost with all the ATO participants can be confirmed by any citizen of Ukraine, and not in connection with a criminal chronicle, but on the basis of personal experience. And a lot of people already have the experience of such kind. Hundreds of thousands of people have been passed through the ATO.

In my opinion, the reason for the “exclusivity” of Ukraine is in the unjust character of the war against their own citizens, which these people had to participate in. Yes, the soldiers may believe the official propaganda, especially when you have nowhere to go, you’d like to believe that you are fighting for a just cause, that those who you have to kill are “Russian aggressors”, “terrorists and vatniks”, but you can’t deceive your eyes and your soul, no matter how much you try. “I wouldn’t like to know where I shoot”, says the Ukrainian artillerist to one of the Ukrainian TV channels. “I want to go to sleep quietly tonight without understanding what I hit… they said a school was hit…”

However, there is one more point. Avakov refers to the US experience in great detail, where there are similar major problems with the veterans of the Vietnam and subsequent wars fought by the US. And the thought creeps in involuntarily that it is not only “universal” postwar syndrome, but the consequences of some specific methods to lift “morale” up, which were applied in the US army for a long time and with which this overseas country could share with the Ukrainian authorities.

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And it’s worth paying attention to the words of Galina Zaporozhtseva, head of the “Union of mothers of Ukraine”, human rights activist, retired Colonel of the militia, the candidate of psychological sciences: “there is speculation that the chemical ingredients were introduced (among Euromaidan participants) via two channels – first, ‘the vans’, selling coffee, which there were many in Kiev before Maidan, and secondly, the ingredients for purification of bottled water that come from the United States.”

Also, in her words, it’s well known the admixture of clonidine that was given to the protesters, which led to the intoxication of people and their inappropriate actions. “The doctors of the Kiev psychiatric hospitals, which sought to help the participants of those events, first began to talk about cases of reactive psychosis. Mental technologies combined with chemical ingredients led to the fact that people couldn’t remember what it was yesterday,” she said. It was then that the doctors raised the alarm about the fact that people who were on Maidan were dangerous to society.

So, Olga B-va told the publication “” that her relative from the city of Molodogvardeysk in the Lugansk region of Ukraine experienced the action of the “drug”: “in Ukraine there are no jobs, so she with her friend went to Maidan. It is not a secret that those who stood there were paid approximately $1,000 a month.” However, this money was not given for free, the ‘euromaidan protesters’ were strictly controlled: “it was impossible to leave this camp that stood on Maidan and in which they lived. We could move inside the perimeter, but if you go out, the countdown is reset. If anything happens, you will lose money. So they ate and drank only what they were given there”, said Olga. According to her words, after the events on Maidan and the return from the capital of Ukraine to Molodogvardeysk, the woman felt bad. But she didn’t go to the hospital first – she did it only after a month because her “weird” state did not stop: “I went to see a doctor. She was examined, passed the tests… And that’s when she began to be asked, “how long have you been doing drugs? Which ones? And so on…” Olga continues, “the blood tests showed either drugs or a psychotropic substance, I don’t know how to call it. The woman asked how she can be treated now. She was given a negative answer.. We, my cousin, and her friend, were all in shock!”

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“Thus, we deal with the intoxication of people and intensification of the destructive instincts of a person, directed to destruction. They lead a person to aggression, unmotivated actions based on negative emotions, artificial excitation of his or her psyche. That, in fact, was the aim of the Maidan ‘puppeteers'”, says Zaporozhtseva. In addition, as the head of the “Union of Mothers of Ukraine” informed, the same technology was applied to the volunteers of the ATO. Many mothers noticed that after a week, after their children were taken to the camp, even if their son was a convinced pacifist, he became aggressive and was ready to go to war. “The resulting strain of the psyche leads to the so-called ‘burning’ that, in fact, we see among the participants of ATO,” she says.

It seems that the problem of ATO veterans has adopted a completely abnormal (absolutely unprecedented in our history) scale that can be commensurated with the US (despite the fact that Vietnamese and the subsequent wars were not the first in history), it has a very specific explanation, and Avakov’s words about the “recognized international standard” (like all of his work) is nothing more than an attempt to hide the ugly truth.

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