In April of 2014, after the revolution in Kyiv toppled Russian marionette Yanukovych and his regime, Russian FSB staged a series of diversions to destabilize political situation in several regions of Ukraine, namely in Crimea, south and east of Ukraine. In Donetsk and Luhansk FSB created a festering pit of terrorism by financing militant groups DNR and LNR, providing them with weapons and military equipment. Importantly, they planted their recon and sabotage teams within the DNR and LNR militants to provide leadership and to recruit help from local criminal gangs and other marginal elements. Now they are trying to lift their agents out of the ATO zone and transport them to the occupied Crimea or Russia. They are forced to do this, as the actions of terrorists had been met with very little support from the local population, making it impossible for the terrorists to hold their ground against the advancing forces of the ATO. In the following exchange one such agent talks to his FSB contact discussing the possibility of escape to Russia, lack of enthusiasm of local people, and the role of Ahmetov and criminal gangs in the war.
The following discussion happens between F., an unspecified FSB agent posted in Crimea and “Tryfon,” resident of Crimea, named Serhiy Boyovyk, who is currentlyserving in DNR (T.). F. is obviously in charge of recruitment and training of militants, providing them with weapons and transporting them to eastern Ukraine. His identity is being investigated. Serhiy Boyovyk, T., is a member of militant group led by «Abwehr», which was formed by FSB of Russian Federation in April and sent to occupy Sloviansk. At this time he is located in Donetsk.
F: Look, your “First” («Girkin, Strelkov») said that no one is to leave.
T: All right. Then we are just going to die. Nothing left to do.
F: Well, you have a choice, no? Can you…
T: Can I leave? And take my comrades?
T: Well, then we will be considered deserters or what? I explained to him, that I need to go home. Three things there. First, they could care less if I die. Second, what use to me is their war? It is going to continue five, ten years! I do not need this crap. We thought we were going to break through fast, but the people here do not want to do anything, they just bullshit us. Then, sooner or later, this DNR will be destroyred together with this f***ed-up LNR! They do nothing but mug and steal, this f***ing «Nos» and his dumb gang! The only one worthy of saving is the «First». If we could just help him out of here, so that he will be able to head a different group. But he’s got swept by this fanatical religious sect, christian orthodoxy. They dance around him and persuade him to die an orthodox christian. Themselves they hide behind our backs and do not want to die.
F: Hold on, Serge, I give you now my e-mail. Can you tell me how we can actually help you out right now?
T: I do not know. I need a window (on the border) through which I can come out. If I stumble upon ukrainian border post, they will start shooting. Either we kill them and break through, or they will kill us. We need a f***ing hole in the border, you understand? We can start now, of course. We can get in the car and start driving in the backroads towards the border. But while we were f***ing up the brains, you know, the blasted ukrainians cut off the Luhansk border. You understand, they want to kill the LNR, then surround the DNR and kill off the “First.” He is an idiot, simply does not get this. The situation here is dire; not only they are shooting at us from the outside, but also there is a lot of inside rivalry. Donetsk is divided into zones of influence, because there are big money in this. They want to control car sales and people kidnappings. If you are alone here you are f***ed. If this continues, this DNR will dissolve in a month maximum, since the LNR is cut off now. Who does not understand this? It is just a question of time and equipment. I see this fate clearly, others do not see anything. They do not understand what they are fighting for. We need to regroup and go protect our Russian land in Crimea. And, if anything, we need to smash these f***ing tatar idiots.
F: Yes, yes, you are right. Look, Serge I am texting you my e-mail, so tell me there what I can do for you.
T: Look, you are not the last person there, right? And you represent the military.
F: Yes, so?
T: Look, if we decide now to break through the border, we will go to our territory and come in contact with our border patrols. So, can I give them your number, so that they will know who we are and help us move.
F: Do not say anything over the phone. I will give you an e-mail. I also need to know where you will be breaking through.
T: I do not yet know myself.
F: I will give you the phone of my collegue who is located there.
T: In Rostov?
F: Yes. He will do everything for you. We just need to know which point at the border you will be crossing.
T: We do not yet know.
F: Very good, no one should know before you come there.
T: Ok, lets do it this way. I understand, that the center will give me an order to move to take care of other things. Right?
F: Exactly. We give you the order and to the hell with their fanatical wants. I already explained to the boss in the morning.
T: Honestly, the military activity, I see it in a different aspect now. We sit there and we recruit new people all the time. We have a good agent network now. Logically, we need to be lifted out of here, put in the training camp to get some recon and sabotage training and then put back. Then we will just blow everything up to the hell here! There is enough fodder to make war here for now. If they want, they can shoot. Us, we have to go to Perevalnoe and get some sabotage instruction… that is it. We can now leave our agents here, give them weapons and be done with it. The other idiots can go to hell with their orthodoxy, they can die for Donetsk if they want. They are idiots, they do not see that locals themselves do not support us at all. The other day I was going somewhere in my uniform and some woman said to me: «Damn you!» I lost my words. Is this how you treat a liberator? And she continued: «you are going into the civil area, you must wear civil clothing». What’s the hell? Who did we liberate here? For what do we shoot? For Ahmetov? He is nobody, just an idiot who gave the money. Are we shooting to protect his f***ing money? This is just the redistribution of f***ing bucks. You open the windows at the border for them, and what do they do? They steal cars, drive them to Russia and sell them there! They make money! Some people here, I won’t be saying nicknames over the phone.
F: All right. Let’s speak about it when you are out. Sending you my e-mail.
Translated by Anna Palagina