Article by: Taras Klochko
The process of cleaning out the occupied territories of the Donbas from the uncontrolled “would-be chieftains” will finally force Vladimir Putin to fund the local separatists.
While the very conditional “truce” lasts in the Donbas, the Russian occupying troops will continue eliminating the poorly controlled and not very reliable field commanders of the “Novorossiya army.” The most recent victims of this clean-up were Alexander Bednov, nicknamed “Batman,” and a so-called “Foma,” a little-known leader of the “Odesa” brigade. And if it is very likely that “Batman” is no longer alive — even thought there are reports that his murder was only staged — then “Foma,” on the other hand, has not put up any armed resistance to Russian special forces and after brief negotiations with his entourage graciously agreed to disarm in exchange for his life.
There can be no doubt that a similar fate awaits the other “would-be chieftains” remaining in the Donbas. Here we are referring above all to Alexei Mozgovoi, who is still operating in Alchevsk, and the Stakhanovite chieftain Pavel Dremov. It is most likely that their turn will come in a month or so. Meanwhile the Russian special forces will deal with the variety of lesser-known terrorist scrap.
For now Mozgovoi and Dremov are well aware that they have only two choices — either leave Donbas by agreement with the Russians, as Bezler, Kozitsin and Strelkov-Girkin had done earlier, or be physically destroyed, as was the case with “Batman.” Even if Bednov-Batman is still alive, that does not change the situation. The announcement by the “prosecution” of the so-called LNR (Luhansk People’s Republic) about the liquidation of “Batman” is essentially an illustrated ultimatum to the other militants with an explanation about what awaits them in case of disobedience. At the same time, the “Odesa” story eloquently demonstrates that resistance by most of the thug chieftains is impossible because at best they will remain without Russian ammunition and eventually they will be captured by a barehanded enemy or at worst will be destroyed immediately.
Therefore, it is to be expected that in one or two months the end will come to the “would-be chieftains” and that all of the “Novorossiya gangs” will have to report to a single center. The only thing that could slow down this process is uncertainty about what to do with the Donbas in the upper echelons of Russian leadership. However, one way or another all the “chieftains” will be eliminated. This, naturally, will enhance the general combat readiness of the “militias” but will force Russia to take on the financial support of the gangs. Earlier, the field commanders of “Luhandonia” and their fighters lived from racketeering, “skimming,” and looting, but this cannot last forever. Basically the fighters-separatists are incapable of creating something similar to an economy. Replacing all the local militants would cost the Kremlin too much and would too openly violate the fiction about the absence of Russian troops in the Donbas. Therefore, the only way to get rid of the looting and the lawlessness in the occupied territories is to pay for the services of the local militants, which means sooner of later taking on the financing of the entire terrorist “Novorossiya.”