Russian who went to fight in Donbas says he was ‘not in an army but in a criminal band’

Bondo Dorovskikh (R) with otherRussian militants near Alchevsk, Ukraine

Bondo Dorovskikh (R) with other Russian militants near Alchevsk, Ukraine 

Analysis & Opinion, Military analysis, War in the Donbas

Bondo Dorovskikh, a Russian businessman, volunteered to go to Ukraine to “fight fascism” and defend “the Russian idea;” but he says he rapidly discovered the situation in the Donbas was not as he had been led to expect and that he had been enrolled “not in an army but in a criminal band.”

His testimony on this point, given in a 3,000-word interview with Radio Liberty, provides both a frightening glimpse into the world of the pro-Moscow statelets in southeastern Ukraine and an encouraging indication that ever more Russians are appalled not only by what officials there are doing but also by what Moscow is saying.

“I really thought,” Dorovskikh said, “that Russia was in danger, that mercenaries were fighting there and trying to seize our country, that the Donbas is Russia’s advance post where we must stand and defend our interests. Only having crossed the border did we see literally within the first five minutes” that this was not the case.

Russian television exerted a powerful influence on him, the former volunteer says. Had it not presented its version of reality, he would never have thought of going to the Donbas to fight. Now, he said, he recognizes how distorted an account it offered and continues to offer about events in Ukraine.

His recruitment to the Donbas cause was simple; indeed, he said he was shocked that there was no more checking about the people who signed up than there was. “More than that, there were cases when someone with a Xerox copy of documents” but not the real ones crossed the border.” Once in the Donbas itself, no one asked more than one’s name.

The organizers handed out guns without any particular checking of the abilities of those to whom they were given, Dorovskikh continued. They handed out the guns only on Ukrainian territory, but the division of volunteers into the various forces, such as “the Specter Brigade,” into which he went, took place in Russia, in Rostov oblast.

In that brigade, he said there were “several Russian cadres officers, but most of the band members were local people, with only ten to 30 percent consisting of volunteers from Russia. Some of the band members sold their weapons for cash; others apparently used them for the same end. But still others seemed very interested in learning how to fight.

Neither the hierarchies of the “DNR” or “LNR” were especially happy with independent battalions like the one he was in nor were the ordinary people in the areas in which they operated. One woman, for example, told Dorovskikh “We don’t need Putin; [and] we don’t want to be in Russia.”

Most of the people in his band, he continued, were indifferent to politics. Many of them had criminal backgrounds; and those that did devoted a great deal of time to searching out for former policemen, perhaps for revenge. In all things, “they were far from politics” and were interested only in having an adventure or engaging in violence.

A wanted poster with former policemen hung in the militants barracks, photographed by Bondo Dorovskikh

A wanted poster with former policemen hung in the militants barracks, photographed by Bondo Dorovskikh

As far as the future is concerned, he said, “if Russia had not gotten involved, [the self-proclaimed republics] wouldn’t have happened. Russia is inclined to support this movement further and therefore the fighters will hold on for a long time yet.”

Dorovskikh said he “would advise people not to go to the Donbas. This is false patriotism. There is no Russia there. Instead, what is going on is real aggression. More than that, if you go, you will simply become part of a band.” Any volunteer would certainly not have anything to do with “defending the Motherland.”

Russians have been shown on television something that looks like the Great Fatherland War,” he said. But in reality, the conflict in Ukraine is “real aggression. We came to this territory, and the Russian authorities are supporting terror. If we hadn’t gone there, if Russia hadn’t gotten involved, there wouldn’t have been thousands of dead.”

“In general,” he concludes, “there wouldn’t have been any of this” in Ukraine.

Edited by: A. N.

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  • evanlarkspur

    What?!? A voice of truth, crying alone in the wilderness? Bravo to this man for owning up to how misguided he was and telling the truth, rather than just covering for himself and his criminal government. This took real courage. Unfortunately, he’s sure to be beaten or killed for his honesty, as honesty is hardly the coin of the realm in his realm.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      Dorovskikh’s statements are not surprising. On Jan. 15th Ataman N. Koznitsky of the National Cossack Guard of the Great Don Army released a video in which he stated “There is no LNR, there is a gang that plunders, rapes and murders.” He accused Plotnitsky, “leader” of the LNR and Putin’s protegé, of corruption; of 10 “humanitarian convoys”, the contents of only one reached the local population, the rest was sold off on the black market. To be “fair”, it’s quite possible that the other convoys did not contain humanitarian aid at all, but weapons and ammo for the terrorists, in which case there would have been no aid to distribute in the first place.
      Earlier in January, another terrorist leader, known as Batman, made similar statements about the LNR. he was murdered shortly afterwards, probably by the FSB. And Girkin/Strelkov admitted in an interview with a Russian website in November that very little of the contents of the “humanitarian convoys” reached the population of the DNR- again, perhaps a case of the convoys containing weapons and ammo rather than aid.

      • LorCanada

        Some further info:

        Try a google search for:
        ———
        “euromaidanpress russian-humanitarian-trucks-leaving-with-stolen-factory-equipment”
        ———
        I was quite surprised to read that!

        [quoting in part]:
        According to Lysenko, Russian KAMAZ trucks are being loaded with equipment from the Donetsk Topaz plant, which manufactures modern early warning radar equipment like the “Kolchuga” radar complex, as well as equipment from a plant in Luhansk that manufactures small arms ammunition.

        Lysenko confirmed that a number of the trucks have returned to Russia, but said that the Russian military is preventing Ukrainian border guards at the Izvaryne checkpoint from inspecting them.

        “As of 13:00, 184 trucks have left Ukrainian territory he said. However, our representatives are not being allowed to inspect these trucks.”

        • Dagwood Bumstead

          Old news. Putin has been stripping the territory of the so-called LNR and DNR of all assets for months so that it will be a wasteland. He doesn’t want the territory to join Russia, he wants it to be a financial drain on Kyiv and a source of massive social unrest. This can best be achieved by destroying factories etc, creating mass unemployment- which was already high before Putins aggression started.
          It’s a win-win policy for Russia: Russia gets the inventories of factories that will be useful (machine tools etc), and at the same time destablises the Donbass, causing huge problems for Kyiv. The wanton destruction of coal mines is part of this policy.

          • LorCanada

            Very deplorable. One can only wonder what kind of person is leading the Russian people. The more I hear of Putin the worse it seems to get!

        • LorCanada

          Face the facts.

        • LorCanada

          Enjoy your opinions and I will enjoy mine. bye bye …………

      • Dagwood Bumstead

        Strange, to say the least, that Putin would entrust the leadership of such important operations as the illegal invasion and annexation of the Crimea and the aggression in the Donbass to a candidate for the nuthouse.
        Is Girkin’s word- or that of Batman and Koznitsky- worth more or less than that of criminals such as Aksyonov, Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky? Why hasn’t Putin had Girkin bumped off or arrested and sent to a nuthouse after all his damning statements in the interviews he has been giving to Russian websites and TV? Does Girkin have powerful protectors in the FSB or other institutions? People have been certified for much less in Russia- and still are.

        • Brent

          They’re all a bunch of delusional whack jobs who need to be run out of Donbass before they murder more innocent people. That group could only get nuttier if you threw Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman and Ted Cruz into the mix…and you joined up. You’d better not volunteer for a psych evaluation or all you children are going to have you committed and make you knit doilies all day long

          By the way, your comment about “KGB honour code” is hilarious! Did Putin abide by that honour code when he had that pulonium cocktail delivered to Alexander Litvinenko? I also think it’s hilarious how you have now turned on “Strelkov”. Last summer you were singing his praises as the new Russian messiah and now he’s the biggest turncoat since Chris Christie…

      • Michel Cloarec

        That´s where the socalled humanitarian convoys went !

        Militia” to “laundering” of marked banknotes (photo)

        17.04.2015 08:13 Society

        In the occupied territory of Donbass “laundered” began to appear, and more precisely painted, notes in denominations of 20 UAH. They were marked with a blue dye, secure vaults at the time of the unauthorized hacking, conducted by militants. Now labeled edges treated special paint in the color of the background notes, the spots become almost unnoticeable. About it on his Facebook page said one of the locals.

        “The people are resourceful. Elongated ATMs money with traces of bright blue paint, they decided to do similar to regular money, stroking on top of blue paint color, as the main background notes. We should pay tribute to the efforts of the nose — until the seller do not tknët, you won’t notice a. .. Unpleasant, “he wrote.
        Carpenter’s took control of currency exchange points in the “LNR”

        17.04.2015 12:15 Society

        Currency exchange offices in Luhansk people’s Republic “came under the control of the” LNR “Igor Carpentry. As reported by informator.lg.ua , source close to the rebels, each “exchanger” is paying a “tax”, which is the head of the Republic. “It is not a secret. Any change knows that tax is Carpentry “, commented source.

        As previously reported, the leader of the “LNR” relates to the sale of fuels in the occupied territories. The petrol stations Of Russian contraband petrol for sale. Revenues from trade gets LNR Igor Carpenter’s. It is also known that the scrap market in the “LNR” placed under the control of the head of the “LNR”. Supermarkets Captured on the territory of the Republic is controlled by family members in the “LNR”. Recall also that the leader of the militia of Stakhanov Pavel Drëmov publicly accused the Carpentry in the theft and fraud by the Russian humanitarian aid. In addition, the business interests of the Republic “is a chain of supermarkets” people’s “(formerly” ATB “). It was earlier reported that through these stores is humanitarian aid from the Russian convoys.

        It was also reported that the head of the “LNR” bought a property near Moscow.

        Carpenter accused of embezzlement

        02.04.2015 14:05 War

        The auditors from Russia revealed the fact that waste 20 million hryvnas, assigned to the “LNR” on the development of the so-called “people’s militia”. As reported by informator.lg.ua closed source, in Lugansk Commission came from Russia. The purpose of the visit was an inspection of the “LNR” security forces for combat readiness. “They visited the sites, checked, how money is spent,” the source explained. During inspections and identified the fact of embezzlement.

  • Dagwood Bumstead

    Indeed there are- and they are the demented dwarf’s vultures: Girkin, Borodai, Pushilin, Bezler, Zakharchenko, Aksyonov, Plotnitsky etc etc. Most of them are Russian Federation citizens, proving beyond doubt that the dwarf is behind the terror in the Donbass and Crimea.

  • Czech Friend

    Somehow I don’t believe these Russian scumbags who go on and cry how everything was different. It usually happens after they had falling out with their comrades in field.

    No, these criminals know very well why they are going to kill in Ukraine. They’re just as guilty as Putler and his gang.

  • http://www.volgatrader.com Philip Owen, Volga Trader

    There is a large ammunition factory on the outskirts of Lugansk. It is quite likely that the insurgents are selling ammunition to generate funds.

  • Michel Cloarec

    They must make a living, after having destroying all infrastructures . No where to get a job, no money, maybe families to support. Fascists have ways to sale whatever .

    When the humanitarian convoys are late to come . Plotnisky must make his family enterprise to flourish.

    Militia” to “laundering” of marked banknotes (photo)

    17.04.2015 08:13 Society

    In the occupied territory of Donbass “laundered” began to appear, and more precisely painted, notes in denominations of 20 UAH. They were marked with a blue dye, secure vaults at the time of the unauthorized hacking, conducted by militants. Now labeled edges treated special paint in the color of the background notes, the spots become almost unnoticeable. About it on his Facebook page said one of the locals.

    “The people are resourceful. Elongated ATMs money with traces of bright blue paint, they decided to do similar to regular money, stroking on top of blue paint color, as the main background notes. We should pay tribute to the efforts of the nose — until the seller do not tknët, you won’t notice a. .. Unpleasant, “he wrote.
    Carpenter’s took control of currency exchange points in the “LNR”

    17.04.2015 12:15 Society

    Currency exchange offices in Luhansk people’s Republic “came under the control of the” LNR “Igor Carpentry. As reported by informator.lg.ua , source close to the rebels, each “exchanger” is paying a “tax”, which is the head of the Republic. “It is not a secret. Any change knows that tax is Carpentry “, commented source.

    As previously reported, the leader of the “LNR” relates to the sale of fuels in the occupied territories. The petrol stations Of Russian contraband petrol for sale. Revenues from trade gets LNR Igor Carpenter’s. It is also known that the scrap market in the “LNR” placed under the control of the head of the “LNR”. Supermarkets Captured on the territory of the Republic is controlled by family members in the “LNR”. Recall also that the leader of the militia of Stakhanov Pavel Drëmov publicly accused the Carpentry in the theft and fraud by the Russian humanitarian aid. In addition, the business interests of the Republic “is a chain of supermarkets” people’s “(formerly” ATB “). It was earlier reported that through these stores is humanitarian aid from the Russian convoys.

    It was also reported that the head of the “LNR” bought a property near Moscow.
    BUSSINESS AS USUAL !

  • Michel Cloarec

    THE SAME STORY AGAIN .
    They are all of them , thieves, bandits, gangsters. Who believe a thief but another thief. Your illusions of the utopia is forgetable but you will be disapointed .

    Carpenter accused of embezzlement

    02.04.2015 14:05 War

    The auditors from Russia revealed the fact that waste 20 million hryvnas, assigned to the “LNR” on the development of the so-called “people’s militia”. As reported by informator.lg.ua closed source, in Lugansk Commission came from Russia. The purpose of the visit was an inspection of the “LNR” security forces for combat readiness. “They visited the sites, checked, how money is spent,” the source explained. During inspections and identified the fact of embezzlement.