Article by: Olena Bilozerska
6 April, 2015| I don’t know about you, but it bothers me when our military adversaries are referred to in such terms as the following:
a) Terrorists (the preferred description for the most of the [Ukrainian] mass media). By no means are they terrorists when they represent defined combat positions. I think the definition of who terrorists are is common knowledge for most people, even without the help of a dictionary. For me, they are people who take hostages and then make certain demands, threatening non-compliance with “otherwise we will kill them.”
– terrorists purposely conduct acts of terror with the goal of destroying civilians (explosions in populated areas, for example.)
– subversives (in times of peace) exist for the purpose of destabilizing very powerful politicians or such similar groups (however, if tomorrow one of our groups of raiders carries out an attack against any of the leaders of the DNR, such an act would not be of terrorism by of war).
As for our adversaries, they are engaging in open warfare. Not only that, but with terrorism, the weapons are typically limited, whereas what these people fight with can be called anything but poor.
b) “Insurgents of Novorossia” or more simply, “insurgents”, that is “rebels” (as they are called by the majority of the press, has now been uncritically accepted by some of the Ukrainian mass media as well). They are as much “insurgents” as they are “terrorists”. During the Maidan there were insurgents, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) was a group of insurgents, and in Cuba or Columbia there are rebels. However, a movement that exhibits a complete external organization cannot possibly be identified as insurgents.
c) “Separatists,” is the word most often used to refer to them. Our front line fighters, for example, have shortened the word to “separy” and call them that exclusively. It is a word I often say, and it has entered our vocabulary in the same manner that “Fritz” did in the Second World War. The problem is that separatists could be found in Scotland and Chechnya, but what is really happening in Ukraine is a dispute with a neighbouring country that is hostile to us, and these people are not only their agents of influence are also their soldiers.
The fact that Russia refuses to acknowledge them as their army has the same meaning as the fact that Ukraine still has not recognized the Volunteer Ukrainian Corps Right Sektor as our army [editor’s note: at the time of publication, the Right Sector had already become part of Ukraine’s Army]: their identity has however been confirmed by the existence of the war itself. How is anything different?
Finally, then, who are they really?
To us as Ukrainian fighters, they are an occupation force (those who are citizens of the Russian Federation) and the others are collaborators (those who are citizens of Ukraine); that includes their army, together with the artillery and everything else – an army of Russians and collaborators.
Journalists, especially the international journalists for whom it is essential “to maintain objectivity”, should refer to them as pro-Russian fighters.