Ex-terrorist leader: only an idiot will deny that “republics” in Donbas are a Kremlin creation

FSB colonel Igor Girkin giving an interview to NeuromirTV. Snapshot from video 


Article by: Alya Shandra

Igor Girkin, ex-minister of defense of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” has once again publicly contradicted Russia’s official denials of its involvement in the war in Ukraine. Answering a question about Russian volunteers coming to fight to Ukraine’s war-torn eastern regions at the Polit-Ring show on Neuromir TV on May 12, the former terrorist leader commonly known as “Strelkov” stated that, increasingly, the Russian volunteers that come to Donbas to defend the “Russian world” that is attempted to be instated in the Luhansk and Donetsk “People’s Republics” (“LNR” and “DNR”) return to Russia in disappointment.

“They see the chaos that is going on there. And the chaos is quite terrible. They [the militants] come there being motivated, understanding that they were going to defend the ‘Russian world,’ but now are forced to defend regimes that were planted with the Kremlin’s support. It is useless and foolish to deny this. To think that they [the separatist “republics”] formed by themselves means making an idiot or a fool out of oneself,”

Girkin commented, noting that only a small fraction of the Russians coming to fight in Donbas are wounded or captured in battle: most leave Donbas, disenchanted with the chaos and lawlessness, which he calls “Makhnovschina,” referring to the times of the anarchist leader Nestor Makhno whose Black Army fought to create a stateless anarchic society in eastern Ukraine during 1918-1921. He notes that while the terrorist republics, in particular, the “DNR,” have tried to combat this anarchic “Makhnovschina,” some armed formations wreaking havoc in Donbas are endorsed by the authorities and cause more mayhem than the informal ones, and that the authorities don’t even try to address this problem and are an “imitation” and “simulacra.”

In the interview, Girkin also states that Ukraine is ahead of the separatists in creating an efficient army. “In a year or maybe less they will be able to fight against Russia. Because it will be a large army. Yes, it will be loose and poorly instructed, but it will be a real large army with combat experience,” he said. Girkin also noted that though the Ukrainian soldiers can be called “undisciplined drunkards,” the “militia” of the self-proclaimed republics is doing the same. “Everyone is drunk, a huge development of drug addiction – it’s true,” he stated.

Girkin goes as far as to commend the Ukrainian government in their recent war-related initiatives:

“Ukraine is creating necessary tools. I understand that there a draft bill adopted on introducing martial law [Girkin is referring to the bill on the legal regime of martial law signed by Ukrainian President Poroshenko on June 9]. This will allow them in the event of the exacerbation of the situation to use the army lawfully, to introduce martial proceedings, to carry out confiscations under the law, and not according to what every commander on the site imagines doing, to carry out mobilization and introduce compulsory labor. There is nothing close to this in the “LNR” and “DNR.” Ukraine is consistent, it creates tools for conducting full-scale war, an army, it has created an anti-Russian ideology and is consistently implementing what its leaders say. And for us, it’s the usual business: we say one thing, do another, while wanting yet something else. So we end up with something strange… if we end up with anything at all.”

After fleeing to Russia in August 2014 together with other terrorist leaders of the self-proclaimed “republics,” Igor Girkin has given a series of interviews contradicting the official Russian version of events in Donbas. He has slammed the leadership of the self-proclaimed “republics” in Donbas, declared that the Crimean referendum is a farce, admitted to starting the war in Donbas, stated that Putin might end up in the Hague.

Girkins claims about volunteers becoming disenchanted with reality in Donbas coincides with a recent study of Russian social media groups showing Russians are increasingly losing interest in joining the Russian pro-separatist militia in Donbas.

Dear readers! Since you’ ve made it to this point, we have a favor to ask. Russia’s hybrid war against Ukraine is ongoing, but major news agencies have gone away, which is why it's extra important to provide news about Ukraine in English. We are a small independent journalist team on a shoestring budget, have no political or state affiliation, and depend on our readers to keep going (using the chanсe - a big thank you to our generous supporters, we couldn't make it without you.)  If you like what you see, please help keep us online with a donation

Tags: , , , , , , ,


  1. Avatar puttypants says:

    Interesting. I hope USA and European’s are reading his comments! Or are they blind to this one too?

    1. Avatar George says:

      …and NATO and the UN.

    2. Avatar John Shirley says:

      Maybe not blind, because they know what is going on in Ukraine.
      I would call it more like “tunnel vision” where they can’t see the “big picture” and the ramifications of their indecisive actions to confront Putin.

      1. Avatar disqus_aJpixObjG7 says:

        intentional tunnel vision

  2. Avatar Michel Cloarec says:

    We have known that already 15 months ago ! So nothing is new !
    US and EU know that too !

    1. Avatar gmab says:

      True, but he is speaking to the Russian people who were brainwashed by RT & other propoganda outlets & this is fresh, uncensored news to them. So, Girkin is doing the West a favour by telling the truth to Russians.

  3. Avatar George says:

    Surprised he’s not been given a nice polonium or Chinese herbal tea; unless he has even more powerful friends backing him.

  4. Avatar TheBlogFodder says:

    An honest man. Diogenes would be amazed.

  5. We covered this the other day in the context of his claim that Vladislav Surkov went to Donetsk to “rein in” the Russian-backed separatists. He talks about “Makhnovshchina”:


    The Neyromir TV interview was May 12:

    It has been recycled by various media sites since then.

    Strelkov contradicts himself, he seems to be part of a disinformation strategy.

    Because Chris Miller also directly quoted from him in person June 3 the following:

    “I believe in victory no matter what, just as the militia and the
    volunteers from Russia believed in it who are fighting now on the most
    dangerous sections of the front. Because God is with us and truth is
    behind us.”

    1. Oleksandra Shandra Oleksandra Shandra says:

      thanks, I didn’t find that

  6. Avatar Dagwood Bumstead says:

    I wonder WHY Girkin is making all these statements in public- TV, internet, newspapers. Does he have some sort of hidden agenda? Is he trying to embarrass Dwarf 2 into going the whole hog and mounting an open invasion of the Ukraine?

    And why is he getting away with making such statements? Does he have some very powerful protectors, and if so who? Perhaps “Novaya Gazeta”, “Meduza” or “TV Dozhd” should interview him.
    Quite frankly, I’m surprised he is still alive- he’s been making these statements ever since he returned from the Donbass.

    1. Avatar Brent says:

      Last September after leaving Donbass he was seen in the company of Alexander Dugin and Konstantin Malofeev, the supposed money man behind some of the terrorists. Dugin was also supposed to have been ‘dismissed’ from the inner circle, but I haven’t heard if Malofeev has been.

      The DPR and LPR are run by thugs who can’t get along with each other. Plotnitsky was supposedly in danger a few months ago, and he did not get along with Bednov or Mozogovai, who were both liquidated. Kositzsyn, the leader of the “Cossack National Guard”, who control Perevalsk, may be next as he hates Plotnitsky.

      You may soon see the same type of liquidations in Russia. “Strelkov” has been embarrassingly honest about Russia’s role and I think he’s trying to undermine Putin, but he’s no friend to Ukraine either. This photo suggests Dugin sides with him too and he was also ousted.

      Then throw in the FSB-Kadyrov distrust of each other and I think Russia is going to reap the same terror within its own borders that it is trying to install in Ukraine.

      1. Avatar puttypants says:

        I couldn’t ask for a better fate for Putin.

      2. Avatar Dagwood Bumstead says:

        Bednov alias “Batman” released a video in which he was highly critical of Plotnitsky, head of the so-called LNR and Dwarf 2’s protegé, just after Jan. 1st. A few days later he was assassinated, probably by an FSB hit squad.
        Ataman Koznitsky did the same mid-January, accusing Plotnitsky and the rest of the LNR leadership of corruption including selling off the contents of the “humanitarian aid” convoys and pocketing the proceeds. He appealed to Dwarf 2 to sack Plotnitsky and his cronies, but of course Plotnistky is still in place. So is Koznitsky, but perhaps he is too well protected by his Cossacks for an FSB hit squad to have had a chance yet.
        Dugin was officially sacked from his position at Moscow State University, but obviously he still has a large following of fellow lunatics, both at home and abroad, Girkin being one of them.
        Kadyrov will probably be Moscow’s biggest headache by far. Apparently he has withdrawn his “volunteers” from the Donbass, presumably to have as many fighters in Chechnya for the inevitable showdown with Dwarf 2 or one of his successors. I suspect that the FSB top will eventually force Dwarf 2 to choose: Kadyrov or us- which will lead to a third Chechen war.

        1. Avatar puttypants says:

          Do you forget the recent change… Putin and Kadyrov are promoting the Chechen language and culture now? Must have been a concession he made to Kadyrov for his sacrificing some of his folks for the murder of Nemstov.

      3. Avatar Czech Friend says:

        “Russia is going to reap the same terror within its own borders that it is trying to install in Ukraine”

        here’s hoping every day!

      4. Avatar gmab says:

        In a way, Girkin speaking frankly & openly to the Russian people, is doing the West a huge favour by influencing Russians to maybe figure out PU has been lying all along.

    2. Avatar puttypants says:

      Yes, I’ve questioned that too? Don’t trust anything that comes from Putin’s/Russia.

  7. Avatar John Shirley says:

    There was a time, last year, when Girkin thought he was headed for greatness as the new Tsar of the Donbas. But, when Putin pulled the throne from under his butt, now all he has become is a “disgruntled employee” and his disgust with Putin should be capitalized upon by Kiev?

  8. Avatar Rods says:

    Pity the BBC and Rt Hon John Redwood MP have not seen this, where the latter uses the BBC for his opinion forming news on Ukraine and from my understanding from a recent very public resignation from the BBC’s Moscow office all reports from there take a pro-Putin stance.

    Unfortunately, where the BBC as a public broadcaster (funded by an annual UK TV tax) is so biased on so this and many other issues, it is in IMO a national and because of their overseas service an international disgrace.

    1. Avatar puttypants says:

      It’s obvious that Putin’s friends make huge donations to the BBC. I will never trust them again. UK should stop funding them. How can they or any other intelligent person on earth justify what Putin has done in Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Chechnya. His support and arming of Syria and Iran? Where is the UK Parliament on this? BBC needs to be investigated and de-funded.

      1. Avatar Nomid says:

        Stop being so paranoid Putty.. The mood against putin? Well.. He wont win any popularity contest outside Russia… The bbc? as any other news agency, albeit, they are so deliberately trying not to offense so they wont say it like it is… But when they do? They are perceivedd as the standard…

        1. Avatar puttypants says:


          1. Avatar Nomid says:

            I have read the PEW polls, but what do they have to do with the BBC?

            I was perhaps a bit harsh calling you paranoid, but there is a pretty solid anti Putin stance outside Russia, and the biggest fault i can find of the BBC reporting regarding Ukraine is there lack of it,and when it appears it is bending over it’s back to be neutral

  9. Avatar Jack McColley says:

    Soon, he will be reassigned to a station in Deep Siberia. I am surprised the Kremlin is permitting him to continue disagreeing with their “truthful” statements.

  10. Avatar Nowhere Girl says:

    Strelkov is a war criminal, but with his “long tongue”, as it’s said in Poland – his love for talking too much – he’s actually an extremely convenient enemy. Just like several others I’m surprised he’s still alive. It’s very likely that he has some protectors – anyway it’s already been many months since he returned to Russia and I doubt Putin would have had a problem to kill him in the meantime…

    1. Avatar Czech Friend says:

      or better yet send him vacationing in Ukraine and then… boooom goes an accident, well tough luck comrade.

      1. Avatar puttypants says:

        I don’t believe for a minute that he’s anti putin. I believe this is sitting up Russians for a Ukrainian invasion. He talks about how prepared and experienced Ukraine is for war…hm? Re-read those comments. Next Putin will tell Russians that Ukraine is fighting a proxy war in Russia when there are more and more killings in Russia. Putin is looking for excuses to invade Ukraine totally. He’s a slimy snake and so are his supporters.

  11. Avatar Wolfschanze says:

    Occam’s razor suggests these remarks are intended for a Russian audience, not the rest of the world(ROW).
    1. Clearly Strelkov understands he places himself and his family at grave risk with such remarks, so they are not flippant.
    2. And it’s highly unlikely he has anything to gain among a ROW audience – especially by incriminating himself – these statements are regarded as mere confirmation, not revelation, in ROW. These statements *only* contradict the Russian state controlled media narrative and *only* have a significant impact among a Russian audience.

    While not impossible, it seems implausible that the Kremlin have mandated this action:
    1. While having no impact outside the Russian sphere, it must be having a destabilising effect within Russia, at a time when Russia can least sustain it.
    ( In an isolated, economically reeling nation, people who don’t have a stake in the system will turn against it)
    2. Given that he is still breathing, I assume he must have significant patrons protecting him among the Russian Elite, otherwise he would be routinely eliminated, as per Nemtsov.

    It seems significant that he stressed, despite his personal/professional opinion, he defers to Putin’s orders as he considers him ‘the only legitimate supreme leader’.
    On the surface this statement could be interpreted as bearing parallels to the Third Reich/Fuhrer Oath (i.e. supreme loyalty to an individual rather than a government, party, people, state or constitution)
    However, the ‘legitimate’ aspect piqued my interest as it seem most unusual for a military figure of Strelkov’s stature to even ‘remark’ upon the legitimacy of Putin’s rule – it seems to suggest it has been or is being called into question ??

  12. Avatar Vol Ya says:

    Gorkin you are a war criminal just like your master putin. You started a war in eastern Ukraine and destroyed Donbas. Now that it is damaged, you can keep it or pay for its restoration. Everywhere there are russian forces, there is death and destruction. Meanwhile in the rest of Ukraine it is peaceful. Putin and Gorkin have created a hell in Donbas, may they both fuckin burn in it.

    1. Avatar puttypants says:

      Bravo Vol Ya! Well said!

  13. Avatar Czech Friend says:

    Why is he still alive?

    Maybe so Putler in an hour of need can present him as a scapegoat (but he is guilty) and the only major war criminal responsible to the West.


    1. Avatar Michel Cloarec says:

      Putin must have and always must have a scapegoat. It is a typical communist way of doing.

      1. Avatar puttypants says:

        Don’t be fooled there this guy has fought too many times for Putin. This is another set-up for invasion of Ukraine.

  14. Avatar Dean Venture says:

    I keep wondering if Girkin’s ‘honesty’ is simply a way to prepare the Russian people for Putin to come out and say “Oh, by the way, we’ve been in Ukraine all along” if/when it comes time for him to double down and openly enter the fray. People won’t be surprised, since they’ve already heard from Girkin, and in a supreme act of doublethink they will forget that Putin ever said anything different.

    1. Avatar Michel Cloarec says:

      That would be a typical “secret services” doing. Also hte MH17 report is not in favour for Russia (RF) and someone will have to bear the responsability! Why not a FSB agent ?

    2. Avatar Czech Friend says:

      they are in it together, Putler and his ruskies. When he finally comes up and says “West has attacked us we have no choice” his lies will be forgotten with a wink and a smile…

    3. Avatar puttypants says:

      Yes, just like Crimea.