Donbas mercenaries bringing the war home to Russia with them

Russian mercenaries in Donbas


Analysis & Opinion, Russia, War in the Donbas

Russian mercenaries who fought in the Donbas “militias” are returning home not only with their weapons but with increasingly violent dispositions, and according to three experts, they now represent a threat not only to public order but also to political stability.

Valery Borshchev, a former Duma deputy, tells Russian newspaper “Novyye izvestiya” that many of the returnees have “damaged psyches” and that as a result and in a way recalling those who returned from the Afghanistan and Chechnya wars, Russia now faces “a ‘Donbas’ syndrome” that it must somehow deal with.

But he suggests that the Donbas returnees will find it “significantly more difficult to adapt to peaceful life.” That is because “after ‘the Chechen campaign,’ rehabilitation centers were established; and these helped many recover. But those centers, Borshchev says, were set up not by the government but by social organizations.

Now, he says, it appears unlikely that any such centers will be set up. The government doesn’t want to recognize the problem or spend the money, and the NGOs who helped in the past find themselves today in a significantly more difficult situation. Consequently, more guns are coming in, and more of them will be used.

Returning Donbas “volunteers,” Borshchev says, have gotten used to death and “don’t fear anything. Thus, to stop them [from committing crimes] will be much more difficult than it was to mobilize them in the first place.” And their willingness to use violence will change the face of business conflicts and other disputes.

“I am not demonizing those who have returned from the Donbas,” he says. “But these are the realities,” and those coming back need “immediate psychological help” or the situation will deteriorate.

Valentina Melnikova of the Union of Committees of Soldiers Mothers of Russia agrees, arguing that the Russian authorities having sent these men into battle has now largely washed its hands of them, and as a result, there is increasing violence in their homes and on the streets of Russian cities and villages.

Unless someone provides the Donbas veterans with immediate psychological help, she continues, “some of them really will try to repeat a Donbas in Russia.”

And she adds, “it isn’t important who will create this … it is important to set up [centers of psychological help and even whole services] precisely now.”

And Vladimir Zherebenkov, a former investigator at the interior ministry, “confirms the seriousness of the situation,” “Novyye izvestiya” says.

“Russians went to the Donbas for various reasons: because they believed in the cause, because they wanted money or because they wanted to kill.” Now, they “want a repetition of the military scenarios in Russia,” with some engaged in political causes because of belief, others to get money, and still others to engage in senseless killing.

All of those threats must be addressed because as one can already see in Rostov oblast, the returning Donbas veterans with their weapons and attitudes are a big problem.

More police are needed alongside psychological assistance programs, but “the situation [in Rostov] will stabilize it would appear only after the end of military operations. Even after that, however, one must not forget about the returning” militiamen. Otherwise, “the ‘Donbas syndrome’ may become a drawn out illness with a tragic outcome for many.”

Edited by: A. N.

Since you’re here – we have a favor to ask. Russia’s hybrid war against Ukraine is ongoing, but major news agencies have gone away. But we’re here to stay, and will keep on providing quality, independent, open-access information on Ukrainian reforms, Russia’s hybrid war, human rights violations, political prisoners, Ukrainian history, and more. We are a non-profit, don’t have any political sponsors, and never will. If you like what you see, please help keep us online with a donation!

Tags: , ,

  • Brent

    You reap what you sow…..Russia’s going to deal with all the hatred and lies it has planted in its terrorists minds.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      Let the Dwarfstanians shoot each other, that will mean less to make trouble for the normal world, i.e. outside Dwarfstan.
      I for one don’t feel sorry for them.

      • George Evans

        because you are a bum…

    • George Evans

      the US sure has a bumper harvest coming then,bent….

      • Brent

        And Russian production of mindless sheeple is the only thing they have in abundance….better improve your trolling or you’ll get reassigned to “Buryat” duty in Donbass…

        • George Evans

          I see Ford and VW have just opened new engine plants in Russia,bent…

          it seems the Chinese and other BRICS countries are “getting with the strength”…

          while the rest of Europe grapples with the legacy of their actions in bombing Libya “back into the stone age” (apologies to the US neocons who coined the phrase during the Vietnam war)..on the orders of …THE US…

          well, it is about time the US stepped up to the plate…having told the UK they have to take thousands of refugees,and Australia has to take a thousand…not sure how many Canada has toi take, but I wonder if the USA is going to take 100,000 or so….THEY SHOULD….

          and with all this going on,bent can only sling pretty puerile abuse…idiotic trollop….

          • Brent

            Did you hear about the coup in Donbas today? I guess all you mindless sheeple are going to be bleating about another ‘coup’ and another ‘junta’….but on Russian controlled territory!!! Too funny!!!

            Now the DPR is run by a Ponzi schemer? Whats’ he going to do, set up an Amway franchise to try and make some money?

          • George Evans

            nothing compard to the Kiev mob..and Nuland,of course…

            you would not be aware .of course, that a chief adiser to Nuland and the Kiev mob is Bernie Madoff…

            he said arsey should have berned the place and madoff with the money…

            might put my name down for a Russian VW,,,unless the output is all pre ordered for China,bent…….

          • Brent

            “Bernie Madoff?!?!?

            You are one dumb troll. Madoff has been in jail since 2008….oh I get it! You’re trying to deflect heat away from Pulushin, who was involved in Russia’s Ponzi Scheme!!!

            Doofus, you can’t afford a VW. Your “rubble” is worth 1.5 U.S. PENNIES. You’ll be trolling night and day for the next 73 years just to afford a used VW….stick to your riding your mule to work because at least you’ll be able to slaughter that and eat it when Russia collapses….

            Or since you like China so much, here’s a slightly used Chery for you. Don’t buckle up…

          • George Evans

            hello bent bum, you are back…didn,t say anything too memorable though…

            we may have to take your pen license away….

        • Brent

          “Comrade Ian”, the Prince is calling and wants to go scuba diving….oh wait, it’s your mother and you forgot to take out the garbage again….you’re even too dumb to be assigned Buryat duty.

  • CanRus

    Pacifists and collaborators are two very different things. The 1st are peace-lovers, the 2nd are traitors.

    • CanRus

      Your post has nothing to do with the article. It’s spam. So why should my reply have to be related to it?

      From what I understand, this guy was arrested for making a video telling Ukrainians to dodge the draft.

      • Brent

        And those dodged the U.S. draft were also arrested and put in jail.

        What does Russia do with its draft dodgers? Oh look, up to 1,000 per year convicted….

        • George Evans

          GeorgeW dodged the draft…he had a nice cushy war in the air arm of the National Guard…even great doubt if he actually attended…

          he didn,t go to Jail…

          after all the turmoil he created,maybe he SHOULD have gone to jail….

          guess that doesn,t suit your narrative,bent….

          • Brent

            Doofus, the National Guard is part of the U.S. military structure…

            By the way, I would have no problem seeing Dubya up on charges.

            Guess your narrative is kind of shot there, isn’t it little sheeple?

          • George Evans

            oh yes…they are the branch of the Army used to shoot other Americans,bent…

            but he didn,t actually do the time,bent…just ask Dan Rather….

            he dodged the draft…just as he cheated his way thru Uni…

            yes…he should have gone straight to jail without passi GO…the world today could have been so different….

      • George Evans

        you must be the prime spammer,crazy candy…

        if you do not start to listen,I shall stop trying to educate you…

        nah…like a good Christian,I,ll persevere…

        the Canadian economy seems to be getting worse, crazy…

        • Brent

          “Like a good Christian”???? Really? Someone who supports kidnapping, war, lying, extortion and murder? If that’s what Russian Christian values have become, then you can keep them!

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            They haven’t become Russian Christian values….. they always were.

          • George Evans

            I wonder what US Christian values are,bent bum???…or should that be

            bentbum..or bum and bent…or even bumbent…

          • Brent

            Speaking of bum buddies, nice to see how cozy “Kiko” is with you….you two bozos must share the same desk at 55 Savushkina!!!

          • George Evans

            you must have “put sandy and crazy back on the shelf,bent and bum of course…you had a few bosom bum buddies there for a while..before you lost it…

            it must be hard to keep up the fiction of multiple id,s eh. bent? or bum? or bent..ah bs…

      • George Evans

        no…crazy candy is very far from happy.and enjoying his life…he is an abusive twisted spammer…definitely needs treatment….

        you ARE getting the truth out,Ivan…
        well done….

  • Brent

    You’re starting to make me dislike Ruslan with your incessant rant about him….not sure you’re helping his cause ‘comrade’.

    Do something productive with your life instead of just being annoying.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      Just ignore him, he’s nothing but another 55, ul. Savushkina troll.

      • George Evans

        you make a good pair…bent and bum…or maybe just bent bum,eh….

        has a certain ring to it….

  • Being

    Well Done!

    Even Russia needs to learn in hard way, when they do not believe there is a different way.

  • Carmen Carolina Baldelli Rezen

    Good! Send them to Syria…tons of Isis, FSA, Al-Nusra fighters to be killed!