Staunton, March 15 – Igor Strelkov, the one-time defense minister of the “Donetsk Peoples Republic and a passionate supporter of the Russian world idea, told his supporters in Ekaterinburg that Vladimir Putin will suffer the fate of Nicholas II who was shot in the Urals in 1918 or of Slobodan Milosevic who died in a Hague prison in 2006.
Strelkov, in the Urals region of Russia to collect money and other forms of support for his colleagues fighting in Ukraine, said that what is going on now resembles what happened in 1914 when Russians decided to “support Serbia and fulfill their patriotic duty” by going to war (znak.com/svrdl/news/2015-03-14/1036787.html).
But then as that war dragged on, as victories were replaced with defeats, and as the economic crisis intensified, many Russians, influenced by the work of a fifth column which he said at that time “included grand dukes, the top industrialists, and the State Duma,” lost their patriotic feelings.
The fifth column then as now, Strelkov said, “all cried about patriotism, but they created a conspiracy, as a result of which Russia suffered a crushing defeat and landed in a time of troubles for many years.” Now, once again, the opponents of Russia in the West and at home have “exactly the same plan which they are carrying out” to the letter.
By annexing Crimea and moving to support Novorossiya, he continued, President Vladimir Putin had won “a simply colossal” level of support. But then those around him got to work, and what looked to be a sure and easy victory was taken away.
“First,” they talked about “Novorssiya, then, not, and not Novorossiay but the Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples Republics. And then not the peoples republics but the self-proclaimed ones. And now already these are particular districts of Ukraine. And people do not understand how this can be,” Strelkov said.
Unless Putin can escape from their baleful influence, he continued, “not only the liberals but also [Russian] patriots will turn against Putin,” and in that event, “he will share the fate of Milosevic who was overthrown” by a similar alliance because in the end he was pursuing a policy that neither the liberals nor the patriots liked.
In his two-hour talk, Strelkov said that Putin has made many mistakes in Ukraine because he has not followed up on his victories but allowed others to steal them away. That is the result of the work of the fifth column around him, including Vladislav Surkov, who are “patriots by day” but supporters of the opponents of the Kremlin by night.
“The most characteristic sign” of such people, he continued, is that “they live and work here [in Russia], but all their money, property and families are abroad.”
Strelkov added that despite the ceasefire and all the talk in the media, true Russian patriots in “Novorossiya” plan to renew the fight because “Ukraine is part of Russia,” and many people “in Odessa, in Kharkov, in Kherson, and in Nikolayevsk are waiting for Russia. In fact, many are waiting for Russia in Kyiv including those who consider themselves Ukrainians.”
At the same time, however, he was very critical of some of his former colleagues in Donetsk and Luhansk, saying that the situations there were dire with “a fratricidal struggle” and even a Makhno-type movement, a reference to the irregular rule of the atamans during the Russian civil war nearly a century ago.