By Alexander Mnatsakanyan, Russian human rights activist
04.14.2014 2:29 Facebook status
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
Ukrainians, my dear friends!
What I am about to say might sound inhuman, but it should be said.
At one point I was pleased by the friendliness and non-militant attitude of your army. Not only a month ago in Crimea, but also earlier. For example, when in the vicinity of Sevastopol at Cape Fiolent a soldier put a 5 minute cease-fire request to his lieutenant to allow civilians a safe passage along the seacoast.
However, this friendliness does not please me any more. During all the 23 years of independence your soldiers did not participate in a single war. Well, maybe UkrBat (Ukrainian Batallion) saw some action in the Balkans. Veterans of the Afghan War have for the most part either resigned or taken up higher positions and will not, therefore, become involved in any direct military actions. It is quite obvious that Ukrainian soldiers are neither used to killing nor are particularly willing to kill. At the same time Russia has constantly led wars. In only the last few years – Chechnya, Dagestan, Georgia (Ossetia and Abkhazia). Russian soldiers are used to killing. They have become accustomed to the idea that the enemy must be eliminated; they are accustomed to the sight of guts spilled out and limbs blown off – those of others and of one’s own. They are used to the fact that survivors often get medals, stars and occasionally even some money. In addition, they have no complexes with respect to handling the civilian population. They are accustomed to the fact that one can shoot at civilians, organize raids and purges, without incurring any liability for these crimes.
From my conversations with Ukrainian colleagues I realized that you simply do not know our reality and war tactics.
I will catalogue only some of the common tactics:
Shooting tactical missiles “Tochka U” [tochka = a dot, point] through towns and villages with lots of civilians (Komsomolsk, Grozny in Chechnya, Poti in Georgia). Targeting living quarters with MRL (multiple rocket launcher) systems, bombardments from helicopters and planes. Punitive operations in Novye Aldi (60 civilians in one day including the elderly, women and even babies, plus lootings and arsons that followed) and Samashki (more than 100 civilians in 2 days) – these are just two of the best known and more prominent examples. Then there were the brutalizations and humiliations of captive soldiers (Russian propaganda claims they are criminals, the same is now said about your comrades-in-arms) – look at the online footage taken in the village of Komsomolsk in Chechnya; the recordings are available on the net. The [Yuri] Budanov case (rape and strangulation of Chechen girl Elza Kungaeva by a Russian Colonel), the [Eduard] Ulman case (gunning down a car with teachers by mistake and the subsequent cold-blooded murder of the wounded), the [Sergey] Lapin case (torture and abuse of detainees followed by murder, because Zelimhan Murdalov “didn’t look right”), [Eugene] Khudyakov and [Sergei] Arakcheev’s case (unmotivated murder at the block post of the Kamaz drivers) – these are only the cases that reached the court room, but there are many more such “personilized” cases, dozens if not hundreds of them. Russian troops when changing their deployment locations leave behind ditches with dozens of unidentified corpses. In filtration camps [mass internment centres in Chechnya] captured soldiers and people just caught accidentally were tortured with electrical shock, dogs were set at them, cold water was poured on them in freezing temperatures, they were kept in pits filled with bleach, their ears were cut off, some were mutilated on torture racks. It is an endless series of lootings and arsons; rapes, beatings, and burning alive. Several thousands of people missing after illegal detention at home during the “sweeps” (my solitary month long search in 2003 resulted in 700 such cases).
This does not mean that all of these methods will be used in Ukraine. The history there is different, the teams would be different and different inter-cultural relationships will play their role. And this is not to say that all Russian soldiers will follow suit. However, this is how the system works in the Russian military and in the punitive special forces of OMON units (comparable to your Berkut unit). And this is the experience of Russian units in Chechnya (mainly) but also in Georgia.
I understand that it’s scary and that a possible first reaction is to surrender to avoid this madness. I did not want to scare you, dear Ukrainians. But I want you to have no illusions about the person with whom (and most importantly with what) you are dealing. I want to warn you in advance, so that you are not surprised and will not ask “how could they” or any other humanitarian nonsense. It is important for your own good that you understand that the phrases “well celebrated” and the joyful and subsequent “haha” from the recent interception of negotiations on a cell phone are quite certainly not a fake. The Feds really talk like that, think like that and breathe like that.
There is a fair chance that Ukraine will have to face Russian military invasion. If someone chooses surrender – that’s his business, it can also be understood. But those who choose the path of resistance to the invaders, regardless if it is as a partisan or regular soldier, will have to fight for real. Without sentimentality and without holding back.
You, my dears, will have to learn what it is like to kill the enemy. You will have to learn swiftly and get only the best grades. There is no time for you to experiment or resit the exams.
Reblogged this on Euromaidan PR and commented:
Learning to kill: “What I’m about to say might sound inhuman, but it should be said.”
No doubt what the author here has said is true, There is no reason to disbelieve that very violent measures take place in wartime. Witness when the Russians took over Berlin in 1945: over 2 million young German girls were brutally raped (many gang-raped) which caused a large number of them to simply take their own lives. In more recent years, war crimes (with Milosevic and other war-mongers) can make all of us sick to the stomach. Vietnam is a stain on the American military might that only now is slowly being washed away–but the memories for those of us who were there is rather permanent. There are no rules in love and war, it is often said, but their is an underlying morality, whether we choose to deny it or not. Many Nazi SS men and the Adolf Hitler Battalion committed unspeakable atrocities in the Ukraine against helpless children, young women and others, as did Josef Stalin (since the 1930s until his death). So the peoples of Ukraine are well-familiar with atrocities committed against them. This current confrontation with Putin’s restrictive Russian regime is a political horse of a different color, in my view. This time around, Russia will not simply seek to defeat Ukraine but to wipe out its memory as a people, as a nation, as a culture. I seriously believe that what Putin has done in the Crimea is simply a foreshadow, a preview of more to come in the rest of Ukraine. There will be dictatorial laws forbidding any public congregation, any criticism (however slight), any feedback whatsoever to the absolute rule of the new Russian masters. Yet all of these changes to the face of Eastern Europe (for Ukraine will only become the first stop in Putin’s putsch westward), will present a new definition of doublethink (Russian propaganda). The world has witnessed already that the Kremlin is not at all abashed in absolute contradiction to the facts known throughout the Western World. As in George Orwell’s classic novel, ‘1984’, defeat becomes Victory, and bondage becomes ‘Freedom’! So, on 9th May 2014, the Victory Day celebration in Crimea will be the same day that the Dictatorial Rule of Russia becomes law! To rational clear-thinking individuals around the world such behavior may seem as a cruel or sick joke, but to RT news media, to AM TV news media, and to PRESS TV news media (just to name a few of pro-Russian Putin-paid media networks) all is 100% correct media coverage. (But whoever watches and believes this Russian Tainted news is just as guilty of falsifying the facts, in my books!). So, the bottom line is that people must learn to kill their enemies (not to love their enemies as the Easter message this time of year tries to teach people–for the past 2,000 years! For so it must be, it seems: the only language a belligerent regime (such as Putin’s) seems to understand is brute force. Force must be met with force. For shame, Putin, that you personally have brought the entire world to focus on the inhumanity of man, that once again people who are like you rejoice in placing a military boot upon a human face to press it into the ground because of your sick fantasy to rule the world. Once again, this ‘Hitler without the moustache’ needs to be stopped, perhaps by his own people? his own body-guards (as happened to Colonel Kaddafy in Libya recently?)? But one way or another Putin’s fate will be sealed. It is unfortunate that (until then) so many hard-working and beautiful peoples both in Russia and in the Ukraine must give their lives, as the EuroMaidan martyrs did–so that criminals such as Viktor Yanukovych and Vladimir Putin can eventually be hung upside down in the middle of town square (as happened to Benito Mussolini and his lover)?! So these two psychopaths (similar to HItler and Goering?!) are now stirring up the dust in Ukraine and complaining that they cannot see, that there is no law and order there, that the Government is illegitimate, that they have something better to offer the Russian citizens living in Ukraine?! How pathetic that these two sociopathic scoundrels have dared to demand from Ukraine to surrender its FREEDOM, it’s INDEPENDENCE, its SOVEREIGNTY to a foreign power all in the name of mutual Slavic love, of consideration for their neighbor, of their duty under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum–to protect Ukraine from foreign invasions from within?! How twisted their logic?! How clearly hypocritical their pretext of hospitality?! yes, I hate to say it, but despite the blunt reality of the truth Alexander Manatsakanyan professes in this open ‘Call to Arms’ of the Ukrainian peoples, unless you –as a military soldier–are willing to kill your enemy (despite your wholesome religious teachings and beliefs to ‘love your enemies’!), you will end up as the well-educated and civilized Ancient Athenians did when they were invaded by their neighbors–the ruthless barbarian Spartans–as a defeated civilization, never to rise again. History can and does repeat itself, it seems. The ‘rule of law’ is a wonderful concept under the rules of the European Union, NATO, and the UN Charter of Human Rights, but how can adherence to the ‘rule of law’ save one, and one’s country, when the aggressor nation cares nothing for past or current Agreements, nor for the means to its ends, but exists only as a law unto itself?!
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