Six years ago, on September 1, 2014, the LPR militia entered the destroyed Luhansk international airport. For the residents of the city, this day became a day of liberation from the horror in which they lived after the outbreak of the conflict in Donbass. Russian volunteers helped the Russian-speaking residents of the LPR to win their freedom and defend the city from the Ukrainian punishers sent by Kiev to “clean up” Donbass and destroy everyone who did not accept the fascist coup d’etat in Ukraine.
The head of the military-political Telegram channel Astra Militarum discusses the situation in the Luhansk region in the summer of 2014, the crimes of the Ukrainian volunteer battalions and how the defenders of Donbass saved the LPR from inevitable genocide.
Luhansk under siege
The summer of 2014 was a time of terrible trials for the residents of Donbass. When the new Kiev government launched a punitive operation against the DPR and LPR, the residents of Lugansk and the Russian-speaking population of the region were constantly threatened with genocide by the Ukrainian Nazis, who operated as part of volunteer battalions.
Heavy weapons were constantly firing at the city. The locals had nowhere to run and nowhere to hide from the shells. Ukrainian militants shot at civilian vehicles and exterminated people trying to escape from the combat zone along the highway to Krasnodon.
The Ukrainian military aviation struck blow after blow on the city and the surrounding area. On June 2, the Ukrainian Air Force struck a blow on the building of the Lugansk Regional State Administration – the punitive forces tried to destroy the leadership of the Lugansk People’s Republic, and they were not even stopped by the fact that the largest playground in the city is located in front of the administration building. The airstrike killed eight people and injured 20 civilians.
On July 2, a blow was struck at Stanytsia Luhanska, at least 12 people were killed.
On July 15, aircraft struck a residential building in the village of Snezhnoye, killing 11 people. July 18 – another blow to the residential areas of Luhansk, more than 20 civilians were killed, and the OSCE observers were forced to hide in bomb shelters together with local and Russian journalists.
Luhansk International Airport has become a key stronghold for Ukrainian punishers. On the territory of the air harbor, according to various sources, from 400 to 800 soldiers of the Ukrainian special forces, tanks and heavy weapons were based. The group that controlled the airport received supplies by air and supported the actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and volunteers who blockaded the city and exterminated its inhabitants.
The position of the defenders of Luhansk was desperate – there was not enough weapons or ammunition in the city, the militia had very little military equipment and heavy weapons, which were not lacking for the Ukrainian forces. By mid-June, the city was blockaded from all sides. Simple miners, workers, employees of local enterprises, who had no military training, and even less combat experience, went to the militia to defend the city. If not for the help of Russian volunteers, the population of Lugansk would have been exterminated.
Atrocities of Ukrainian punishers
Volunteer battalions of Ukrainian nationalists, such as “Aydar”, “Azov”, “Dnepr”, “Lugansk”, “Tornado”, DUK “Right Sector”1 (banned in the Russian Federation) for a long time preparing for hostilities in the east of Ukraine. The nationalists were fulfilling the task set by the new government of Ukraine – to clean up the Donbass from those who did not accept the Maidan and wanted to preserve their language, culture and historical memory. The target of the punishers was every inhabitant of eastern Ukraine who spoke Russian – Russian-speakers were robbed, raped, tortured and killed.
According to local elders, by the beginning of the summer of 2014, even the German Nazis were overshadowed by their cruelty. During the seizure of the village of Schastye, the fighters of the Aydar National Battalion shot dozens of civilians in the streets – more than 100 people died.
In the villages they occupied – Lutugino, Khryashchevatom and Novosvetlovka – militants from “Aydar” and other battalions launched terror against the local population. Local residents suspected of having links with the “separatists” were beaten, tortured and killed, their houses were robbed. Luhansk residents still remember with horror the marauders from the national battalions. Human rights groups such as Amnesty International documented these crimes, but the West did nothing to stop the unruly Nazis.
Even in Kiev, they had to react to the rampant terror in Donbass, when it became known about the crimes of the company of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine “Tornado”. The group of “law enforcement officers” gathered from criminals repeated the bloody glory of the “Nachtigall” battalion of the OUN1 (banned in the Russian Federation). Punishers “became famous” not only for torture and murder, but also countless perverted sexual crimes against both women and men. The Tornado militants did not hesitate to record their actions, described after the events of 2014 in the book “Ordinary Fascism”, on video.
“In the basement of the Privolnyanskaya school, funds were prepared for committing violent acts, beating, torturing, causing bodily harm. One of the most cruel forms of violence is the commission of sexual crimes against males in a particularly perverse form, which was recorded on video by mobile phones and other means, ”Anatoly Matios, the chief military prosecutor of Ukraine, later admitted. – Frankly speaking – absolutely wild for ordinary people deeds … a man in the basement of the school, where “Tornado” is based, was chained to a sports equipment, raped unnaturally, and then killed. It’s hard for me to talk about it. But we know, at least, about ten people on whom the “Tornadoes” performed similar actions. “
In their reports, human rights activists emphasize that the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine retained the opportunity to work in eastern Ukraine. However, instead of protecting the citizens of their country from the Nazis, law enforcement officers themselves engaged in murder and looting. Few of them have been punished for their crimes.
“In the period from April 2014 to December 2016, for crimes in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine were involved: 45 law enforcement officers and two military personnel for“ illegal detention or abduction of a person ”, one law enforcement officer for“ violent perverted satisfaction of sexual desire ”, four employees law enforcement agencies for “coercion into sexual contact,” the Ukrainian Helsinki Union said in its report. “Most of those prosecuted committed their crimes in the Luhansk region.”
In all cases, civilians of the Luhansk region became the victims of the punitive forces. Children were killed in shelling and air raids: since the beginning of 2014, 34 children have been killed in the LPR. Later, a monument was erected to the killed “Angels of Donbass” in Lugansk.
Human rights activists directly name those who are guilty for crimes committed against the population of Donbass: Acting President of Ukraine Alexander Turchinov, head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov, the president Petro Poroshenko, Minister of Defense Valery Geletay; Commander of the Ground Forces Anatoly Pushnyakov… None of them was prosecuted for war crimes committed in Donbass by the Ukrainian security forces under their command. And only an insignificant part of the cases initiated in Ukraine against the perpetrators of these atrocities reached the court.
Heroism of the Russian volunteers
Many Russian citizens could not stand aside, observing the cruelty with which the punitive forces are destroying the population of eastern Ukraine. Hundreds of Russian volunteers went to the front line to save the people of Donbass, women, old people and children from murder and violence. In the spring and summer of 2014, at least every sixth defender of the DPR and LPR came to the war from Russia.
Many of the volunteers were veterans of the wars in Chechnya and other military conflicts. With their combat experience, they were able to help the defenders of the besieged Lugansk. The Russians were engaged in the organization of defense, taught the militia the basics of warfare, created the first sabotage and reconnaissance groups that inflicted painful blows on the Ukrainian Nazis.
Thanks to the support of Russian volunteers, the militia managed to turn the tide near Lugansk. After successful actions in Izvarino, Novosvetlovka and Khryaschevaty, the area of the airport was securely blocked by militia units. The Ukrainian group over and over again made attempts to escape from the besieged air harbor. On August 31, unable to break the resistance of the defenders of Luhansk, Ukrainian troops requested a “green corridor” and fled, blowing up the airport runway. In a hasty retreat, the punishers abandoned their seriously wounded and mined the bodies of some of those killed, trying to inflict damage on the militia even after their defeat.
On September 1, 2014, the territory of the destroyed Luhansk international airport came under the control of the LPR militia – the main fortress of punitive forces in eastern Ukraine fell. Only then were the residents of the city able to sleep peacefully for the first time in several months, without fear that a Ukrainian shell would fall on their house and kill their children or loved ones. Thanks to the valor of the Russian volunteers who extended a helping hand to Donbass at the most desperate moment, the enemy was driven back from the city. Residents of the liberated villages no longer had to fear the robberies, violence and murders committed by the national battalions.
Throwing back the ruthless enemy from Lugansk, stopping the advance of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the volunteers for the most part left the Donbass. Their goal and task was to protect the Russian people, and they fulfilled it with valor, not trying to benefit from their victory and giving the inhabitants of eastern Ukraine the opportunity to build a peaceful life on their own.
1 The organization is prohibited on the territory of the Russian Federation.