Dmitriy Sapozhnikov, Russian terrorist from Saint Petersburg who calls himself commander of special purpose squad of ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’, gave interview and told about seizing Debaltseve by Russian army led by generals and officers from Russian Federation.
He said this in interview to Russian BBC.
“I will tell you a little secret’, – Sapozhnikov said. – ‘For example, Debaltseve. In early February we came there, we were based in Vuhlehirsk and moved to our positions on heavy equipment. We made this road to Logvinovo. But we were encircled. There were many Ukrainian servicemen who opposed us. But in result we broke through, took this part in Logvino because our tanks came to help in course of 3-5 days. It was Russian army, Buryats. Thanks to them, thanks to their heavy equipment we took Debaltseve’.
According to fighters, Russian tanks and military units came from the side of LNR [another self-proclaimed republic].
When speaking about Russian involvement in Donbas fighter said that this is not a secret today. ‘I see, in internet there is plenty of information: they have recognized that Russian soldiers serve there, there are many. So that, actually, I’m not telling secret information now. Everyone knows it, everyone. We manage to take positions quickly due to Russian military sub-units’, – Sapozhnikov said.
He says that when mercenaries had positions near Debaltseve they thought they would keep Ukrainian forces encircled for a month. But, due to Russian help, the town was captured in 3 days.
Terrorist mentioned that help of Russian servicemen in situations like this was decisive’ ‘Russian generals, Russian colonels. They decided all’, – the fighter said.
‘It is clear that all operations, especially such large-scale as encirclements, are led by Russian generals. They make plans together with our commanders’. The fighters says he has often been to General Staff to report some information. According to him, coordination in the Staff is done very simply. ‘They together create this, and we perform’.
However, fighter refused to name Russian generals saying it can cause resonance in Russia.
Sapozhnikov believes that USA and EU deliberately do not try to calculate Russian troops in Ukraine and turn blind eye to their presence there.
He said that in Donbas he met only contract soldiers.
Military unit from Buryatia had positions near Debaltseve. They said they knew quite well where they were going, but officially it was said that they had training. Soldiers from Buryatia said they were transported at night so that nobody would see them. There were soldiers who refused to go. One could easily say ‘no’. Those soldiers who came to Ukraine knew where and what for they were going.
On February 18 president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko informed that Ukrainian servicemen in Debaltseve had received an ultimatum from pro-Russian fighters to surrender and give all weapons.
The president ordered to withdraw all Ukrainian forces from Debaltseve.
According to General Staff of Ukrainian Armed Forces, 2130 Ukrainian servicemen left Debaltsevo.
Official data about losses during withdrawal of forces: 66 killed, more than 300 wounded. However, Ukrainian official sources are known for underestimating our losses and there were different speculations on the number of true losses.