Manas (the mercenary preferred to change his real name) has been fighting on the side of Luhansk People’s Republic for half a year. In his interview to Kyrgyz Radio Liberty he spoke of his disappointment with total disinformation about situation in Ukraine broadcasted by Russian mass media.
According to Manas, all talks about ‘banderivists’ and ‘Nazis’ fighting on Ukrainian side do not correspond to reality.
The fighter had his personal motive to join fighting in eastern Ukraine. He had graduated from political college, but believed to propaganda.
The mercenary came to Donbas in August 2014 but signed contract only in November.
When at home he watched Russian channels like ‘First channel’ and ‘RTR’. The conflict in Ukraine was important to him. Russian news spoke about fascist and Nazi movemets in Ukraine and the fighter’s grandfather died in WWII fighter believed it was true.
However, on arrival to Donbas the mercenary was greatly disappointed. He didn’t see fascists but Ukrainian regular army with some gaps filled with volunteer battalions like ‘The Right Sector’, ‘Donbas’ etc.
According to Kyrgyz citizen, at first he didn’t spot Russian regular troops in Ukraine. Only non-governmental military formations were engaged in conflict at first.
‘But when I saw Russian troops and the way they entered, fought, I experienced a break. Something broke inside me’, – Manas said.
He explained that Russian troops consisted not of conscripts but of combat-ready military units located in South Ossetia. These fighters had passed through first and second Chechen wars.
‘Basically they are contract soldiers. From time to time they are transferred there [to Donbas] and then withdrawn. But they go back without equipment. In the process of fighting they train people, leave military equipment and go away’, – the mercenary said.
Manas also mentioned ‘degradation’ among fighters after Minsk agreements.
According to him, fighters believe that Russia and personally Putin have abandoned them. They are assured that they should fight to the last, that they don’t have other ways. Fighters don’t believe to anyone. They don’t believe in their invincibility: there comes time when they would be held responsible.
Manas adds that the part of volunteers among fighters is very small, mostly they have been substituted for regular troops.
However, fighters aren’t allowed to return home. They are threatened and intimidated.
Mansa managed to escape the conflict zone by accident.
He received kind of vacation in law after occupation of Debaltseve. Then he and some other fighters accompanied transportation of load-200 [dead soldiers]. In order not to cause suspicion the fighters didn’t stop his contract. He just asked to go home although this is prohibited on the Russian border.