Note: “vatnik” is a derogatory term used in today’s Ukraine to describe people in Donbass and other South-Eastern regions as well as anybody supportive of the ‘Russian World”. The word ‘vatnik” means an overcoat padded with cotton (“vata”) habitually worn by agriculture and construction workers in early and mid Soviet times. It is quite warm but hardly fashionable. The reference is to the supposedly primitive nature of the people that would wear such a garment. People of Novorossia are now proudly call themselves “vatniks” as do many Russians. In this case, ‘Vatnik’ is also the callsign of Sergei Vasilevskii, a well-known military expert, author, journalist and member of the military intelligence service of the LNR.
by Sergey Vasilevsky
Translated by Eugenia
Recently, I received yet another message from “the other side” in Ukraine. The gist of it: “When will you come to deliver us from Poroshenko and Co?”
I understand the logic. People first jumped at Maidan, then voted for Poroshenko, then subsidized “ATO” (Anti-Terrorist Operation – translator’s note), and now received their salaries, compared them with their utility bills, and suddenly saw the light. And started crying: “Come and help us, brothers from Novorossia!”
This is understandable. What is not understandable is why this is our business. When we fight to defend our land and take back the remaining territory (of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions under the Ukraine’s control – translator’s note) – this is one thing. But why would we go on the offensive, ruin our heavy weapons and lose people, all of this to bring happiness to people that are awaiting rescue lying on the couch?
An offensive operation usually results in losses an order of magnitude higher than that in a defensive one. And if the Ukrainian military generally does not need that war, the Right Sector and the National Guard, with nothing to lose, will fight to the end. According to you, we must go and die so that two still incomplete regions liberate the remaining twenty two?
If you start – we will help. But nobody will do your job for you.
You have it easier in many ways. In 2014, I have seen people at block-posts firing back from old double barrel single-shot hunting rifles at helicopters, for which even a machine gun is nothing. You have it simpler as far as interesting military hardware is concerned.
As far as I know, at a Ukrainian black market, AK-74 (Kalashnikov assault rifle designed in 1974 – translator’s note) can be bought for 1,500 grivnas ($1 ≈ 25 grivnas – translator’s note); ammunition for it – 1 grivna a piece, or 1,000 grivnas per case. If fired in single shots, this will be enough for a long time. A sum of 2,500 grivnas – it is reasonable money to defend one’s right to life.
By and large, you don’t have a choice. The current authorities will drink your blood until you are dry. That was the reason they grabbed power in the first place.
The first rule for a critical situation: if a fight cannot be avoided, hit first. If you start, we will support you. Will attack from both sides, create cauldrons. We do, thank God, have enough experience to chop the Ukrainian forces in cauldrons.
But nobody will be doing the main job for you. Two still incomplete regions will not be sacrificing their armies to liberate the remaining twenty two regions. The Ukrainians are not beautiful princesses imprisoned in a tower by the Green Snake – Poroshenko.
You put him in office yourself – it is up to you to get rid of him. And if you are serious in your intentions – help might come from a direction where you least expect it.