Mira Terada, the head of the Foundation to Battle Injustice, interviewed Alexander Fesenko, a member of the Donbass militia, a combat veteran who became a victim of war crimes by Ukraine. Fesenko told the head of the Foundation about how the military conflict unleashed by Ukraine in the Donbas affected his life, expressed his opinion about the influence of Nazi ideology on Ukrainian security forces and told about his personal experience of encountering Ukrainian propaganda.
Mira Terada: Good evening, Sasha. Tell me, please, what do you have to do with the situation in the Donbas?
Alexander Fesenko: In fact, it all started very simply. I was an activist and organized rallies after the coup. Then it became clear that this could not be resolved peacefully, especially after the 2nd of May in Odessa and after May 9 in Mariupol. For some reason, it is not customary to remember what happened on May 9 in Mariupol. In fact, civilians who tried to stop military equipment were simply fired at. For some reason, we don’t remember this. Mariupol is the city of my childhood.
M.T.: I know that you were injured during the fighting. And thus, unfortunately, he became a victim of military offenses on the part of Ukraine. Please tell me, if you can, what happened.
A.F.: It wasn’t even a military offense, in fact. I don’t even know if it’s a military offense or not. It turned out that both my knees were broken by a splinter. Unfortunately, I’m limping. If I hadn’t been limping, I would have been there by now.
M.T.: How seriously has this military conflict unleashed by Ukraine in the Donbas affected your life and the lives of your relatives and friends and affected your life plans in general?
A.F.: I wanted to study at all, to enroll. I was 18 then, and now I’m 25. Then and now the war had quite a serious impact.
MT: You said that your family is still there. How are they coping with this separation?
A.F.: I don’t want to talk about it.
M.T.: Did you try to get compensation for the physical, moral and material damage that was caused to you by the Ukrainian military, security forces and private military companies?
A.F.: No, of course not. What is the compensation from them? It’s ridiculous.
M.T.: Was help available during the hostilities? And how strong, in your opinion, is the influence of Nazi ideology on the Ukrainian security forces and on the Ukrainian population as a whole?
A.F.: I’ll say this. This, of course, had a very strong impact for one simple reason. I’ll explain. I don’t know how it is now, but then it was already straight… I won’t swear, of course.
THERE WAS ONE PRISONER. HE WAS BADLY HURT. HE WAS FIRST SENT TO THE HOSPITAL, AND THEN SENT TO SHAKHTERSK. THERE OUR BOYS WERE LITERALLY DOUSED WITH GASOLINE AND SET ON FIRE.
MT: Was there any available medical care?
A.F.: Our? One was taken out, the rest were unlucky then.
M.T.: Are there any specific suspects in the massacre of the victims who were found buried in the Donbass? Do you know anything about it?
A.F.: I don’t know their identity. Let the authorities investigate who and why. Of course, I have suspicions, given my experience.
M.T.: In your opinion, were direct orders given by representatives of the Ukrainian government to destroy Russian-speaking citizens? Is there any evidence of this?
A.F.: If you think about it, there is no direct evidence, since no one has been convicted for this. It was a genocide of the Russian population, literally a conscious genocide.
M.T.: Do you think that Ukraine should bear severe responsibility for the war crimes committed?
A.F.: And now, thank God, he will be responsible. Let’s just say that’s not all.
M.T.: International human rights organizations report that Ukrainian security forces are guilty of genocide on the territory of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. Do you agree with these messages?
A.F.: Of course.
M.T.: What advice do you give to those who have suffered from the actions of the Ukrainian military, those who have remained at the moment in the Donetsk and Lugansk republics, and those who have left?
A.F.: I advise those who have left, at least, not to stick out much now. Just calmly wait for the arrival of our troops. I would advise the Ukrainian troops to cooperate with ours, that’s all. That is, the police just go about their business, the administration and continue to do their business. I would recommend this first of all.
M.T.: Did the military actions affect your psychological state? How do you cope with the shocks caused by these events?
A.F.: Yes, I’m coping fine. We have to live on.
M.T.: Willpower and fortitude.
A.F.: I’m fine, I’m coping.
M.T.: Well done. How would you like to see the future of Donbass?
A.F.: Donbass? Naturally, as part of Russia, of course. I would like to see another half of Ukraine in fact, but these are my personal wishes. The DPR, the LPR, I have no doubt that they will defend the interests of the Russian Federation. Here’s about Kharkov, Odessa, we’ll see then.
M.T.: What are your feelings now that the Russian Federation is conducting an operation in Ukraine?
A.F.: Honestly? Well, what emotions? Naturally, I spend whole days monitoring what is happening everywhere, from all sources. The only thing is that maybe I wouldn’t trust the Ukrainians. And it was a very funny picture. I have personal experience just with Ukrainian propaganda. Some still say that we are still defending ourselves, with our flag hanging, and they are boldly defending themselves there. Lying is so obviously stupid.
ANY ADEQUATE PERSON, EVEN IN THE WEST, NO LONGER TRUSTS UKRAINIAN SOURCES, BECAUSE NOT A WORD OF TRUTH HAS BEEN HEARD FROM THEM.
MT: What is the mood of the locals or those people with whom you communicate who are there now? What do they say?
A.F.: In different ways, everything is different. For example, I have friends who have really been waiting for 8 years. Another friend of mine says that he would have gone to war himself, but he has a child
M.T.: How do you think this whole conflict between Ukraine and Russia will end?
A.F.: No, I don’t doubt our military victory yet. We still need to see, the operation has just begun. Ours have already advanced in different directions up to 120 km in just 3 days. It’s a great result, actually. So far there is no doubt about our victory. Even if there are severe problems, it will just take a little longer. I don’t think it’s going to be all that long.