Strelkov: Without Russia’s support separatist armies would be destroyed by the Ukrainian Armed Forces

In his interview to Moskovsky Komsomolets daily, former leader of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, Igor Strelkov (aka Igor Girkin) spoke of the balance of forces between the armies of the s-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics and the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

When asked about the personnel composition of armies of the DPR and LPR, he answered that the main part of the personnel are now contracted servicemen.

“Main part of the armies of the LPR and DPR are contractors. They are nicknamed pyatnadtsatitysyachnik because they are getting paid 15 000 (approximately $267 USD) rubles a month and are on a regular military service.  And the volunteers, the militiamen of the first wave have been removed from the army. And you know how?  A Jesuit trick was played on them; they had to undergo physical fitness tests. They had to meet the requirements for pushups, running etc. They were quite a few people among them who were over 40. They fought well, but now they are not eligible to serve due to the witness requirements,” said Strelkov

“The militia is demoralized for the most part. Many injured in Slovyansk and Kramatorsk cannot obtain a veteran status. They are being asked for medical documents. Back in 2014 poorly equipped and badly trained troops were ideologically motivated. And they didn’t want to follow the stupid orders not to fire in response to the enemy’s shelling,” Strelkov continued.

“But the current army is a regular army. And it’s not that it is capable of launching an offensive, it cannot even defend itself properly. In the event of a strong offensive the contractors will flee which already happened before. When the heavy fighting erupted some contracted servicemen broke their contracts and refused to go to the front lines. And if LPR and DPR decide to launch an offensive such an army will be destroyed. There is not enough ideological motivation and there is very little armor,” Strelkov stated

 When asked if the LPR and DPR would be capable to repel an offensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Strelkov said that it is highly unlikely.

“The balance of forces in personnel is five to one and in armor is three to one to Ukraine’s advantage. Besides, the LPR and DPR are now in defensive positions and the initiative will be on Ukraine’s side. It will be impossible to repel such an attack without a direct support from Russia, “Strelkov stated.

Strelkov is a Russian army veteran who played a key role in the early stages of the war in eastern Ukraine. Authorities in Kyiv say that the self-described Russian nationalist and imperialist is a retired colonel of the GRU (Russia’s external military intelligence organization). Strelkov was dismissed as Defense Minister of the so-called DPR in August of 2014.

  Strelkov, LPR, DPR, Ukrainian Army