Ilya Barabanov in his article tells about several young servicemen who were career soldiers of one of the separate motorized rifle brigades untill recently.
"But two or three weeks ago it all changed, and now we see two comrades-in-arms without insignia hugging at one of Horlivka's squares; another one posts a picture where three young guys sit on an armored vehicle somewhere near Debaltseve. The third one posts an image of a 'DPR' tank stuck in an entrenchment - the main sight at the destroyed Vuhlehirsk entrance," the journalist wrote.
"The logic of military operations in recent months is quite simple: only those who really know how to fight leave to perform combat missions on the part of either the self-proclaimed republics or "certain districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions" (as written in the Minsk agreement). They solve a given task and depart; then a city or village they just seized is filled with local mercenaries, who meet reporters at checkpoints and willingly talk about their past as miners. At some point, one can really believe that only locals fight with 'junta', but then someone blurts out: "There are Buryats behind that waste pile. - What Buryats? - Well… Donbas Indians. Everybody smiles, everything is understood," the article in Kommersant reads.
"In the last days before the final assault on Debaltseve, in order not flash the "Buryats" to once again, journalists were not let into Vuhlehirsk, from where an offensive into the salient was commenced. A couple of days after the attack, when Debaltseve is finally mopped up and checkpoints are filled with miners, journalists will be again allowed to come in," Barabanov wrote.
"Much has been said of strategic importance of Debaltseve in recent days - it is direct road connecting Donetsk and Luhansk, and the largest railway junction, and important height from the artillery point of view. But how many hundreds of people were killed on both sides during the offensive lasting for almost a month, we will not learn anytime soon. After Debaltseve was seized, the front line once again straightened. There is an option that the cease-fire agreement reached in Minsk will now be complied with from time to time, the fire will stop completely or at least decrease for a month or two until someone decides that the self-proclaimed republics cannot go on living without Mariupol, Artemivsk or Lysychansk. Then "political commissars" in military units throughout the large country once again get active with stories about how important it is to save the freedom-loving Donbas from Western aggression. No one is forced to go - volunteers only," he wrote.
The full text of the translated article can be read here on Censor.NET.