Russian politician and human rights activist from Pskov Lev Schlosberg said on air of Echo of Moscow, Censor.NET reports.
"Originally, it was a secret war [in the Donbas - ed.]. Originally, it was a lie by the state, a lie known to thousands, I think, even tens of thousands of those from military families... And the 2014 situation was a situation of complete intellectual breakdown of Russia's state machine, when the state lost its head and the ability to adequately assess the situation after the Crimean events. There was absolute certainty that the so-called triumphal Crimean campaign would repeat itself in the east of Ukraine... When it became clear that the Ukrainian military defended the country's east, it was a huge surprise for the political and military leadership of Russia.
"Accordingly, they did not expect either military actions or losses. They were not ready to explain it either to public or to the military. Our state is not going to recognize this terrible mortal sin of war in eastern Ukraine committed by the Russian armed forces, since it will have to announce the death toll - thousands of people.
The entire territory of the Donbas has come under the rule of semi-legal authorities, obscure institutions and lawlessness. The failure of legal field is the worst thing to happen. And, in my opinion, this stalemate prevails," he said.
"When the number of killed soldiers [in the Donbas - ed.] rose dramatically, many of them were retroactively labeled as "cossacks" and people [relatives - ed.] did not get anything at all [compensation - ed.]... As veterans of other wars, they were given funeral benefits. But not a penny was received from the state for their deaths, after a way to mask these losses was found.
"I have talked with many officers, including senior officers, who call the war in Ukraine a crime against the state. Now they are silent, they talk about it only in private conversations... The fact that they keep silent just shows the utter level of fear. This is a very sad sign for society... Because people believe that their public statement may break their life and, unfortunately, they are not ready to speak at such a high price," he concluded.
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