May 1, 2014 by AK
I believe the separatists in Eastern Ukraine are getting their orders from Russia, but the crowds seizing buildings in Donetsk look different from the “polite people” a.k.a. “little green men” of Crimea.
Yulia Latynina, the controversial, libertarian-leaning Ekho Moskvy commentator, suggests that the violent separatists are troops of hired misfits (some in Flannery O’Connor’s sense), some with a military background. They are mercenaries, Latynina says, but psychologically unstable mercenaries – often people from the fringes with a deformed psyche. A lot of them are also “Russian imperial chauvinists”, of course.
Latynina’s report of her visit to Donbass is long and rambling but is worth reading or listening to if you know Russian – she’s very knowledgeable even through she gets carried away at times. Finding people eager to fight as irregulars shouldn’t be that hard in Russia and much of Ukraine. Veterans’ associations, various “patriotic” (or pro-Soviet, in Ukraine’s case) clubs, neo-Nazi gangs…