Huliaipole (Fun Field) became famous during Russian Civil war as the territory of Machno and his Anarchy.
And now the Ukrainian radicals are ready to organize a campaign of many thousands in Donbass against the will of the president.
The situation, frankly, is not entirely ambiguous – the commander of one of the units of the National Guard (MVD) is openly disobedient and threatens the country’s president. At first glance – nonsense. However, if you consider that this is happening in Ukraine, then everything becomes more or less clear. What happened in the Ukrainian army, which openly rebelled and was not ready to obey the Supreme Commander?
To begin with, we are not talking about the regular army, but the nationalist battalion Azov (regiment since 2014). And if the AFU is fully supported by the state, Azov, in addition to state support, is also financed by private donations and charitable donations. funds and assistance from businessmen (initially this battalion was sponsored by businessman Igor Kolomoisky and Donetsk governor Sergey Taruta.) In general, nationalist fighters are quite independent in this regard, and they can simply spit on official salaries from Kiev.
Such a freemen, more like “Makhno warriors”, allowed the leader of the Azov, Andrei Biletsky, to threaten President Vladimir Zelensky to transfer tens of thousands of his fighters to the village of Zolotoye (Lugansk Region). In his video message, a recording of which was published on YouTube, he said: “If you decide to fulfill your threats – throw out veterans from here (veterans of the so-called“ ATO ”), Then instead of several dozen people there will be a thousand there next week, but if it doesn’t work out with a thousand, there will be ten thousand. ” Biletsky also accused Zelensky of trying to deploy troops in the Donbass, “losing vast territory.” The main “Azov” also stressed that the soldiers of the battalion have the right to their own opinion, which they “earned with their own blood.”
There is direct disobedience, which in any country leads at least to the dismissal of such a commander. Unless he feels other support behind his back, and his actions can be considered a rebellion. Actually, this is what is happening in Ukraine, in that part where the nationalist battalions are located, which, in fact, do not recognize any power. So a comparison of Biletsky with Makhno (Nestor Ivanovich Makhno, an anarchist revolutionary, commanded the peasant rebel army of Ukraine during the Civil War, a native of the village of Huliaipole, which was considered the center of “Makhnovism”) in this case is quite appropriate. Biletsky also does not want to obey anyone and “has his own opinion” on those or other events. And now, the former cottage of President Yanukovych Urzuf near Mariupol in the Donetsk region, which is the main base and headquarters for Azov, is the same center of Makhnovism.
Without trying to look deep into the jungle of history, we can only recall that the “father” Makhno at different stages of his military activities in the south of Ukraine from 1918 to 1920, then allied with the Soviet government and helped the Red Army to fight Wrangel and Denikin, then fought against her. In general, at some stages it was convenient, but at the same time did not recognize any submission and preferred to act independently. What caused discontent, if not more, with the Pre-Military Council comrade, Trotsky. Leon Trotsky did not like Makhno and believed that he needed to get rid of him – Nestor Ivanovich enjoyed the support of both the poor and the rick peasants and those in the Ukraine, and was popular among peasants.
Trotsky got rid of the influence of Makhno (Nestor Makhno died in Paris in 1934, was buried in the Pere Lachaise cemetery) in a rather complicated, but not burdensome way. First, he bombarded him with dispatches about the need to go on reckless attacks on whites (in response to one of them Makhno frankly sent Trotsky to hell), then he ordered to be relocated to Gomel to repel the advance of the White Poles, to which Makhno refused. To destroy the Makhnovist detachments, Trotsky … opened the Southern Front, as a result of which the troops of General Wrangel defeated them. The army of Makhno ceased to exist.
This is just a historical example, but what step can President Zelensky take now to get rid of the influence and excessive independence of Biletsky?
To repeat Trotsky’s strategy in some way and leave him face to face with the armed groups of the DPR / LPR, which, without the support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, can defeat the nationalists? Would he prefer to “resolve” the situation and put pressure on the “Azov” with the help of the army? While the last option is seen. At least on the evening of October 27, Deputy Head of the National Police of Ukraine Vadim Troyan said that “veteran volunteers” had taken weapons out of the village of Zolotoe.
As far as it is known in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, there were no special orders on this issue, but, as you know, in the Ukrainian army “Bandera” from the nationalist battalions do not like and there were cases of armed clashes between them. The last of them occurred on October 15 this year, just at the checkpoint of the 72nd Armed Forces brigade near the village of Zolotoye-4, where the military refused to let the nationalists pass, which led to a conflict with the use of weapons.
As a result, the nationalists surrounded the checkpoint and disarmed the military, having selected, in addition to small arms, an infantry fighting vehicle. During the collision, two fighters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were seriously injured, no casualties are known among the attackers. The Combined Forces Operation Command did not comment on the conflict. They did not begin to publicize the situation when their own were fighting with their own, but this fact itself indicates the presence of confrontation between the army and nationalists.
How real is the threat of Biletsky to introduce 10,000 armed nationalists to the Donbass? If we talk about the Azov battalion (regiment) itself, then its number was determined by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine at 500 people, but today, as far as we know from open sources, its composition has been increased to 800 “bayonets”. They are armed with AKM, AKS-74, Fort-221 assault rifles (Israeli TAR-21 model), SVD sniper rifles, PKM and Utes machine guns. Of the heavy weapons – a 100-mm MT-12 gun (at least one), 122-mm D-30 howitzers (2 pcs.), 2B11 mortars (4 pcs.), Anti-aircraft guns ZU-23−2, RPG-7 grenade launchers and RPG-18. The battalion has a tank company (it was precisely its presence that allowed it to be called a regiment), armed with the T-64B1M, and armored MT-LBs (5 pcs.). The car fleet is widely represented, including off-road vehicles donated by volunteers.
By and large, Azov’s own forces and assets for the offensive operation in the Donbass are not so many. At the same time, Biletsky, even if not 10,000, but several thousand volunteers may well “mobilize”. Veterans of Azov, and these are quite combat-ready men, are united in a social movement. Fighting squads have an extensive network of branches throughout the country, as well as training camps.
In general, there is armed force behind Biletsky. But without the support of the army, they are not capable of any independent actions, unless they enter the separately taken village of Zolotoye and, well, disarm the Armed Forces checkpoint, numbering, presumably, no higher than a platoon.
If we recall the events of five years ago, then not military, but nationalists from hastily created battalions, which in any country of the world could be called bandit formations, came to Donetsk and Lugansk. In Kharkov, Odessa, Mariupol and a number of cities in eastern Ukraine, they managed to force their own rules. The rebellious were simply physically destroyed, as it was in the same Odessa, when people were burned in the House of Trade Unions. In Donbass, nationalists faced organized resistance. Detachments of militias, former miners, just not indifferent people, hit the Natsik’s teeth and didn’t let other people’s rules into their house.
When this gangster trick failed, the that time Kiev authorities, which rose precisely on the bayonets of the nationalists, sent a regular army to the Donbass, which was reinforced with “independent Ukraine” battalions.
Now the situation in this region of Ukraine is controlled by those supporters of the war who imposed a nationalist ideology throughout the country. So the current actions of Biletsky are not dictated by his personal ambitions and beliefs, but by specific instructions from those people who do not need the peace process in the Donbass at all. And they can easily “merge” the president who is interfering with them, drawing him into an ethnic conflict within Ukraine itself. To push the current government and nationalists head-on-head is an ideal reason for this.