[Marxism] Separatist leader: "tens of thousands are watching calmly on TV, drinking beer"

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon May 19 08:16:24 MDT 2014

IN ONE week Ukrainians are to vote in a presidential election scheduled 
for May 25th. Developments on the ground have left people wondering if 
the past few days have been the calm before the storm—or whether both 
sides, uncertain about what to do and unable to muster enough force to 
prevail, have reached a stalemate. In one dramatic development the 
commander of rebel forces railed that he had less than 1,000 men to 
fight the entire Ukrainian army “while tens of thousands are watching 
calmly on TV, drinking beer."

On the outskirts of Sloviansk, a rebel-held city, there have days of 
sporadic fighting but no significant move by either side. On May 13th 
however, rebel forces ambushed a Ukrainian military convoy in a 
hit-and-run operation, killing seven soldiers. All the same it is 
becoming increasingly clear that both sides are bogged down. The rebels 
do not have enough men to defeat the Ukrainian forces deployed around 
town, while the army does not seem to know how to retake it without 
causing major civilian casualties.

In an extraordinary video released by Colonel Igor Strelkov, the 
military commander of the rebel forces, “Strelok” says that while he now 
has enough weapons to fight Ukrainian forces who are preparing a major 
onslaught, hardly anyone was volunteering to fight. He complained that 
many of those who did volunteer only wanted to defend the areas around 
their own homes. Many want to use the resistance, he says, as a cover 
for banditry. Strelok suggests that many believed that they need not 
actually fight themselves, thinking that Russia would intervene on their 


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