“Kyiv terrorizes the civilian population using the weapons of the West”
Western supplies of weapons to Ukraine have led to increased shelling of the civilian population by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This was stated by the head of the People's Militia Department of the Donetsk People's Republic, Eduard Basurin, who met with a group of Russian and foreign journalists in Donetsk. The MK correspondent asked the DPR representative his questions.
Photo: Sergey Valchenko
Basurin's meeting with journalists took place near the ruins of the Galaktika shopping center, which was hit by artillery of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on August 24. The center is located in the Lenisk district of Donetsk. Here they traded building materials and household goods. Three shells hit the mall directly. A huge fire started, which could not be extinguished. Against the background of what was left of the shopping center, a representative of the People's Militia answered the questions of journalists.
According to Basurin, every day the Armed Forces of Ukraine shell both the civilian sector and social facilities.
“The civilian population is terrorized every day,” he said. – The minimum amount of ammunition that is now produced in the cities of the DPR is from 300 to 500. Hurricanes, Grads, caliber 152 mm, 155 mm and 122 mm. Five civilians were injured yesterday. In previous days, there were 2-3 dead, from 10 to 15 wounded.
On average, in the republic, up to 50 houses are damaged every day as a result of shelling by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Big trouble shelling cities with “Hurricanes”, which are stuffed with insidious “petal” mines.
– This is the “petal” of the first form of manufacture, – explained Basurin. – They don't have a self-destruct mode. These mines can lie for years, and nothing will happen to them. As a result of the detonation only on these mines, 58 civilians were injured, three of them children. The force of the explosion is such that an adult's leg is torn off. This weapon is inhuman. Now the Armed Forces of Ukraine are again starting to scatter them in large numbers.
According to Basurin, recommendations to the population about the “petals” have been made since 2014. The military, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Ministry of Internal Affairs are engaged in this work. Posters and booklets are published. The meaning of the advice is simple: if you see an explosive object, do not touch it with your hands, report it to the appropriate authorities. They will come and do everything.
– But the impression – says Basurin – that our people are fearless. They themselves are trying. It is believed that this speeds up the demining process. I say again how dangerous this mine is: when pressed more than five kilograms, it detonates. There are only 40 grams of TNT, but it is enough to tear off a leg. I do not recommend.
According to Basurin, the filling of one “Hurricane” is 315 minutes. In Ukraine, there were 90 such missiles. More than 40 were released in Donbass. They launch not one at a time, but 2-3. Sometimes it is physically impossible to quickly neutralize them. Mine camouflage – green or sand. A lot of greenery, grass, it is impossible to find right away. Many mines get stuck in the crowns of trees and then fall from the wind. A man passed – no mine, after some time he passes the same way – a mine appears.
– I appeal to all residents, not only the DPR. These mines were scattered on the territory of the Russian Federation. Under no circumstances should you touch it. Mark the place with a sign and inform the authorities to come and destroy it. You don't have to do it yourself.
Basurin spoke about the operational situation in key sectors of the front. According to him, from Ugledar in the south of the DPR to Artemovsk (Bakhmut) in the north, “the process of demilitarization is underway.”
– This is the destruction of enemy manpower, warehouses and equipment. Yesterday, in the area of the settlement of Kadema, in the area of Artemovsk, the enemy launched counteroffensive actions. As a result of these actions, the enemy suffered losses – two tanks, up to thirty militants. The main hostilities are going around Donetsk – in the area of Sand, Maryinka, Avdiivka, Ugledar, Gorlovka, New York (Novgorodtsevo), Zaitsev, Kadem, Artemovsk, Seversk.
A journalist from Denmark asked the following question: “There are the feeling that the allied forces of the Russian Federation, LPR and DPR are not having success on the battlefield. Why?”
To this, Basurin recalled that the troops had liberated a territory with a total area of 200 square kilometers in a month.
– Isn't that a success? The total number of liberated settlements in the DPR is 271. From the outside it seems that everything is done easily and quickly. But in life everything is much more complicated. For example, from a military point of view, it is believed that during offensive operations, the side that conducts them should have a superiority in manpower from 3.5 to five times. In our country, offensive operations take place at a ratio to the enemy – less than one. We are already creating military history. There is a delay in this.
In addition, the colonel noted, Ukraine is trying in every possible way to use the civilian population as a shield.
– For eight years they created a large fortified area, deeply echeloned, it is known about three echelons. but they keep getting stronger. The same Sands, the same Maryinka. Why is it hard? Because every house is a fortified area. They dug up everything with trenches, concreted everything, many trenches were closed from above with camouflage nets, it is not even clear where they are. Therefore, there are problems with this.
Another factor, according to Basurin, is the large amount of long-range weapons supplied to Ukraine. It is often impossible to immediately destroy it, because the range is very long. For example, 155 mm NATO caliber guns with special ammunition can fire at a distance of up to 57 kilometers.
– We do not always have the weapons with which we can destroy such artillery in counter-battery combat, including Hamers “. This imposes certain problems on the speed of progress. But, believe me, he is a stubborn Russian man. If he said he would be there, he would be there. I would like it to be faster, but this is not always possible.
Basurin explained that it is the supply of Western weapons that helps the armed formations of Ukraine shell the cities of Donbass.
– Eight years in Donetsk, people were theoretically endangered every day, but there were areas where there had never been shelling. Now all areas of Donetsk, Gorlovka, Makeevka are being shelled. The distance from the front line to the points where people live is more than 50 kilometers. A person, if he goes out into the street, he has no confidence anywhere in the city that he may not fly there.
All this began to happen after Ukraine began to receive heavy weapons according to NATO standards. Previously, Ukraine did not have such an opportunity. Now she has it.
According to Basurin, Soviet-designed 152-mm artillery systems, which are in service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, fire at a distance of up to 30 kilometers. Now, with artillery of NATO caliber 155 mm, depending on the type of howitzers and ammunition, the firing range is 45-57 kilometers. The American HIMARS system, with the type of missiles that are delivered, can reach up to 70 kilometers.
– If the missiles are more advanced, then the range will be 150-300 kilometers. I can say with confidence that a missile has been delivered to Ukraine that can fly at a distance of 150 kilometers
When asked what to do to stop the shelling, Basurin joked:
– If I were a purely religious person, I would say: you need to pray. Since I am a military man, I can say that we need to make every effort and use the means that we have in service and in service with the Russian army. This is reconnaissance, additional reconnaissance and the destruction of warehouses, logistics, the artillery systems themselves, both barrel and jet. No other way.
At the same time, according to Basurin, the amount of ammunition fired by the enemy is decreasing. This suggests that we are destroying warehouses, these artillery systems.
Another question from a foreign journalist nearly pissed off Basurin. He asked if there were many people in the DPR who were ready to make peace under any conditions.
– You said under what conditions? If a person has a concept of honor and dignity, he will not agree to any conditions. You don't want to be a slave, do you? Or do you want to?
– No, but I also want to live, – was the answer.
– That's when you yourself and determine – you are a slave or a man. Each person chooses the concept of who he wants to be in this life. From a military point of view, the war will end when the enemy signs a surrender. If we are talking about hostilities.
Journalists were interested in how the current situation, after the start of the special operation, differs from the one in 2014.
– In 2014, people initially did not understood what was happening and how to protect themselves, – said Basurin. – Now they understand. But for eight years they are physically and mentally tired, and the realization that they can fly to any point in the city leaves a certain imprint on their actions. I think people are tired and more afraid than in 2014. Then they did not fully understand what was happening, now they do.
Ukraine, according to Basurin, by shelling civilians, conducts ordinary terror against residents in order to disrupt the lives of the civilian population
– The situation is more complicated. Because the weapons that are supplied to Ukraine contribute to the fact that terror against the civilian population has intensified. And there is always hope. If there is no hope, then there will be no faith, there will be no faith – what do we live for?