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“We all knew where we were going. I was already set up morally and mentally, that we are going to Ukraine.”
This was stated by 20-year-old conscript from Russia Dorzhi Batomunkuev, sent from Ulan-Ude to “fight for Debaltseve”.
“I was called for duty on the 13th of November, 2013. They only sent crontract soldiers and I came to Rostov, as a consript. But I, being a consript, gave good results – in fire training and physical. I was called to service from Chita. I went through training there and in Ulan-Ude unit I decided to stay on the contract. In June, wrote a report. I was assigned to the second battalion. The second battalion in the event of war is always the first echelon to deploy, in any military unit there is such a unit ….”
“We were told that we were going to training but we knew where we were going. We all knew where we were going. I was set up morally and mentally that we would be in the Ukraine,” Batomunkuev. says
“We painted our tanks over in Ulan-Ude. Right on the wagons. We painted over the numbers … Patches, chevrons – all removed when we went to the landfill. Everything taken off… In order to cover up things. My passport was left in the military unit, the military ID at the landfill,” he said.
According to him, about Feb. 8 the captain of the group simply came out and said: that’s it, guys, we are going, full alert. And we found out that we came to Donetsk when we read the sign.
Asked how much military has gone in, he replied: “So, 31 tanks in the battalion. We went in in companies. Ten tanks in each company. For every 10 tanks there was three APCs, an ambulance and five Ural trucks with ammunition. This is a numerical part of a task force company. A tank battalion consists of about 120 people – three tank companies, support platoon, communications platoon. Plus infantry, of course. Around 300 people have gone in. Everyone from Ulan-Ude … We played “the carousel”. It’s a tactical method of a combat fire from a tank. Three or four tanks go to the open fire line, shoot, and as they run out of ammunition, they send three or four replacement tanks, and the latter are being loaded. This is how they changed.”
“I’m certainly not proud of what I did. That I killed and destroyed. There is, of course, nothing to be proud of. But, on the other hand, I calm down thinking that it’s all for the sake of peace, peaceful citizens you look at – children, the elderly, women, men. I’m not proud of it, of course. That I shot and killed…” he said.
“Civilians themselves came to us a lot. We tried not to talk to them. The command said: not to engage in contact. When we were in Makiivka, they told us that 70 percent of the civilian population here are pro Ukrainian so “be on alert, guys,” Batomunkuev said.
“Well, there is one interesting thing – if the “DPR” gets independence – God willing – what will they do? Work as in Stalin’s Five-Year Plan? There is no economy. And if there is no economy it means that it will not work out,” he said.
As to whether there is payment for his family, he said: “We have this thing in Russia -when it comes to money, no one knows anything. (Chuckles). Maybe they will pay, and may be they will say that you were fired a long time. I hope it wouldn’t happen that I came here and was supposedly. My term of service ended Nov. 27. So I am a barnstormer here. Well. I am rather afraid.”
At the same time the solider has nothing against Putin: “He is, of course, an interesting man. Cunning, we will “introduce-not introduce (the troops – ed.). “There are no troops here,” he says to all the world. And quickly sends us “Come on, come on “.