Member of Ukraine’s parliament (the Verkhovna Rada), founder of the Azov Regiment of Ukraine’s National Guard, and leader of the National Corps Party, Andrey Biletsky, has urged Ukrainian authorities to launch an offensive on the republics of Donbass. To seize Donbass, Biletsky says, the Ukrainian army should use combat aircraft and do everything in its power to have Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance forces destabilize Russia.
In his statement, Biletsky advised that Kiev should think about turning the present war into a total “hybrid” one, involving all available forces to break up the Russian Federation. Ukraine has everything it needs to do so, according to Biletsky – military and political intelligence, the SBU, and other special forces. According to the infamous Azov leader, a small group of Russian troops, numbering around 7-8,000 soldiers, is concentrated in Donbass, but Ukraine is capable of defeating both the DPR and LPR “separatists” and the Russian contingent.
As might be clear from this pronouncement, Biletsky is at once both the most radical and the most cunning Ukrainian Nazi leader. Not too long ago, he gave an interview to the Ukrainian publication Apostrof in which he quite sensibly and realistically outlined the current, deplorable state of the Ukrainian army in Donbass. In particular, Biletsky pointed out how the most combat-efficient officers have left the army due to disagreements over orders in the Anti-Terrorist Operation Zone, and that the higher command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is abysmally unprofessional. Biletsky did not, however, name or play down the hardest-hitting facts of the Ukrainian army, such as the low morale and fighting spirit of soldiers and lower officers, general drunkenness, and looting.
Biletsky’s latest warmongering statement thus might seem to contradict his earlier estimates and predictions. But this is only true at first glance.
In fact, Biletsky has long been an independent figure in Ukrainian politics. While attempting to become the representative of all Ukrainian Nazis, he is also striving to posture himself as the defender of the interests of all the military agencies and structures fighting in Donbass. This is precisely what Nadezhda Savchenko tried, and failed, to do. Biletsky, however, is playing this field skillfully.
The historical parallels here should be obvious. Following defeat in the First World War, right-wing groups in German politics, one of which was the small Munich-based National Socialist German Workers Party, also unleashed the notion that a “treacherous backstabbing” had defeated the otherwise victorious German army. In other words, betrayal in the rear had prevented the Reichswehr from defeating the external enemy. Biletsky is saying the same thing. This position resonates broadly in the ranks of the Ukrainian opposition and those masses of people who openly or secretly hate the Jewish oligarch president, Petro Poroshenko-Waltzman. Thus, Biletsky is giving voice to views which are risky from a military and political standpoint, but which are quite in line with his domestic political goals and public sentiments.
This is another instance of a playing with “the people in soldiers uniforms,” i.e., the army and security forces which are still insufficiently politicized and therefore inactive. Biletsky is consciously using populist cliches and the common place complaints of soldiers and officers of “traitorous generals” who are friends of the “traitor Waltzman.”
Now a few words on the proposal to deploy combat aircraft. This is also a very populist slogan in the Ukrainian context. Biletsky, of course, perfectly well knows that in 2014 the DPR and LPR almost completely destroyed Ukraine’ air force. However, he also knows that over the past three years, people have started to forgot about all the humiliating “cauldrons” and the shooting down of Ukrainian aircraft – the patriotic public is now once again craving victory and is confident. ‘
The use of aircraft against the population of Donbass would first lead to new heavy casualties among the civilian population, and then to the destruction of Ukraine’s air force and, perhaps, responsive measures on the part of the DPR and LPR. Biletsky has publicly demanded a military offensive against a civilian population, and is thereby tagging himself for a place in future court proceedings in the likes of a Nuremberg 2.0 – not only as the founder and leader of the Nazi Azov battalion/regiment, but also an inspirer and organizer of war crimes.
I believe that Biletsky’s loud declarations will be taken note of in Russia. Russia’s Investigative Committee is already gathering information on war crimes committed in Ukraine and those guilty for the death of peaceful citizens of Donbass and Russia (such as the murder of Russian journalists). It can be said with confidence that Biletsky will also become a defendent in a criminal case seeing as how he’s now called for sabotage and terrorist attacks in Russia.
In fact, Ukraine has long since been waging a sabotage and terroristic war against Russia, most actively of all in Crimea, where Ukrainian saboteurs and terrorists are frequently thwarted and arrested. Just recently, to recall, Ukrainian saboteurs carried out a series of attacks on electrical power lines.
That Biletsky is calling for an “activation” of such forces probably means that Ukraine indeeds does have additional human resources on Russian territory. I for one have repeatedly pointed to the participation of Ukrainians in protests and preparations for a Russian Maidan. Moreover, since 2014 Ukrainians have progressively infiltrated our country under the guise of refugees or migrant workers. For now, however, Moscow prefers not to officially “notice” Ukraine’s terrorist operations in Crimea or in Russia – obviously out of fear of escalating the conflict into a fully-fledged war.
In the short term, Biletsky’s “plan” is unlikely to be realized. Only the serious threat of a seizure of power by Ukrainian Nazi groups would push Poroshenko to unleash a big war in Donbass. Meanwhile, Biletsky is progressively discrediting Poroshenko and Ukrainian generals, thus building up his popularity among Ukrainian soldiers.
Originally published on fort-russ.com