Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Red Cat, the Dragon and the SBU

Published in The Greanville Post. »

The author before 18th century gun in Donetsk. (All images by the author unless otherwise indicated.)
Texac in front of the Donetsk library — now shuttered.
Texas (center) with new buddies Orion and Toro, toasting their good-bye to civilian life.
The Lenin Square in Donetsk. Statues of the great revolutionary are being defaced and desecrated all over Ukraine, especially in Kiev and Lviv, but not in Novorossiya, where the spirit of collective solidarity endures.
Members of the Vostok Battalion, the unit Texac just joined. (Wiki Commons)
When I arrived in Donetsk on December 7th, 2014, I heard artillery fire within 5 minutes of getting off the bus. It was heavy — big guns and lots of shots, but it was several kilometers away, so no immediate danger where I was. But I knew enough to know somebody was getting hit hard, and not too far away. The people around me at the bus station didn’t seem to pay it any mind, so I acted like I didn’t either. Welcome to Donetsk.

I caught a cab to the Red Cat Hostel on prospect Mira and was charged only twice the normal fare, which meant I paid about $5 instead of $2. I did not realize it at the time, nor would I have cared if I did. I got to the hostel and met Christian Malaparte, a journalist and war correspondent who was to become my guide and best friend in my early days in Donetsk.

Christian and I had corresponded before I left the States, and I was most fortunate to have him welcome me on my arrival. The Red Cat was a nice, clean place, and my bed there cost me about $3 a night. Though there were 15 beds in the Red Cat, there was just me, Christian and a strange young German guy who called himself Billy Six.

As we sat, drinking vodka, Christian gave me the rundown on the situation in Donetsk, and I gave him my first interview. Though we were in a safe place (the Red Cat is on the ground floor of a tall building, surrounded by other tall buildings, virtually impossible to be hit by artillery) the steady artillery fire, like distant thunder, was a constant reminder I was not in Kansas anymore. I had an address that was purported to be the place to volunteer for the Novorossiyan Army, and Christian offered to take me there the next day.

So the next day, we got up early, early in the morning. Even though Christian had been in Donetsk for over half a year, it took us a while to find the place – a garage with a steel door guarded by two Partisans with mismatched camouflage and Kalashnikovs. When Christian asked (in his passable Russian) if this was the place for volunteers, the guards knocked on the door, an officer appeared and after a short consultation, said “Nyet.” They gave us another address, where we got identical treatment — another “Nyet” and another address, this time to the former SBU, the former Ukrainian State Police headquarters complex, which by fortunate coincidence was only a few hundred meters from the Red Cat. As we had spent most of the day running around from address to address, we decided we would talk to the guys at the SBU the following day, so we went back to the Cat, drank vodka, ate pelmeni and the next day got up early, early in the morning.

The SBU on Prospect Mira is an interesting and imposing place, and pretty much exactly like what you would expect the secret police headquarters of a former Soviet city to look like. A complex of several tall buildings, surrounded by a stone wall topped with razor wire, and only one small gate for entry or exit, guarded by soldiers with AKs and PKM machine guns. There were bullet and rocket holes on the exterior and interior of the building, remnants of the battle when the locals had wrested control of the complex from the cops who had thrown in with the new fascist regime in Kiev. There was a yellow and blue Ukrainian flag, used as a doormat at the entrance to the main building.

We approached the guards, Christian explained I was there to volunteer, they checked my passport and said “Da”. But Christian was not allowed to enter, so I was on my own. Stepping across that threshold, I realized I was embarking on a new chapter in my life, something that would change me forever, for better or for worse. In the distance, artillery thundered.

The SBU is a perfect introduction to Novorossiyan military life. I was taken to a crowded room full of other volunteers, given a blanket and place to sleep on the floor, told lunch would be at 2 PM and told to wait. And so I waited. The lunch was very basic fare – soup and then kashka, a cracked wheat dish with just a hint of meat for flavoring. Then, back to the room to wait. Mid-afternoon, all volunteers were taken to another room for a lecture from a sergeant. As I sat there, among about 25 other volunteers, listening but not understanding a word, I wondered to myself how the hell I was actually going to pull this off.

When the sergeant finished the lecture, I heard a guy in the back say “Javier, I will translate what the sergeant said into English for you in a minute.” I was in luck! I approached and said I would like a translation as well. The young English speaker looked at me and said “You’re not Russian?” I replied that I was from the States. “What state? he asked. “Texas” “Me too!” What city?” “Austin” “ME TOO!” We then embraced, to the applause of all volunteers. And that is how I met Toro (Javier’s nickname) and Orion.

Orion was born in Moscow, but moved with his family to Texas when he was 10. He had spent most of the next 20 years just down the road from where I lived in Austin. But in spite of our proximity in Texas, we had to come to the secret police headquarters in the hinterlands of the former Soviet Union to actually meet. Toro was an older guy, a romantic idealist from Spain, not so much a Communist, but a genuine anti-fascist who was willing to put his life on the line for what he believed in. As evening approached, I explained that the Red Cat was only a minute away, and nice accomodations were available for only a couple of bucks. So we retired to The Cat, to drink vodka, eat pelmeni and get up early, early in the morning…

I used to be a weed smuggler, and one of the many useful things I learned from that vocation was patience. I would call my connections in South Texas, tell them I was coming with money and to have a load ready for me when I got there. Invariably, when I got there, the load was not there, but I was always told “They will cross the river tonight at midnight, so be ready early, early in the morning”. Sometimes this would go on for weeks. Though I don’t think there were any Mexicans in charge of the Donetsk SBU, they had perfected the same technique. We would get up, yes, early, early in the morning, present ourselves at the SBU and be told to wait. The officer we needed to talk to would arrive before lunch. At lunch, we were told he would be there right after lunch, and then, right after dinner. Every night, around 8PM, we were told the officer would not be coming today, but to be ready tomorrow. Early, early in the morning…

On the third day, Orion, Toro and I were told we would be going for a special interview at the Military Intelligence offices. We were interviewed for hours by three agents – two clean cut super fit soldiers, Sergei and Ivan, and a third guy who did not introduce himself or speak. On his black shirt, in English, was emblazoned his name… “The Dragon”. The questioning went on for hours, and it seemed they were mostly asking questions of me, with Orion interpreting. At one point, Sergei drew his Makarov pistol, unloaded it and passed it to me to see if I knew how to disassemble it. In the moment between when he drew his gun and I understood why, I had a very lonely feeling of being in a very strange place, a long way from home. I disassembled and reassembled the Makarov, and then did the same with an AK. After several hours, it looked like we were going to pass the interrogation. The Dragon got up, walked across the room, and started making some tea. Then for the first time he spoke, and Orion translated The Dragon’s question – “Do you think the US government was involved in the attacks on 9/11?” I answered in the affirmative, saying only a fool could think otherwise. The Dragon did not smile, but he nodded. It was time for tea for all of us, I passed around my American Marlboros and then we were taken back to the SBU, where we were told we had passed the questioning and an officer would be by to meet us… Early early in the morning.

And this continued on for a week. The delay seemed to stem from the fact that the SBU was headquarters of Motorola’s Sparta Brigade, a top unit in the Novorossiyan Army, but without a component for foreign volunteers. Finally, on Sunday December 14th, with the help of Christian, we made our way to the headquarters of Battalion VOSTOK. After a short interview with commanders, we were asked if we wanted to join tonight or yes, you guessed it, early in the morning. We still had our baggage at the Red Cat, had already paid for the night, and wanted to have one last good meal before we officially became soldiers. We went to an excellent restaurant in Lenin Square, a place called “Tyrol” with a German motif. We ordered a meter of sausage, liters of beer, and toasted our induction into the Novorossiyan Army. We had come here to be soldiers and fight Nazis, and that is what we were going to do. The next day, we would begin our Basic Training. Early, early in the morning. But this time for real. I had been in Donetsk for exactly one week, and I would be in the Army tomorrow.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

How Much is that War Doggie in the Window?

Published in The Greanville Post. »

As the Novorossiyan militia intelligence learned, the commander of the 24th separate mechanized Samaro-Ulyanovskaya, Berdichev, of the order of October Revolution, triple Red-banner, of the Suvorov and Bogdan Khmelnitsky Iron brigade, colonel Alexander Pavlyuk ran away from the Izvarino cauldron, leaving the brigade that was entrusted to him to the vagaries of fate. This is how the ukro-fascists brought disgrace to the glorious banner of the former Iron division.
Expensive. The US and EU have spent many billions on installing and propping up their puppet proxy government in Kiev. And after the purchase, “Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war”. These traitors, psychopaths and genuine terrorists have committed countless war crimes in the East, and run the society and economy into the ground in the West of Ukraine. The billions sent by the West to Ukraine do not go to foster “freedom and democracy”, they go to line the pockets of the criminals and traitors in power, to the detriment of the Ukrainian People, both East and West. So, as the US and EU continue to fund their Dogs of War in Kiev, one must ask, “How much is that War Doggie in the window?” And what do you get for your money?

The short answer seems to be... A bunch of rich traitors and criminals. Take for example disgraced Ukrainian Army Colonel Alexander Alexevich Pavlyuk. (See below) A crooked clown and incompetent soldier, he has, none the less, in August 2015 been awarded the command of Sector “A” of the Ukrop Army, in spite of ordering the men of his former command, the 24th Brigade, to their total annihilation in the LNR (Luhansk People’s Republic) in July 2014. So, he remains a commander, in spite of trying to break into politics as a member of Tymoshenko’s “Batkivshena” Party. Even with the local Lvov mafia’s backing, his political ambitions were crushed by an even bigger criminal from Poroshekko’s “Block” Party. None the less, he has done well for himself.

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Besides other considerable residential and commercial real estate holdings, he recently acquired a house in the city of Yavov costing 10 million hryvnia (currently about 440,000 dollars). On a salary of 36 thousand hryvnia a year. So, does he get his extra money from his friends in the local mafia, or does he steal military and humanitarian aid from his masters in the US and EU? Or both?

Another charming character is General Vyacheslav Nikolaevich Nazarkin (above), Deputy Commander of Army Group “West”. Promoted to his current position in spite of being accused of treason in August 2014, for commanding (from the rear, of course) a mission by 19 top commandos of the UAF (Ukrainian Armed Forces, aka Ukrop army). Attempting to sneak behind DNR (Donetsk People’s Republic) lines near Snegnoe on 29 July 2014, the UAF commandos were discovered and lost 75% of their men, killed or captured. Of the 19 soldiers Nazarkin sent on this futile suicide mission, 12 were killed and 3 captured. Was this rout due to Nazarkin’s gross incompetence, or was it perhaps treachery? After all, Nazarkin’s brother is a General in the Russian Army. Either way, his “punishment” is the same… Promotion! (One could argue that such incompetence or treason benefits the people of Novorossiya, but it clearly is to the disadvantage of the substantial proportion of ordinary Ukrainians who are not happy with the fascist boot on their necks and are facing another cold and hungry winter in northwest Ukraine. Perhaps their discontent will motivate another Maidan rebellion, this time against the fascist Kiev government. But this double-edged sword is of little comfort to a cold and hungry child or pensioner.)

The Ukrainian government and military command need all the traitors and idiots they can get. And they have plenty. As long as they know which butt to kiss, as long as they chant “Glory to Heroes” often enough, there is a place for them at the top of the current Kiev regime. If they kill a few soldiers or citizens (of Donbass OR northwest Ukraine), it is no big deal. Especially if your connections include (as Nazarkin’s do) the Chief of Staff of the Ukrainian Army, general Viktor Muzhenko, who personally pulled the strings to get Nazarkin appointed to the top position of the Ukrainian Army’s Military Police. In Ukraine, like Mexico (which also has a US-backed puppet State) the biggest criminals are the ones in government, police and military commands.

Weapons concentration near the Russian border with Ukraine. Video on source.

Which probably has something to do with why over 16, 000 criminal cases have been opened for “Desertion” by the Military Prosecutor’s Office in Kiev (A. Matios on “112 Ukraine” on 5 October, 2015). Ukrainian media ( reported there were over 10,000 deserters from the UAF back in June, and 6,000 more have run away in the ensuing 3 months. Of the 16,000 “Deserters”, many who took their weapons with them when they left, the secret police of Ukraine have been able to find less than 1,000. That’s less than a 7% success rate for the bumbling secret police. Congratulations, Heroes of Ukraine! Your Ministry of Internal Affairs police are as good at their job as your politicians and military commanders are at theirs! Again, a double-edged sword — from the Novorissiyan point of view, the more desertion from the Ukrop armed forces, the better. Bad for ordinary Ukrainians who are not enamoured of the Nazis.

When a government looks after the well being and the future of the people, steadily improves conditions of things like housing, medical care and education, that government is legitimate, and serves the purpose for which it was formed. When a regime comes to power through illegal and unconstitutional means, serves foreign masters rather than the interests of the people, destroys the economy, reputation and social web, while looting, raping and killing with impunity, that is not a government, it is a mafia, and should be overturned and brought to justice.It has been said that people get the government they deserve, but no one deserves to live under the yoke of fascist traitors and their foreign masters. The people of Ukraine have seen the work of the current stooges in power in Kiev, and are, I hope, smart enough to understand that the longer this junta retains power, the worse things will become, and the more difficult it will be to defeat. Soon, they will rise, and when they do, the good people of the world will stand beside them.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Interview with Dawid Hudziec

video on channelsource

Friday, October 23, 2015

Odessa: A Fate Worse Than Death

Published in New Eastern Outlook. »

If you are under 21, do not read this. If you are over 21, you have a moral obligation to read this, and view the photos, to look into the depths of human depravity, into the face of pure evil, to ponder it, to understand it, because if you do not understand it, you cannot fight it, and if you do not fight it, you cannot defeat it. And if we do not defeat it, it will defeat us…

When I was on my way to Donetsk, I stopped in Rostov for a few days. I became friends with Mikael, the owner of the hostel I stayed at. He was a big, tough guy, a real Russian badass, tall, bald and muscular. He was also a veteran of the Russian Army, and a combat veteran of both Chechen wars. When I told him I was going to Donbass to fight fascists, he said “War is bad”, and he meant it. I replied “Fascism is worse than war”. The story I am writing today explains what I meant by that…

Fascism is the philosophy of masters and slaves. Ukrainian fascists want to enslave the Russian people of Donbass, and to exterminate the ones who refuse to be slaves. If the nazis were to take over Donbass, the men and boys here would be worked to death in the coal mines, and for the women and girls, the fate would be even worse.

I was recently speaking with a friend, a soldier in the NAF who fought at Debalsevo. He told me that during the battle, he came across a wounded Pravy Sektor nazi with swastika tattoos and a shirt that had “Мастер”, “Master” emblazoned across the front. The “Master” was begging for mercy. My friend finished him off, and I would have done the same. Do you think that is bad? Well, if you have been in battle against nazis, you are entitled to an opinion about it. If you haven’t, then you’re not. Either way, read the rest of this article before you decide.

When I first got to Donbass, I heard the rumors about girls being plucked off the streets of cities under fascist control and never being heard from again. I was a soldier then, and tried not to think about it much. The NAF was not in a position to liberate Mariupol or Odessa, so I felt there was nothing I could do. Now, I have the proof that the rumors are true, and I have to share this information with you and with the world, to get the truth out about what the fascists are doing to our people, and why we will die before we surrender.

And why you should too…

There have been at least 31 documented cases of good looking teenagers, (some as young as 11 years old) who have disappeared off of the streets of Odessa in the last year. Not street urchins or orphans, but kids from normal families, or rather, what used to be normal families, because how can any family ever be normal again after a child from that family is kidnapped by nazis, and the best you can hope for is they only want the organs. But judging from the age and the looks of these kids, the nazis who stole them from their families, want to do to those kids what they will do to all of us left alive, if we let them… Make us into slaves.

What is a slave? You are a slave if you can’t say “no”. You can’t say “no” regardless of how cruel or wrong or absolutely evil your masters, the guys with the whips and the guns, are.

And no matter how twisted or depraved the orders, you will obey or you will suffer, or you will die. That is what it means to be a slave, and these little boys and girls are now slaves.

And as utterly horrific as it is to imagine what those kids are going through, take a moment to consider what their parents and siblings are also going through. To know what has happened, and probably what is happening, at any given moment you think about it. And to know that the cops and the government and media aren’t going to say a goddamned thing about it, much less actually DO ANYTHING about it, because it is THEM, and their friends and flunkies who are doing it. And you can’t do shit about it. And if you try, you’ll end up in a shallow hole, with a few holes in the back of your head, or even worse… Like your kid did.

The governor of Odessa Oblast (state) is Mikael Sakashvili. He was appointed by Petro Poroshenko and granted Ukrainian citizenship, in spite of being wanted on criminal charges in his former country of Georgia. Sakashvili and his wife, Sandra Roelofs, have long been rumored to be major players in the international illegal human organ trade, based in Israel. Roelof’s wikipedia page states that “SOCO” the privately financed “charity” she founded, has, since 2007, “been actively taking care of reproductive health and child welfare in Georgia.” Probably the same way they have been in Odessa. Odessa Oblast is under the military control of “Azov” battalion, one of the most ruthless, criminal and openly neo-nazi units in the AFU. Members of the Odessa police not only allowed the mass murder at the Worker’s Union Hall to take place last year, they were active participants in it. What help do you think they will give to these missing children or their families? Criminal government, criminal army, criminal police. THAT is what it means to live under Fascism.There has been no action or comment by Odessa authorities about the mass disappearances of children in Odessa. A single case has been solved – a criminal gang, driving around Odessa in a BMW, one member dressed in a police uniform, kidnapped an underaged girl and demanded a $20,000 ransom for her return. According to the news report, while waiting for the ransom, the gang repeatedly “raped the underaged girl in unnatural ways”. The gang was captured, and the girl rescued when they tried to collect the ransom. Note the BMW, note the police uniform, note the fact that the gang thought the family could actually pay a ransom of $20,000. They picked the wrong kid, that time, one with a family whose power and connections to the government were stronger than theirs.

Not just the children and their families, the entire society of Odessa has also been terrorized. Because if the nazis can take the kid down the street, they can take yours too. Think for a moment what that would be like. The Horror… THAT is what we fight against here. So, pull your boots on, lock and load, and no mercy for nazis. Victory or Death.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

What Are We Fighting For?

Published in The Greanville Post. »

Iconic photo of US choppers — the infamous “Air Cavalry” — and GI's plodding through the rice paddies.
Nguyen Ngoc Loan, chief of the National Police, and an American collaborator, fires his pistol into the head of suspected Viet Cong officer Nguyen Van Lem on a Saigon street on February 1, 1968, early in the Tet Offensive. In 1975, during the fall of Saigon, Loan fled South Vietnam. He moved to the United States, and opened a pizza restaurant in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Burke, Virginia at Rolling Valley Mall called “Les Trois Continents.” In 1991, he was forced into retirement when he was recognized and his identity publicly disclosed. Photographer Eddie Adams recalled that on his last visit to the pizza parlor, he had seen written on a toilet wall, “We know who you are, fucker”.
1975 — At last! Good riddance. The Americans are leaving. Many of the US troops were (as usual) completely ignorant or brainwashed by the system’s propaganda. A significant number came to realize — too late — the actual meaning of their participation in a horrible imperialist war. The memories of the barbarities committed haunted many of them for decades, destroying their ability to lead normal lives. Others remain unrepentant.
Le Duc Tho, chief adviser to the Vietnamese Paris peace delegation, embracing his comrade Xuan Thuy. head of the North Vietnam negotiators.
In early 2014, about 15,000 people marched through Kiev to honor Stepan Bandera, the leader of Ukraine’s Neonazi collaborationist movement. Many dressed in the Waffen SS uniform of the Ukrainian division. Below, a typical night-time torchlite parade. Everything was out in the open. The American media naturally managed to miss the whole event.
In Lviv, Ukraine’s second largest city, the pro Nazi sentiment has always been strong. It remains strong to this day. Bandera is looked upon as a heroic patriot.
In 1965, shortly after the first American combat troops arrived in Vietnam, Country Joe McDonald famously sang:
And it’s one, two, three,
what are we fighting for?
Don’t ask me I don’t give a damn
Next stop is Vietnam.
And it’s five, six, seven, open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain’t no time to wonder why,
Whoopie! We’re all gonna die!
Of course, it was a rhetorical question — the obvious, objective answer being: fighting for a criminal, imperialistic war of choice. But the war was won by the heroic Vietnamese people and the North Vietnamese Army, under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh, at the cost of several million dead and unspeakable atrocities committed by the Americans and their South Vietnamese proxy.

As everyone knows, in the end, the North Vietnamese sent the Americans packing with their tails between their legs. In an Orwellian event only rivaled by Droner Obomba winning the Nobel Peace Prize, the West awarded Henry Kissinger with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973. The Nobel Peace Prize was simultaneously awarded to North Vietnamese leader Le Duc Tho, but Tho, an honorable man rejected the award because of U.S. violation of the Paris Peace Accords — the U.S. continued to bomb North Vietnam.

In contrast, the combat and info warriors fighting in and for Novorossiya know EXACTLY what they are fighting for: “This is Fascism’s first defeat since the US withdrawal from Vietnam, and what we have done here can possibly change the world.”

The United States engineered and promoted the Maidan coup in Kiev, Ukraine (although the majority of Americans, brainwashed by mainstream media propaganda and preoccupied by the Culture Wars, are ignorant of the facts and evidence). The Kiev junta has deep roots in the sordid Nazi collaborationist past of western Ukraine and is deeply hostile to the Russian-speaking population of southeastern Ukraine and Crimea (leading the population of the latter to vote overwhelmingly to secede and rejoin Russia).

Since 2014, the fascist forces, including overtly Nazi formations of the Kiev junta have attacked civilian areas of southeastern Ukraine (Donbass) with heavy weapons, causing tens of thousands of casualties and many hundreds of thousands of refugees. The Kiev fascists have caused horrific damage to civilians and civilian infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, housing and power stations. They have specifically targeted civilians. The heroic people of Donbass, the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) and the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) have rapidly organized themselves and formed a well-trained and highly motivated army — the Novorossiyan Armed Forces or NAF — to resist this fascist onslaught and now consider themselves a separate country, Novorossiya.

What are Novorossiyans fighting for? Whether it is with Автомат and Rocket Propelled Granades or Pen and Computer Server, Novorossiyans and their friends are fighting to be rid of the fascists, rid of the psychopaths that do this.

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Inna Kukurudza, Vadim Papura, Katya Tuv and Yuriy Tuv, presente! Inna in better days. How could this young woman with everything to live for imagine that secret decisions taken in faraway Washington by shameless and hypocritical criminals would end her life?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Birth of a Nation

Published in The Greanville Post. »

Russell’s bike. It helped to make it all possible.
Russell speaks to DPR students, explaining his role in the defence of the new republics.
Mamayev’s complex Pietá. The pain of mothers who lose their sons and daughters in wars is unfathomable. That’s one of the many reasons why “wars of choice” are capital offences, and perpetrators like Tony Blair, George W. Bush, Jr., Dick Cheney, Obama, and their many enablers and cabals, should be tried on an international war crimes tribunal.
Lenin is far from forgotten in Russia, and the Federation’s armed forces still proudly display communist flags with Lenin’s face as an emblem. In Western Ukraine and Kiev, however, statues in his honor and communist symbols have been defaced and destroyed.
Russian tanker crews parade in victory celebration over fascism (2013).
The Motherland Calls. (Mamayev Kurgan, Volgograd)
“This is Fascism’s first defeat since the US withdrawal from Vietnam, and what we have done here can possibly change the world...”

This is the personal diary of Russell Bonner Bentley — ”Texac” — an American volunteer militiaman currently serving with Novorossiya’s army. Texac is both a frontline fighter and a war correspondent. His dual mission is to help repel the Washington — created, Nazi-infested regime in Kiev, and to introduce Western publics to the truth about the war in the Donbass. The heroic struggle of the young republics in Eastern Ukraine, their unwavering defiance of Western fascism and their high ideals, has reignited hope among many people around the world, hope that imperialism can indeed be pushed back and defeated, and that a new, better world, can at last be constructed. Thus, in the spirit of the International Brigades that fought in Spain in the 1930s, brave volunteers, honorable men, are streaming in from Russia, France, Spain, Chechnya, Serbia, Italy, South America and many other points — even the US — as Texac’s welcome presence indicates. The Donbass is today’s Spain, as is martyred Syria. More may join them before this struggle is over. It is entirely fitting, therefore, to recall La Pasionaria’s tribute to their deeds:

“From all peoples, from all races, you came to us like brothers, like sons of immortal Spain; and in the hardest days of the war, when the capital of the Spanish Republic was threatened, it was you, gallant comrades of the International Brigades, who helped save the city with your fighting enthusiasm, your heroism and your spirit of sacrifice...

For the first time in the history of the peoples’ struggles, there was the spectacle, breathtaking in its grandeur, of the formation of International Brigades to help save a threatened country’s freedom and independence – the freedom and independence of our Spanish land.

Communists, Socialists, Anarchists, Republicans — men of different colors, differing ideology, antagonistic religions — yet all profoundly loving liberty and justice, they came and offered themselves to us unconditionally.

They gave us everything — their youth or their maturity; their science or their experience; their blood and their lives; their hopes and aspirations — and they asked us for nothing. But yes, it must be said, they did want a post in battle, they aspired to the honor of dying for us.

Banners of Spain! Salute these many heroes! Be lowered to honor so many martyrs...!”

— Dolores Ibárruri, La Pasionaria, Farewell Address to the International Brigades, Barcelona, Nov. 1, 1938

When I was in Junior High School in Houston, Texas, back in the 1970’s, our Social Studies class we watched D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation. Our teacher went on and on about what a masterpiece it was, but I was not impressed. Forty years later, I am in the Donetsk People’s Republic, watching the birth of a nation, for real, and it is mighty impressive indeed. We have fought the Ukrainian Army to a standstill. Our new Republic is strong – militarily, politically, economically, and philosophically. I have been here for almost a year, fighting as a DPR soldier with the Essence of Time combat unit at the Donetsk Airport and at Spartak, and also an Information Warrior, fighting against the genuinely Fascist regimes in Kiev, Brussels, London, and Washington D.C.

As a soldier on the front lines, the effective range of my AK-74 was about 400 meters, and the range of my RPG, about 900 meters. As an Information Warrior, my words are my bullets, and I can reach around the world. I will be making regular reports about the birth and growth of my new country, and will be doing everything I can to keep it safe and to make sure that it fulfills all the great potential that a brand new nation in the 21st Century implies. I invite you to follow this story, and contribute if you can. This is Fascism’s first defeat since the US withdrawal from Vietnam, and what we have done here can possibly change the world. As the shooting war seems to be winding down, the Information War will be even more important, and the reconstruction and recovery begins. There are many ways to help. Join us. Here’s how I did it...

I came to Donetsk in December of 2014, after following closely the events in Kiev, Odessa and Southeast Ukraine (Donbass). I was outraged by what I saw, and also felt a personal responsibility as a US citizen, because there can be no doubt that the phony Maidan coup would never have happened without US backing and direction. Once my decision to come here was made, I told my friends and family about my plans. Most did not believe I would really do it, but I have been known to do some audacious things in my life, and they should have known better. I sold most of my possessions to finance the trip, including my beloved motorcycle, and gave away the rest. I had a final Thanksgiving dinner with my family and a few close friends, and left Dallas on December 1st, with a one way ticket to Rostov on Don. It was like diving off a seaside cliff with my eyes closed.

The movie “Stalingrad” was playing on the plane as we flew across the Atlantic, and I found it quite inspiring. I landed at Vnukovo Airport in Moscow after midnight. As the saying goes, “I spent a week in Moscow one night”. After passing through customs and airport security, I went to the only kiosk open and asked for a cup of coffee in my very limited Russian. I then reached in my back pocket for my money, and it was not there. Neither was my passport. Take a moment to reflect on what that might feel like. In a foreign country with a different language, halfway around the world, no money, no passport. I had determined to come to Donbass to be a soldier, fight Fascism and try to change the world. When my family suggested I might be biting off more than I could chew, I told them I was smart and tough enough to do it. I had been on foreign soil for less than an hour, and it seemed I was already totally screwed. Naturally, I sat down and had a good laugh.

I took a few moments to gather my thoughts. The last place I had my passport was at airport security, so it must be there. So, dragging my huge duffle bag and two other suitcases, I made my way back to the checkpoint, thinking if I had left my money there, about ($3,000) the cops would have to have a lot of integrity to give it back. I knew the Russian word for money, “dinghe”, and feeling like a fool walked up to these cops and asked. They said “nyet”. Now, I was actually starting to get a little nervous. I started patting down all my pockets, and lo and behold, in the side pocket of my cargo pants, was my passport and all my money. I dragged my baggage back to the lobby of the airport, sat down and had another good laugh. I went back to the coffee kiosk and triumphantly ordered another cup of coffee. Anticipating what I thought would be the most enjoyable and memorable cup of coffee in my life, The barista set the coffee on the counter, and I handed her a five dollar bill. She shook her head and said “Rubles”. Of which, of course I had none. So, after getting a drink of Moscow tapwater from the bathroom sink, I sat down to ponder my future and await the opening of the money exchange and my flight to Rostov. It was a long night, indeed.

The next morning, after exchanging a thousand dollars for Rubles, I finally got that cup of coffee and caught the plane to Rostov. We landed in a blizzard, and the Rostov airport looked like a Mexican airport from the 1960’s. So, I wasn’t just in Russia, I was in the Russian boondocks, and going even further into the wild, wild East, to be on the small side of a big war, on the Russian steppes, in Winter, at the age of 54. But I was game, and moved ahead. I made my way to the guesthouse where I had reserved a room online before I left Texas. After communication via google translate with my host, I made my way to a nearby store, bought a bottle of vodka and a microwave pizza, and went back and had myself some rest. The next day, I got up and took a stroll around town, managed to buy myself a cheap cellphone (US phones operate on different frequencies than Russian ones, so do not work in Russia) and read my first Russian word in Russia – “Банк”, “Bank”. Not too big of a stretch, obviously, but I felt like a real genius.

Back around the time I was watching Griffith’s “masterpiece” in Miss Thompson’s Social Studies class, I saw a photograph of the monument to the heroes of Stalingrad at MAMAYEV KURGAN. It was beautiful and inspiring, and I had always wanted to see it ever since, but never expected to, never imagined that it would ever be even remotely possible. But when I made my decision to come to Donetsk via Rostov, and saw that Volgograd and Mamayev Kurgan were only about 500 Km away, I decided to make a side trip before crossing the border into the DPR. So, after a couple of days in Rostov, I caught a bus to Volgograd, to Stalingrad. As we drove across the vast and empty Russian Steppes, (through another blizzard, of course) at one point the bus engine stalled. It took about 15 minutes to get going, and during that time I realized that as lightly dressed as I was, if the engine did not start, I would probably freeze to death before help arrived. The chill I felt was not entirely due to the sub-zero temperatures. Thanks to good luck and Russian ingenuity, we made it.

I got a room in an upscale but very reasonably priced hotel, and checked the map to see how to get to the monument I had wanted to see for over 40 years. I got up at 4AM and decided I would walk the 10 KM from my hotel to the monument. It was still dark when I started out, but I knew the direction, and had the mighty Volga river to guide me. On the way, I passed a great statue of Lenin and the famous sculpture of the children dancing around the chained crocodile.

I arrived at Mamayev Kurgan a little after dawn, and was the only person there. It was just me and the ghosts of a million heroes, and I must admit, the experience moved me to tears. I spent several hours there, and truly felt as if the spirits of those million heroes knew I was there, and appreciated my coming to pay my respects. Later, I caught the trolley back to the hotel, and spent the evening in the hotel bar, trying to seduce the beautiful bartender, Sveta, to no avail. The next morning, with a bit of a hangover, I made the trip back to Rostov with a Guardian Angel on my shoulder. Though I did not “get lucky” with Sveta that night, I have been very, very lucky many times since.

Back in Rostov, I made a trip to the Army Surplus store where I bought 3 sets of camouflage; green, white and brown. Two days later, I again rose before dawn, this time to catch the bus to Donetsk. As I stood on the platform, smoking a cigarette, two Russian policemen approached me and pointed to the No Smoking sign right behind me. They asked in rudimentary English where I was going and for my passport. Reading my name, one smiled and said, “Ah, Russell, like Russell Crowe”. I smiled and said, “Da, ya gladiator”. Though it is only about 200 Km from Rostov to Donetsk, the trip took most of the day. When we arrived at the border crossing, everyone was instructed to exit the bus and bring all their baggage in to the Customs station to be checked. The Russian official asked the purpose of my trip to Donetsk and I replied “To visit friends”. In reply to his question about my camouflage uniforms, it took me a few minutes to find the words “Christmas presents” in my Russian phrase book. He smiled and let me pass. On the DPR side of the border, the Customs shed had bullet and shrapnel holes from recent battles, and as we waited for our passports to be checked, I realized I was now in a different world. A very different world.

The trip from the border was uneventful, but along the way, we passed several bombed out and deserted villages, as well as deserted blockposts and trenches. After passing through the military checkpoint at the Donetsk city limits, the bus made a stop so people could exchange rubles for grivnas with a guy standing on the street who had a briefcase full of money and two friends with Kalashnikovs. No banks in the DPR, but essential services like money exchange are still provided one way or another. As the sun was setting, we arrived at the bus station. Less than 5 minutes after I got off the bus, I heard artillery firing and impacting just a few kilometers away. It was heavy artillery, and plenty of it, but everyone at the bus station just went about their business as normal, so I did the same. I caught a cab at only double the normal rate, to the Red Cat hostel, where I met for the first time Christian Malaparte, a writer who had been living and working in Donetsk since May. We had corresponded on Facebook prior to my arrival, and I was very, very glad to meet someone who spoke English and some Russian, and was willing to help. So, that’s how I got to Donetsk, and getting here was the easy part.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Investigating MH17

video on channelsource

Monday, October 12, 2015

La vida continúa in Texac’s new home, Novorossiya

I just got the following message from a Facebook friend:
"You should probably take any money you have and come home. You do not want to be there when the border closes and the Junta takes control of Donetsk. They will hurt you. I am totally convinced this is going to happen and I am worried about you."

I am not worried, and I am not leaving. I do not at all believe that the Russians will close the border, nor do I at all believe even the entire Ukrainian Army can defeat us, and even if I did, I would stay and die here, fighting, before I would leave my friends and my new country. Thanks for your concern, but I live in a new country now, and Donbass is my new home. I AM home. If I return to the USA, I will be driving a T-90 tank when I do... :)

This is a picture of me and my little brother, Carter, playing guitars 30 years ago. He died last night in Texas. Before last night, we were a long distance apart. Now, he is with my Mom, and they are with me always.

This one’s for my brother, Charles Carter Bentley...

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Texas in a Soldiers' Hospital

video on channelsource 1source 2

Sunday, October 4, 2015