Continuing with this piece by Evgeny Krutikov, along with this piece, about Natalia Zakharchenko and her rallying of the saddened troops. In his root-cause analysis of Zakharchenko’s assassination, Krutikov has pointed out a contradiction in the Donetsk culture of leadership, in which strict Russian-style military etiquette is combined with a rather shocking informality in daily life.
Krutikov: On the surface, everything looks correct. A warring state (well, and any state) cannot survive without observing the obvious forms of governmental rule, including the person of the leader and unquestioning obedience in carrying out (his) orders. Much effort was applied to inculcating such a system. But in the atmosphere of Donetsk such a system betrayed itself in the least likely arena: that of everyday psychology.
All of them: Zakharchenko, Tolstykh, Motorola, Mozgovoi, Dremov, and several others, were all what one calls “regular guys”, who completely did not understand (and many people in Donetsk still to this day do not understand) the volume of power and responsibility which unexpectedly fell into their hands.
Moreover, they did not understand, or did not wish to understand, their own individual value, which grew exponentially as a result of that same power and responsibility (which fell to them). Add to this psychological bias the popular (“peoples”) character of the revolution, the war, and the politics.
As a result of this, Zakharchenko refused to change his normal way of life. In his final days, everyone had come to know that the “Separ” café was something in the nature of his semi-official “reception hall”, where the head of the Donetsk Peoples Republic (DPR) received his guests. This was where holidays and memorials were celebrated. In fact, on the Friday (of his assassination), they were celebrating a memorial for Joseph Kobzon. [yalensis: Kobzon was a famous and crazily-popular Russian crooner, sometimes known as the Russian Frank Sinatra; he died on August 30, just one day before Zakharchenko; their deaths will always be linked in memory, alas!]
[On the day the Seps were memorializing Kobzon] Zakharchenko himself was there (at the café) ordering the dishes and sending the young cashier-girls into a light stupor, and then paid for everything himself.
His “cortege of bodyguards” can be called such only by severe strain on the imagination. His guard consisted of one permanent bodyguard and a few others who alternated on shift …. All it took was one grenade to blast all of them into the sky…
[to be continued]