Continuing with this piece by Evgeny Krutikov, along with this piece, about Zakharchenko’s widow. Krutikov continues his root-cause analysis of the relaxed security atmosphere reigning in the Donetsk leadership, which permitted such an egregious assassination attempt to succeed.
Krutikov: Nobody was able to convince the head of the Donetsk Peoples Republic (DPR) that his conduct was incorrect; that his life did not just belong to himself any more, but constituted an entire complex of political and and military instruments of government; and that therefore it (his life) especially needed to be guarded!
Krutikov goes on to recount how Zakharchenko thought nothing of strolling down the streets to meet the people without taking special precautions. His friends should have told him that, if he decided to have dinner in the “Separ” café, he should allow them to go there first, a half-hour ahead, to poke around with gas-analyzers and explosive detectors. They should have been poking “selfie-sticks” under all the cars, to make sure there was no car-bomb planted underneath. And he should have always travelled in a convoy, with the leading vehicle equipped with a special apparatus to detect radio signals. And if the good ole boys in Donetsk did not possess such special equipment, no problem, it could be brought in from Rostov!
Sadly, even if his best friends had suggested such measures, Zakharchenko probably would not have listened. He was such a regular guy, that he even took captured Ukrainian officers to dine with him at the Separ, as a way of demonstrating to them the peaceful way of life enjoyed by the people of Donetsk.
Krutikov goes on to criticize the Russian curators of the DPR, who should have explained such basic matters to their friends. The khalatnost was not just on the DPR side, and there is plenty of blame to go around. But again, experience tells us that this is no easy thing to fix. Flashing back to South Ossetia, 2004, Mikhail Sakashvili decides to stage a dress rehearsal of the aggressive war he was to launch 4 years later. The South Ossetian so-called Counterintelligence Bureau was visited by some tough guys from Vympel, the Russian special-ops (anti-terror) branch of the KGB/FSB. These are, if I am not mistaken, one and the same as the so-called “Polite Men” who helped out in the Crimean Unification; also known, more derogatorily by Westies, as the “Little Green Men”. Anyhow, these Vympel guys showed up and attempted to explain to South Ossetia’s then-President Eduard Kokoity, that he can’t just go gallivanting all over the Caucasian mountains by himself dressed in camo and waving his automatic rifle. Literally the very next day after this verbal rebuke, the Vympelites could only sadly shake their ski-masked heads at the appalling sight they encountered: The President of South Ossetia holding court in a public café in the very center of town, in the company of one bodyguard and two rogue Vympelites. Krutikov: Such people are impossible to teach, and they learn nothing from history.
On the other hand, though, in his capacity as a local politician, Alexander Zakharchenko was very well served by these habits. He was popular among the locals, who saw him as “their guy”. He not only defended their new republic, he also worked to stimulate the work of the mines, and to keep people employed. He raised the pensions of the retired miners. He made himself accessible: Any citizen of the DPR could approach him, literally on the street, with a comment or request. This type of behavior is considered the norm among unrecognized leaders and field commanders of the so-called “romantic generation”.
Zakharchenko displayed such “romantic hero” form in the incident, filmed and uploaded to youtube, in which he was barraged by enemy bullets in Uglegorsk and didn’t even flinch or duck. [Not mentioned in this piece by Krutikov, but there is a similar youtube in which Givi calmly picks up a fragment of hot shrapnel that is hurling towards his feet. Both incidents show a physical courage and Lermontov-like contempt for death which thrill the younger generation.]
Here is the youtube video in question, watch as a physically exhausted Zakharchenko, talking to a reporter, barely reacts to the incoming barrage. Ecce homo! as the Romans might say.
Given these romantic/heroic proclivities of the popular leaders such as Givi and Zakharchenko, are their bodyguards hereby absolved of all blame when the men they have sworn to protect, get blown up by Ukrainian diversionaries? Not really…
[to be continued]