Today concluding my post with this sad little coda on the Zakharchenko assassination. Life must go on, for the million-some people living in Donetsk, just trying to live their ordinary lives. It was Alexander Zakharchenko’s job, as is the job of any head of government, to lead these people and keep them safe. Now that he is gone, new leaders must step up to the plate. Everybody knows that, were the Ukrainian Nationalists to capture this besieged city, then they will show no mercy to the inhabitants therein.
The author of the piece is Alina Nazarova. She reports that on 5 September, Natalia Zakharchenko, the widow, made the trip out to the front lines of the besieged city, to talk with the Separatist officers who served under her husband. Together, Natalia and Alexander had four sons; given which, she is still youthful looking and rather attractive.
The video is 3 and a half minutes long. We see Natalia, dressed in army fatigues, sporting a ponytail and headband, being greeted by the weary soldiers. They lead her into the bunker. A simple snack of tea and a plate of cookies and cakes is being prepared in the kitchen. Natalia chats and even jokes with some of the soldiers. The elderly guy (at 1:00 minute in) tells her that he has been fighting there since 2015. Natalia pours the tea herself and serves it to the men.
They sit around the table, a very sad and forlorn crew. Natalia is a simple-spoken woman: She speaks directly and tries to buck up the troops:
“I came here to tell you, that I will help you. If any of you have any kind of questions, problems, requests, please let your commander know [and he will communicate to me]. Please know that you will not be abandoned here without assistance. You can speak to me as if you were speaking to him [my husband].”
Natalia then calls on the fighters to continue the cause of their fallen leader and to “continue his plans and projects, that we all united to do, in 2014.
Like he always said: In the army, the main thing is discipline. I know that you all want revenge. I want revenge too. And we shall get our revenge, but only when the order is given.”
Natalia goes on to say, that the murderers in Kiev expected the DPR to fall apart in chaos after the death of her husband. Instead:
“Everyone has united together. We have a goal to strive for, to move towards, we have a cause to continue, something to fight for. Because our children want to live, and we need to continue on for this reason. All their hopes depend on us.”
Some commenters to this piece in VZGLIAD were upset by the “excessive religiosity” at the end of the vid. Pausing at a little shrine set up for her husband, Natalia crosses herself three times and bows. It is worth noting that the religiosity is most probably genuine and not staged for the cameras; it is a well-known fact that Zakharchenko himself was a fervent and devout Orthodox Christian. And the woman who bore him four sons — most likely as well. But it will take them more than just faith in a remote God to get the Donetsk people through this ordeal. And they know that too, which is why keep their guns in good condition and continue to fight.