The Russians fighting a ‘holy war’ in Ukraine

Dec 18, 2014

By Tim Whewell

Since the start of the conflict in eastern Ukraine eight months ago, the Kremlin has denied any direct involvement, including sending Russian troops. But there are Russian fighters on the ground who are proud to announce their presence – and to discuss their ideas of “holy war”.

Even when the morning sun catches the gold domes of its Orthodox churches, the Ukrainian city of Donetsk, stronghold of the pro-Russian rebels, doesn’t look much like Jerusalem. Trolley-buses trundle through the dirty snow, past belching chimneys and the slag-heaps from the coal-mines on the edge of town.

But through the smoke and grime, Pavel Rasta sees a sacred city – and he’s fighting for it, Kalashnikov in hand, just like the Crusaders fought for the heart of Christendom centuries ago. He may be a financial manager – most recently working in a funeral parlour – who’s never held a gun before in his life, but he sees himself as the modern version of a medieval knight, dedicated to chivalrous ideas of Christian purity and defending the defenceless.

And the defenceless, for him, are the citizens of eastern Ukraine, mainly Russian-speaking, who are under attack, as he sees it, by a ruthless Ukrainian government intent on wiping them out culturally, or even physically.


 

Read the full article by clicking the name of the source located below.

11 comments on “The Russians fighting a ‘holy war’ in Ukraine

  • There really is not much religious element in that report.

    But: And the defenceless, for him, are the citizens of eastern Ukraine, mainly Russian-speaking, who are under attack, as he sees it, by a ruthless Ukrainian government intent on wiping them out culturally, or even physically.

    Really hits the truth on the nail. Civilians 30 miles of so from the Russian border, 600 miles from Kiev, getting shelled by Ukrainian troops and their extremist militants. It does beg the question why the full Russian army can’t be seen. And why Ukraine is so desperate to provoke Russia into a war that Ukraine can’t pay for itself.



    Report abuse

  • The ridiculousness of this “holy war” just boggles the mind! The Ukrainians are also Orthodox Christians! So Ukrainian-speaking Ukrainian Orthodox Christians are fighting Russian-speaking Ukrainian Orthodox Christians! No, I don’t buy it. There may be a few Russian rubes who think they are fighting a holy war, but the reason for this war is obvious: Putin is miffed his man in Kiev Yanukovych got the boot, so he wants to punish Ukraine. This whole “separatist” movement in eastern Ukraine is completely orchestrated by Russia. I would laugh myself silly, if so many Ukrainians hadn’t already been killed, at the idea of these “separatists” being genuine freedom-loving Ukrainians. Where did they get all the tanks and anti-aircraft weapons that could shoot down an airliner? Did they buy them in a flea market? Were those tanks just sitting in a used car lot somewhere? They have better weapons than the Ukrainian army. Let’s not forget those convoys of covered Russian trucks which are bringing who knows what to the separatists. Ukraine is the victim here. The falling price of oil and the collapsing ruble may not be “divine” justice, but it sure is “poetic” justice.



    Report abuse

  • I read the BBC article and it doesn’t suggest the Ukrainians are supplying weapons to rebel groups in neighboring countries. Syria is not even a “neighboring country” of Ukraine to begin with. The article suggests that weapons destined for Saudi Arabia were found in Syria. The label on the crate says its destination was King Khalid Airport in Saudi Arabia. The label further mysteriously states the weapons were manufactured in a factory in Luhansk which is a separatist-held city, but the departure port is listed as Gostomel Airport which is close to Kiev. Absolutely nothing in the article suggests Ukraine is in any way responsible for the shipment arriving in Syria. I really resent your insinuation that Ukraine is into making mischief. Ukraine is a country trying to overcome decades of Russian domination and join the ranks of European democracies. If I didn’t know you were a regular here at RDN, I would suspect you are a paid Putin troll based in St. Petersberg. Maybe it’s worse, your trolling for Putin for free.



    Report abuse

  • prietenul Dec 19, 2014 at 8:57 am

    I read the BBC article and it doesn’t suggest the Ukrainians are supplying weapons to rebel groups in neighboring countries.

    While it may be unclear which Ukrainians are are supplying weapons, clearly armaments manufacturing is happening within Ukrainian boundaries, and weapons are being exported, as the tracking labels show.

    There is of course all sorts of skulduggery going on in these destabilised countries where foreign powers have fermented civil wars and clandestinely armed various groups.



    Report abuse

  • Oh, I just noticed, your article from the BBC is dated 8 October 2012 which was when Mr. Yanukovych was still in power and long before Russia annexed the Crimea and started its invasion of eastern Ukraine. That probably explains the the mysterious Luhansk factory origin and the Kiev Airport. At any rate, you shouldn’t have used the present continuous tense in your accusation against the Ukrainians. Oh, I just saw your reply to my reply, so I’ll add this. You aren’t really upset with the Ukrainians for exporting weapons, are you? Name me a country that doesn’t.



    Report abuse

  • prietenul Dec 19, 2014 at 9:19 am

    You aren’t really upset with the Ukrainians for exporting weapons, are you? Name me a country that doesn’t.
    I would certainly be in favour of tighter controls and better tracking!

    Supplies of weapons are a key element in terrorism.



    Report abuse

  • 10
    Light Wave says:

    Nato driven Eurocrats have Russia hemmed in using Ukraine as a back door but neo fascist politics in europe and UK is everyones enemy….and old post war re drawn borderlines are causing ethnic troubles….America love to blame the ‘foreigner’……Muslim terrorists and Russia especially…Its all very tiring and boring….money wasting and life wasting…..



    Report abuse

  • Russia says drivers must not have ‘sex disorders’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-30735673

    It seems that theistic Putin is taking a leaf out Stalin’s book, and fighting a holy war against gays by introducing “Ideological medical science” supposedly to reduce road accidents!

    Russia has listed transsexual and transgender people among those who will no longer qualify for driving licences.

    Fetishism, exhibitionism and voyeurism are also included as “mental disorders” now barring people from driving.

    The government says it is tightening medical controls for drivers because Russia has too many road accidents.

    “Pathological” gambling and compulsive stealing are also on the list. Russian psychiatrists and human rights lawyers have condemned the move.

    The announcement follows international complaints about Russian harassment of gay-rights activists.

    Valery Evtushenko at the Russian Psychiatric Association voiced concern about the driving restrictions, speaking to the BBC Russian Service. He said some people would avoid seeking psychiatric help, fearing a driving ban.

    The Association of Russian Lawyers for Human Rights called the new law “discriminatory”. It said it would demand clarifications from the Russian Constitutional Court and seek support from international human rights organisations.



    Report abuse

Leave a Reply

View our comment policy.