In the spring of 2014, Russia was preparing an open invasion of eastern Ukraine under the guise of peacekeeping forces and with its symbols. Russian mercenary Igor Girkin (Strelkov) told this in an interview with one of the separatist bloggers.
According to Grikin, who made a raid deep into the territory of Donbass and seized Sloviansk with his group, he was sure that regular troops of Russia would be brought into Ukraine in the near future.
"Of course, I had reason to rely on the "Crimean scenario" for Donbass and even more broadly – on the creation of "Novorossia". The probability of direct support from the Russian Federation at that time was quite high. Let me remind you that at that time, a large military group of the Russian Federation's Armed Forces was concentrated on the borders of Ukraine", - he reported.
According to Girkin, at that time, "there was a lot of evidence that (Russian – OstroV) military was already putting the emblem of the "Peacekeeping forces" on the military equipment".
"I was sure that the main task (of the sabotage in Sloviansk, organized by him – OstroV) was to ensure the holding of a referendum, and after it, the Russian Federation, one way or another, would provide direct and effective support to the popular uprising", - he told.
"Play back" on the part of the Kremlin began approximately from April 26 (let me remind, we entered Sloviansk on April 12, that is, 2 weeks have passed since the beginning of the armed confrontation). As far as I know, a meeting of the Security Council of the Russian Federation was held these days, at which it was decided to postpone the entry of Russian troops into Ukraine. And already on May 7… Moscow completely canceled plans to overthrow the Kyiv junta", - he regrets the failed invasion of the Russian army of the neighboring state.
As OstroV reported, on April 12, 2014, little-known Igor Girkin (Strelkov) entered Sloviansk from the territory of Russia with a detachment of Russian saboteurs. His sabotage-reconnaissance group was seized by the city's police departments and SBU, and Girkin declared himself "acting commander of the DNR militia". Later he confessed that the bloody war in Ukraine would not have started without his detachment. "It was I who pressed the trigger of war. If our squad had not crossed the border, everything would have ended, as in Kharkiv and Odessa. It would be several dozens of killed, burned and arrested. And that would be all. Practically the flywheel of war which is still going on was launched by our squad", - the saboteur stated in an interview with Zavtra far right newspaper. Girkin fell under displeasure of Russian curators in August 2014, and was "dismissed" from the post of "Minister of Defence of the DNR".