In 2014, the residents of Donbass were not ready to fight for the so-called Russian World; the war was launched by the Russian mercenaries, who invaded Ukraine. This was recognized by the first "DNR" leader, Russian militant Alexander Borodai in an interview with one of the separatist journalists.
He told that during the annexation of Crimea by Russia, he was on the peninsula where "different walkers from different parts of Ukraine" came to him and invited "green men" to support the separatist speeches, in particular, in the Donbass. "Guys, come!", - Borodai quotes their words. Inviting Russians to incite armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, the "walkers" insisted that "commanders should be from Russia, the Russians…"
However, communicating with them, - Borodai complains, - he realized that the level of support for the so-called Russian Spring in Donbass is much lower than in the Crimea. "And even if the level of passive support was large, the level of active, that is, the number of people who are ready to go into battle, to die in order for this territory to be reunited with Russia, was not so great", - he tells.
"This factor was, to put it mildly, alarming", - he admits. At the same time, even without having the active support of local separatists, without waiting for the degree of popular activity to increase, the armed saboteurs who arrived from Russia managed to unleash a full-scale war in the Donbass. After the Strelkov's detachment crossed the State Border of Ukraine and captured Sloviansk, "it became clear that the game had begun, and we need to play it correctly, victoriously", - Borodai states.
He states that it was precisely because of the complete absence of authoritative leaders of the Russian Spring in Donbass that he had to turn from a string-puller into public figure and "officially" lead the fake "republic".
Borodai told that in situations similar to the warmongering in the Donbass, he was accustomed to "act behind the scenes, but here, due to circumstances, he had to do it" (come out of the shadows – OstroV). "The factor that I am Russian, from Russia, was one of the decisive ones", - he confirmed the fact of Russia's serious influence on the development of situation in the Donbass.
Responding to a question about the reasons for his resignation, the Russian mercenary admitted that with the Russians at the helm, it was impossible to tell at the international stage that people of the south-east of Ukraine made their choice and rose against the "Kyiv junta".
"The same complex of political reasons that made me become "head of the republic", which was a big plus at a certain moment, became a big minus at a certain moment: to remain at the head of the "republic", being a citizen of Russia, a Muscovite…. It was, to put it mildly, inappropriate from the ideological point of view. Therefore, I handed over the reins to Alexander Zakharchenko", - Borodai told how Russian curators tried to create the appearance of true "DNR" ethnicity.
"My government, in any case, its main, power part looked quite funny. The "Prime Minister of the Republic" is a Muscovite, a Russian citizen; the "First Deputy Prime Minister" on power issues (Vladimir Antyufeyev) is a Muscovite, Russian; "Minister of State Security", "Minister of Internal Affairs", "Minister of Defence" - all is the same. "The Prosecutor General" is also a Muscovite. You should admit, it looks quite funny", - he leaves no doubt as to who ruled the "young republic" in the summer of 2014.
"For international negotiations, which Russia was already holding in favor of the Donbass "republics", such a government looked quite brazenly. It seemed that the entire government of the "Donetsk republic" consists of the Russian puppets…. Not even puppets, but direct subordinates, officers of the Russian special services. Therefore, at least the post of head of the republic should be taken by a native of Donetsk region", - Borodai told about the reasons for his resignation and appearance of a new leader on the political map of the occupied Donbass.