Perhaps like yourself, I saw for the first time yesterday, the graphic video of DPR Commander Olhon flailing a man tied to the beam of a gazebo, filmed October 2014. I spent a lot of time at that base in late 2014, and didn’t see anything like that. One day, I did hear that a guy on a bike had been taken in…
Anyway, I had a lot of questions for him. (His Vkontakte group, right)
Firstly, who is Olhon? Olhon was a volunteer in Donbass from mid-2014 until the end of 2015. A unit commander of Novorossiya forces, from Russia.
This interview with him is transcribed exactly as was written.
1. I remember, on the base there was a guy with a bicycle taken in, who had been passing information to the Ukrainians. Was this him?
Olhon: No, the cyclist we sent to Gorlovka, brigade headquarters. This guy was a drug dealer, with previous convictions for drug trafficking and robbery, along with his associates he’d been organising the production and distribution of drugs in Enakievo, Zhdanovka and nearby towns.
2. Many say that the video looks very cruel – what do you think about this, and how it can be justified?
Olhon: When people came to me, ordinary people Zhdanovka and asked me to save them from the fact that open trade of drugs was taking place by them… When drug addicts, and dealers, are not only strung out, but also possessing firearms, it’s not only a disgrace, but also a real danger for the residents. I had no choice but to take down this system, and hard.
Where I was deployed was calm, there wasn’t shelling day and night. But if any of my soldiers didn’t understand that alcohol and firearms never go together, and offended any locals, they were given the full treatment, before being kicked out of the unit!
Olhon: The so-called “Troy battalion” never took part in active service, but instead has been collecting dirt on others since 2014, even contacting those they were going to stitch up to try to worm in with them. This ‘gent’ who was captured was given a kick in the ass, immediately let go, weapons (2 automatic rifles, Kalashnikovs), drugs seized (later destroyed), told to dump all the rest, then they were told to keep out of our sight!
4. What do you think about this whole situation, the scandal of Troy (who have launched an active campaign against Olhon) – why all of this?
Olhon: One reason, the over-reaching ambition of dilettante-imposter ‘Alibi’ (Troy commander), who’s doing whatever he can to make money from the war. That’s why he keeps on lying, it’s just theatre of the absurd. I’m not even talking about myself here, I’ll bring that up with him when we meet.
5. What are your plans for the future? (Olhon hasn’t been in the DPR for a couple of months).
Olhon: My plans for the future – first and foremost help civilians in need, and material support to fighters in need. Plus I have to improve my health and recover physically. Plus there are the former fighters, who need assistance of various kinds. Adjusting to civilian life and so on.