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Ukrainian soldiers and mercenaries of the "Russian world". Part 3

Ukrainian soldiers and mercenaries of the "Russian world". Part 3

What the Ukrainian and Russian military men fight for: Reflections of the veteran of the Second Chechen War

Please follow the link to read the 2nd part of the story

They were disgusted with Chechnya veterans. In a court, office girls goofed on me: "Do you need money? Money is evil". In municipal housing committee offices I could not make out a certificate on routine discounts for utility services payment rates; they found faults in some pieces of paper: "Your commanders really nothing can not draw for you, but we don't have anything to do with it - we had not send you there."

The certificate of a combat veteran by 2005 has turned into an ordinary piece of paper. Privileges were abolished and replaced with a "compensation" equal to the amount of about 800 hryvnias (now), it does not compensate for any public transport (taking into account that in Moscow a ticket costs the equivalent of about 30 hryvnias), or a discount for utility services payment, nothing at all.

When after the Law Enforcement University I went to study to a civil higher education institute, having carefully analyzed my rights before as an exempt, I was told - well, yes, there is a law, but it turns out that it does not work. Go to study, but according to the standard procedure only.

It was difficult to find a job somewhere for a veteran of combat operations even as a security guard in the store took - because nobody did nothing for rehabilitation and withdrawal of post-traumatic syndrome of former fighters. And such people became a potential source of problems in future.
Once during the court case when I adjudged my "combat bonuses" the judge said to me: "Do you know that we do not longer award "combat bonuses"?" I replied that I know but I have awarded by them many years ago, and bureaucratic scums in the Ministry of Finance just had arranged paper chase with our documents over the years, sending them back under a different pretext. For example, pulled out the paper with the details of the bank from a package of documents, and then a year and a half later returned back the paper saying: "Details of the beneficiary's bank were not given".

We were goofed on even by those who have sent us to Chechnya. When we came to the personnel department of our group to ask for issuing copies of travel order cards for the trial on the "combat bonuses", the personnel officer said, "Now go out, and we had not such a conversation; you did not come up to me and asked nothing. The commander said, he will examine anyone who would ask for these papers, and then take to the regional department for "clarification".

When we started with the lawyers to collect paper for the trial, the detachment commander has paraded us and said that if someone will "jerk" concerning the trials he will have a big problem.

Our money for the war were in unknown instances for years. They were allocated for us only on the books. Most of my former comrades-in-arms did not get their money. Other then died in the war.
The entireChechen war was a global writing off and theft of budget money concerning us. Billions of rubles have been stolen.

Even the wounded were not given that was promised. Our soldier lost his leg in Grozny. When he was taken from the hospital to the detachment location, they staged a TV show for the cameras, a general demonstrated the keys to them and said that the boy has received an apartment. The fighter without legs, but with two children has not received an apartment yet and, and his penny pension is not enough to buy anything. Later he took classes in IT and has found a job on his own.

When we were in Chechnya, the salary was charged for us. Before leaving home, we left to our wives and family members powers of attorney to receive it. A month later, digging stinking trenches in the war, we have known that they do not give salary to our families as "a form of the power of attorney has changed".

It was such a procedure which we privately called "humanitarian aid". When it was a half the duration of our stay in Chechnya, the convoy came to us out of the home. Someone has been changed and sent home, we received letters and parcels from home and about to spring 2001 "humanitarian aid" was a voluntary assistance to those who fights.

It's not exactly volunteering which now takes place in Ukraine. Detachment command appealed to heads of large companies and enterprises, so that they helped our soldiers in war. There were allocated macaroni, canned food, tea, etc.

However, it was either not continuously enough of this aid, or plundered even before bringing to the detachment and prepare to send to our soldiers at the front.

Then the riot police detachment  did "charity raid" to wholesale markets, where there were many businessmen from Caucasus. A bus arrived with men in form, masks, armor and weapons, they approached the businessmen and offered to make a "friendly" help to the warring in Chechnya.



Of course, buses were stuffed by products and various household stuff to the ceiling. After all, exactly in the same order riot police arrived before to "mop up" the market, and could come again. So it was merely "paying off charity."

But then the staff officer of our detachment thanked in media one factory for its assistance to those warring in Chechnya. The next day after the airing of the story he had in the security department. He was not accused of that detachment extorted food products from traders in the markets, he was accused in the fact that the detachment gives cover to large businesses - plants, factories, and firms that not only allocated food products, but also the money that went to an unknown destination.

"Humanitarian aid" was completely banned. To send potatoes to our soldiers who had nothing to eat because of the disruption in the supply our group on duty went to negotiate with farmers. Right in the form we brought in potatoes, gave a half to the farmers, and took the other half  to sent to our detachment in Chechnya. We transport bag with potatoes in cars like smuggling burying it in jackets and covering by steel panels used in mass actions.

Dmitry Florin, Russian journalist, Valentina Syamro, Kyiv for Ukrinform

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