Essence of Time unit in Donbass. The Becoming. Matros

 

The first month of life on Vostok base in the militia was full of events. We were gradually becoming real militiamen, forgetting about our past lives. We learned the rules of the life on the base, local regulations and fully adapted to the everyday routine. We received our first assault rifles — AKMs (of course, after we passed the exams on firearms safety rules), learned the skills of using them, including practical ones. A month later we moved from a car repair bay, which was our temporary home, to new barracks — nearby school was used for this purpose. It was shut down several years before, which is why we didn’t disrupt the education of children. Our commander and the head of Essence of Time mission Volga moved in with us, which we were happy about. Step by step he made us into a cohesive team of like-minded comrades through exhausting training and intellectual discussions. By the end of August a combat group and informational resistance group were clearly formed. I joined the first one. To be honest, it was not an easy decision, it was a very important step both for me and my family, but it was necessary.


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Essence of Time unit in Donbass. The Becoming. Gazetchik

 

After about two weeks spent in “Vostok” training company with regular duties, and irregular training, those who decided to join the combat group started to be trained properly. Pyatnica, quiet and modest, but very charismatic and charming, helped the commander with that. He implicitly became the leader of the unit and a role model. The commander focused on psychophysics in his exercises. The specialists in sniping, demolition techniques, and close quarters combat he invited trained us in special skills. Pyatnica was in charge of physical exercises, tactics, trying to learn every action until it becomes automatic. The training was intense, in the evening everyone was ready to drop, fell asleep in any position at the slightest opportunity.


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Essence of Time unit in Donbass. The Becoming. Altay

 

I started to act as an operator for the first time immediately after the liberation of Yasinovataya. It’s the northern satellite town of Donetsk, an important railway junction. Having lost control of the city, fascists began to heavily shell the residential areas of Yasinovataya. The “Vostok” brigade sent a humanitarian convoy into the town, and I got a task to make a report about the delivery of food to the civilian population. On the way back the convoy had to pick up women, the elderly and children to evacuate them to Donetsk.


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Essence of Time unit in Donbass. The Becoming. Pamir

 

The fiercest combat operations took place from early to mid-August 2014, when it seemed that the Nazis are just about to encircle Donetsk and cut us off from the border. Combat and air-raid alarms sounded very often; artillery barrage almost never got quiet and was heard everywhere. From time to time, together with air-raid alarms, jets of Ukrainian punitive forces rushed past over our heads, heading east to bomb Saur-Mogila, Shakhtersk, Torez, Snezhnoe.


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“Essence of Time” unit in Donbass. The Becoming. Feldsher

 

A month after the “Essence of Time” mission in Donbass was established, it was decided to form a combat group. I remember how the commander of the mission Volga, who became commander of the establishing unit, demanded us to think carefully before becoming soldiers. The times were uneasy, the frontline was moving closer to Donetsk day by day, and the threat of fighting in the city itself had emerged.


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“Essence of Time” unit in Donbass. The Becoming. Kontrabas

 

After we have been in the “Vostok” brigade for about a month, the August “pocket” events began. In the battles for Ilovaysk, Amvrosievka, Marinovka, Saur-Mogila, and other towns and villages of Donbass, for the first time the units of the junta suffered a very heavy defeat that forced them to take on the defensive at first, and then, with huge losses, to fall back. The immediate threat of encirclement and capture of Donetsk was removed in that campaign, but the risk that the Armed Forces and the National Guard of Ukraine could enter into the city remained.


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“Essence of Time” unit in Donbass. The Becoming. Lom

 

A month passed after we had started our training in the “Vostok” battalion. We, the newcomers, got accustomed to militia life. Kitchen details and daily material handling didn’t seem something incredibly titanic for us anymore. Newly-fledged soldiers were tired of doing the dishes and move boxes from place to place. Everyone wanted to take up arms

We tormented our commanders with the question: “When?!”


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“Essence of Time” unit in Donbass. The Becoming. Volga

 

Relatively speaking, the second stage began in mid-August 2014. Guys received “toys”: Makarov pistols (in the proportion of one pistol per 3-4 people), and after another week AKMs – in very old rust-preventing grease. Lord! What had it cost Pyatnica and me to get these guns! I put the ammunition out of harm’s way))) It didn’t affect the heat of enthusiasm, though. Guys disassembled, cleaned, carried them, slept embracing them… like children who obtained hard-won toys.


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Koba: Three days in July 2014 in Donetsk. Part 2

 
Editor’s note: Yesterday was July 5, 2016. Exactly two years ago on that day DPR field commander Igor Strelkov surrendered Slavyansk, and another half of the territory of Donetsk People’s Republic, to Nazis and fled to Donetsk. He was supported by various groups and persons, from oligarchs like Konstantin Malofeev to occult fascists like Aleksandr Dugin. For some Strelkov’s betrayal meant large financial gains, other wanted Strelkov to surrender Donetsk, enter Rostov, start a mutiny and march on Moscow to capture the power in Russia. Some believed that Strelkov’s actions could provoke Russia to move its army into Donbass and, consequently, provoke NATO to clash with Russia there and start a large scale military conflict or even war. The fact is that two years ago half of population of Donetsk People’s Republic, who opposed the Nazi coup in Kiev, were betrayed by Strelkov and handed over to the Kiev’s Nazis. Another fact is that Strelkov, as he had himself later confessed, intended to surrender not just Slavyansk and other cities, but even Donetsk. However this disaster was prevented. The first-hand story of “Essence of Time” member Alan Mamiev aka “Koba” describes all details of this process.
 
On the following day happened that same famous press-conference of Sergei Kurginyan, the leader of “Essence of Time” movement, the press-conference that exploded the media not only in Donetsk, but in Russia as well. Guys from Donetsk “Essence of Time” cell were in touch with local journalists, they asked to comment on the situation, which drastically changed in the past 24 hours. We understood that there will be some sort of a provocation there, but Sergei Kurginyan decided to go to the press-conference no matter what. To be honest, we thought that Strelkov will come there himself. But he sent Pasha Gubarev and some other mister from his HQ.


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Koba: Three days in July 2014 in Donetsk. Part 1

 

In mid-June 2014 I already made the final decision to go to Donetsk. It was already visible that a major war is starting there and it was getting harder to watch at this from the sidelines. My friends from Ossetia already actively participated in combat in “Vostok” battalion, the ill-fated storm of the airport already happened. The attention of the public was already drawn to Slavyansk. The “Russian Spring” was expanding and it seemed that we only need to wait a little longer and another part of Ukraine will repeat the fate of Crimea. The society was in lifted spirits. The understanding that history is being made in Donetsk right now was growing.


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