Ninety Percent of Militia in Eastern Ukraine Local Citizens - Self-Defense Forces Leader
HORLIVKA (DONETSK REGION), July 16 (RIA Novosti) – Ninety percent of the independence supporters fighting alongside the government forces in the southeast of Ukraine are local citizens, Horlivka self-defense militia's leader Ihor Bezler said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
"Those Russians who survived the massacre in the airport [on May 26] came to me, they are still here. There is no one from Caucasus. The rest ninety percent are miners, workers. Residents of Horlivka, Makeevka, Enakievo, and several local Chechens – I will not deny this fact. There are Assyrians and even one Pakistani – his wife is from Enakievo, but he is a citizen of Pakistan, he has a residence permit," Bezler said.
According to the self-defense forces' commander, there has been no military draft yet.
On May 26, violent clashes between the independence supporters and Ukrainian troops that used combat aviation took place near the local airport. The militia of People's Republic of Donetsk seized the airport but was later forced to retreat. According to the estimates of the self-defense representatives, few dozen men were killed that day, including civilians.
Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation in the southeastern regions of the country in a crackdown on protest movement that arose following a February regime change in Kiev. Moscow had repeatedly condemned the move, calling it a punitive act that led to numerous casualties.
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