By Alexander Alexeyev, Recent News of Donbass
On August 3, 2015, in Alchevsk, I had the privilege to speak with the deputy commander for education and political work in the Ghost Brigade of Alexei Mozgovoi, Eugene Wallenberg (call sign “Katran”), who answered a series of questions.
|Eugene Wallenberg at Ghost Brigade headquarters
in Alchevsk, Lugansk People’s Republic.
Photo: Recent News of Donbass
Eugene Wallenberg: Well, I started at the beginning, with the capture of the city administration in Donetsk. Then when I went to the Lugansk region, I met with friends, talked to them and decided to continue my struggle in Lugansk. So I stayed here.
Last summer, I was injured on the front at Krasnodon–Izvarino. After treatment, I became acquainted with A. Mozgovoi, and decided in principle at that time to join the Ghost Brigade. We agreed that he needed a specially-formed military-political division, which could not only fight, but communicate with civilians, work with the staff, and in general, utilize our humanitarian efforts to attract others and guide our work. That’s how I came to the Ghost Brigade in November. That is, in September and October 2014, I was recovering after being wounded, and by November, I was ready.
In this work, I was very much helped by comrades from various organizations in Moscow. Above all, I want to mention the United Communist Party and Red TV. We built a staff with help from folks I met thanks to them, and they also came here. It was the beginning of the military-political department. That’s how it happened.
AA: What kind of person was Alexei Mozgovoi, to you?
EW: When Alexei Mozgovoi was alive, there was never anything hypocritical; there were often quarrels, but thanks to this, new ideas were hatched, and no one ever had anything to hide behind. That’s why, with Mozgovoi, you had to work hard.
To me, this is who the man was first of all: very brave to take on such a supremely important duty and responsibility to lead the brigade, which is at war, and shoulder all the deaths that we have personally experienced. This is worth a lot.
That’s why, for me, Alexei Borisovich was above all a brave, brave man, strong-willed, who was responsible for his own actions, and in addition to all this, could express his thoughts and explain why he came to these conclusions. The Brain is a key figure who will go down in history. His memory is eternal!
|Eugene Wallenberg and interviewer Alexander Alexeyev.
Photo: Recent News of Donbass
EW: Greater Novorossiya is a dream which we all believe in; but right now there are two republics, Donetsk and Lugansk, with a large part of their territory occupied by Ukrainian troops. Will we win? We will win; in fact, we have already won, because this liberated territory exists. True, it is not large, but in doing so there is no going back. The processes taking place here are irreversible.
The question is, how quickly will we advance to liberate other areas? It does not depend on whether Putin has decreed so or not. People need to understand that there are many factors, and one of those factors is economic.
For example, last September, it would have been no problem to take Mariupol [Black Sea port in southern Donetsk]. But if we took Mariupol in September, we would have faced big problems. First, there are about 500,000 people, and we would have to ensure this population pensions and wages, because of course Ukraine would have gone down the same path of not providing these payments, even though they consider it their territory.
The second challenge is providing water to Mariupol from the Seversky Donets. [Translator’s note: Ukraine has cut off the flow of fresh water to many liberated areas of Donbass.] Ecological catastrophe would be inevitable and we would have been guilty. We are not afraid to be guilty, but we feared that the people would suffer from forced rationing. The offensive was stopped for this reason. I believe that we would not have been able to establish a normal life. That is, we have left Mariupol and other settlements alone for now so that people do not suffer an ecological catastrophe.
As for Ukraine, I would like to note that it has gone much further than Moldova, which considers Transnistria its territory, and where there are a lot of problems. Ukraine believes this is their land, preferably without people, because the needs of the people are ignored and Kiev wants to see them destroyed. Kiev wants a cleansed territory. Therefore, we will win.
I see a lot of young people now who think in a new way — Novorossiysk, you can call it, and the problem is that when we liberate other territories, they will need to forge a new life. But many people have come under the influence of Kiev’s propaganda. By the way, we often thought to help counter the Kiev junta’s propaganda. We shoot videos on issues such as schools or something else, we give a response to junta’s propaganda that we are all bad and will get worse.
But we really will be all right, you just need patience and most importantly — the will to build a new state. We will build it! You only need patience, something I wish for the dear residents of Donbass.