Anna Novorossiysk: ‘Better to be shot in the chest standing upright than get a knife in the back, on your knees’

By Alexander Alekseev, Recent News of Donbass

On August 18, 2015, in the city of Alchevsk, I had the opportunity to chat with a fighter, war correspondent and beautiful woman who belongs to the Ghost Brigade of Alexei Mozgovoi — Anna Novorossiysk, call sign “Bagheera” [Panther].

Ghost Brigade fighter Anna Novorossiysk (Bagheera).Photo: Recent News of Donbass
AA: Anna, tell me what you prompted to join the Ghost Brigade?

AN: I began my journey in the militia of San Sanych Bednov (Batman). We all became part of the 4th Brigade of the People’s Militia of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LC). There I was in the service, I held a respectable position with the rank of Lieutenant.

I believe that when people defend their land, not thinking of money, and after a while get “high-profile” posts and titles, and even a decent salary, they can still remain the same as other militia who have put their chests forward for the nation and homeland.

It’s strikingly different with those soldiers who come to “serve” the motherland only after seeing the promise of wages. What sort of defender of the country is that? This is selfish desire. Many such people, who seek only to benefit themselves, began to appear in the 4th Brigade. Therefore, after the death of Batman, I couldn’t stay there any longer. Neither rank nor title nor salary can outweigh my life principles, the need to remain among people worthy to call themselves defenders of Novorossiya. And among Ghost are just such fighters and commanders.

AA: What do you do in the Brigade?

AN: I’m a war correspondent of the Ghost Brigade. 

Reporter Alexander Alexseev interviewing Bagheera.
Photo: Recent News of Donbass
AA: Did you initially fear going to fight and taking up arms?

AN: Every normal person experiences fear. Some more, some less, and that’s fine. I don’t fight on the front line, but went under bombardments. At first it’s scary, then you get used to it. Sometimes that anger for fallen comrades tips the scales and the fear goes away for a long time.

AA: What qualities do you think a real woman-fighter should have?

AN: It seems to me that it is a moral quality that doesn’t change from time to time, life principles, to live and think not only of themselves, and of course psychological resistance, strong willpower and strong character. But all the same, a woman, despite everything, must never forget that she is a woman.

AA: What do you do in life, besides the service?

AN: Before the war I had many different hobbies and interests, mostly a series of crafts. Now in my spare time I read books, work with children, sometimes I try to knit, but basically there’s not enough time.

AA: What is your character?

AN: My character is very demanding and challenging. I am calm and kind, but I also become enraged. Many have mistaken my calm and soft-heartedness for weakness, and that’s a big mistake. My childhood friends called me a volcano, because when it’s dormant all seems well and good, but you can’t see the lava rising. And when the eruption begins – then run in regret.

I don’t forgive insults and ingratitude. I don’t remain evil for long. Then I just don’t talk to or help those people.

AA: How did your friends and parents react when they learned you were a fighter?

AN: Parents, calmly – they know that once I’ve decided to do something, there’s no going back. Friends, differently. Some are supportive, and some say it’s crazy, that fighting is not a womanly thing.

Bagheera on the Ghost Brigade shooting range.
Photo: Volunteer Communist Detachment
AA: When did you first take up arms?

AN: In November 2014, when the“Batman” Rapid Response Team became part of the 4th Brigade of the LC People’s Militia.

AA: Do you think anything can be learned from Alexei Borisovich Mozgovoi, even though he’s no longer alive?

AN: First of all, love the people, be an honest and unselfish person. But his death does not prevent him from remaining an example for us to follow.

AA: When do you think this war will end, and in whose favor?

AN: Sasha, the war is far from over, because it has barely begun. It will end in favor of justice for the people.

AA: Who should be blamed for it?

AN: The oligarchy and U.S. imperialism.

AA: Do you have a motto?

AN: Yes: “It’s better to get shot in the chest while standing upright than get a knife in the back, on your knees.”

AA: Thank you very much for the interview.

Photos: Recent News of Donbass


Translated by Greg Butterfield

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