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Donetsk people’s republic creating contract army, preparing for defense

July 09, 2014, 14:25 UTC+3 DONETSK
The Donetsk republican defense minister is convinced that Ukrainian law enforcement agencies had chosen the tactics of destroying the infrastructure and industrial enterprises
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Militia fighters in Ukraine's Donetsk Region

Militia fighters in Ukraine's Donetsk Region

© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Javakhadze

DONETSK, July 09. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian army is destroying the infrastructure of cities in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic deliberately in an offensive operation, leaving local residents jobless, Defense Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic Igor Strelkov said in an interview with the First Republican TV Channel on Wednesday.

Strelkov believed that Donetsk was not prepared for defense yet. “No defensive measures are taken yet. The city is currently prepared for defense at the level Sloviansk was ready two months ago. So, defensive reinforcements can stop armored personnel carriers and some kind of national guards and interior troops. The city can defend itself from armored columns of the enemy with major difficulties. But we are taking urgent measures so that Donetsk will be ready for battle,” he said.

The Donetsk republican defense minister is convinced that Ukrainian law enforcement agencies had chosen the tactics of destroying the infrastructure and industrial enterprises. “Sloviansk and Kramatorsk suffered an attack on militia’s positions and even city quarters, plants and industrial enterprises. There were neither roadblocks nor even checkpoints, however, artillery guns were pounding them constantly and massively. They wanted to destroy the infrastructure as strongly as possible. Leave people jobless, without residence and all other belongings. To resolve the task of forcing people to flee, leave them without means of living even after combat actions are over. I believe that incumbent Ukrainian top state and military officials will not stop to do the same with Donetsk,” Strelkov said with confidence.

He also noted the need to take mobilization measures and arm militias. “We cannot fight at half-strength. We cannot hope that somehow with small forces and with small means someone will be able to protect the republic. Serious mobilization measures are needed. Unfortunately, resources for this, primarily weapons and ammunition were not prepared. There are none of them now. However, we would be able to arm, outfit and train several thousand volunteers, just slightly in the least. For a brief period of time. I believe that 80 thousand people would be enough to stop Ukrainian army,” the Donetsk republican defense minister noted.

“Everything is still bad in our rear. We will be fighting and will stop them, but it will be very difficult to win in defense without more active participation of local residents of Donbass [the main Ukrainian coalmining region]. Starting from this month militias will be paid quite serious sums in local conditions from five to eight thousand hryvnias (from 15 to 23.5 thousand rubles) and we plan to introduce this pay from July. May be this will help people who hesitate now, cannot decide to join the ranks of militia. So, we will be creating a contract army,” he noted.

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