WASHINGTON, September 07,/ITAR-TASS/. Fighters of Ukrainian volunteer battalions that were encircled outside the city of Ilovaisk in late August are accusing the Kiev government of not supporting them and threaten to change the regime, Foreign Policy magazine said in an article published on its website on Saturday. The magazine correspondent met some of the fighters.
“The army didn't come to help us we were in the corridor for two days and they didn't come to help us, and that’s the worst part”, said a fighter from the Donbass volunteer battalion.
“All the battalions brought to Ilovaisk think the government betrayed us to destroy the volunteer battalions. The government fears us and wants to control us”. “All the battalions brought to Ilovaisk think the government betrayed us to destroy the volunteer battalions. The government fears us and wants to control us,” he said
The defeat at Ilovaisk and a series of similar losses across eastern Ukraine in recent weeks are part of what pressured Ukraine to head to the bargaining table for a cease-fire and peace plan negotiated on Friday.
Fighters from Donbass said they first entered Ilovaisk on Aug. 18. The town, located outside Donetsk on a rail line leading to the Russian border, was seen as vital in the Ukrainian army's efforts to separate the two pro-Russian strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk.
“We asked for help in Ilovaisk, for the army to come and reinforce us,” said a female volunteer battalion fighter. “They didn't come and we were surrounded,” she added.
“We will close the border and then go to Kiev to change the regime,” said a fighter of the Donbass Battalion. “People died on Maidan, and no one answered for it. Now people are dying [in Ilovaisk] and nobody is answering for this. And we want to change this.” he added.
Ukrainian Defence ministry officials told parliament in the aftermath that the catastrophe was due to the “leaking of information” - Ukraine’s military and security structures are allegedly rife with Russian informants and the “independence of the volunteer battalions and lack of exact coordination between them and the military,” Foreign Policy says, quoting a Ukrainian newspaper.