Frightened by the fighting conditions of the war that did not belong to them, 300 soldiers from South Ossetia, a pro-Russian separatist republic torn apart by the Georgian invasion, left Ukraine. They were all fired, but during that time a third of them returned to the army, now waiting to be sent to the Donbas region.
The Ossetian military has openly discussed the reasons for the refusal with the President of the Republic of South Ossetia, accusing it of unacceptable conditions, lack of command, and lack of functional equipment. Their dialogue is now published exclusively by the Russian independent media outlet Mediazone, led by well-known journalist Sergey Smirnov, who has been exiled to Lithuania since the beginning of the war.
“It simply came to our notice then. What are we? Kamikadze?
“I urge you to stand up and tell what happened there,” South Ossetian President Anatoly Bibilov told a group of hundreds of Ossetian troops, including those returning from Ukraine.
The Kremlin also sent a front line to the South Ossetians that the separatist republic was not part of the Russian Federation.
“I spent 11 days on the Ukrainian front. I do not want my enemies to live there either. I honestly say that I have not received any functional military equipment. When we got there, we were all lined up just 2 miles from the front line. No such thing is done. We were the support team, we provided medical assistance, we had nothing to look for there. There was no commander. “And at night, bullets started flying over us,” said an angry South Ossetian soldier in Tinwali.
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He claims that the military leaders of South Ossetia did not understand what they were doing before sending them to the front lines of the Ukrainian war.
I did not go for money. Each went to war to defend his homeland. But our homeland is here. Why send us there? I’ts wrong. And if something happens to us there. Who else protects us from Georgia? Why was it done?
A soldier from the pro-Russian separatist republic of South Ossetia.
The first soldier is complemented by another soldier, accusing him of firing artillery at a distance of 2 kilometers from the target, and the commander told them that “I have my coordinates.”
“99% of the equipment received in the second battalion did not work. We warned the commanders that we could not use the cars to send us to battle. The boys of the other platoon had unarmed weapons. “They were told to go that way,” the soldier from South Ossetia explained indignantly.
Others explain that they only had ammunition for machine guns, but in Ukraine they have nothing to do with it.
When we arrived, everyone was making fun of us. They said this was not a gun battle. What should an infantry do without a weapon?
A soldier from the pro-Russian separatist republic of South Ossetia.
Many South Ossetian soldiers went to war in uniform and in armor purchased with money raised by relatives and friends. And although the former president of the pro-Russian separatist republic has publicly promised to fight for every South Ossetian soldier, he urged residents not to protest in public, instead accepting the post of “special representative of the republic during the special operation in Ukraine.”
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When they returned, they complained that the Russian commanders, who were supposed to coordinate with them, did not have a withdrawal plan; there were no solutions to send reinforcements to the front line.
“On the first day we were sent to the border forest. A general warned us that we would be under fire all night, but the base commander said nothing would happen. At 3:14 the bullets started, three boys were wounded. I have never encountered such a program to defend my position. “We had to dig our hiding places,” added another soldier from the South Ossetian capital, Tinwali.
Radio misinformation was a constant problem. “We were told that the sixth military company was lost. We got in the cars and went to their last position, but they did not allow us to enter the area. Then I met six companies in the city. The boys told us that there was no attack. Another time we were sent for a one-kilometer march, which turned out to be 10 kilometers. There was no direction. “On the first day we were told that we would be stationed in a certain area, we woke up 800 kilometers in another direction,” another soldier complained at the meeting with Bibilov.
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“We were constantly lied to. They had no grenade launchers and their legs were crooked. The other brigade boys were laughing at us. We were told we were suicide bombers. Someone said, what is this, seized equipment? Nothing worked. We had to push the cars to get them running. When I arrived in Vladikavkaz (not a city in North Ossetia, Russia), people laughed that I had run away, putting my tail in my legs. “But we did not run away out of fear, but because we were constantly lied to,” said another soldier during a meeting in Tinwali.
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During the meeting, President Anatoly Bibilov tried to reassure the outraged soldiers that his wounded friend remained in the Donetsk hospital, where doctors refused to treat him until they received a bribe from the South Ossetian soldier’s family.
You know better than me that wars are not always won by technology. There are people who fought without equipment in the 2008 war, then 2-3 shared a grenade launcher.
President of South Ossetia Anatoly Bibilov.
Then the president warns the military man, who dared to say that “our country is not in Ukraine.”
“People of all nationalities, including Russians, died for South Ossetia. And now dare to tell me that they will leave us if something happens in Ossetia. If the Nazis managed to reach Ukraine, do not you think they could come to Ossetia? “Maybe we are fighting there, but we are doing it for our country,” Bibilov explains.
The President of the separatist republic sincerely admits that there is no equipment for the soldiers mobilized in the war in Ukraine.
“I do not blame you. However, you had to stay there. We had to do everything to stay in Ukraine. If Russia makes a mistake, South Ossetia will be the first to fall,” said Anatoly Bibilov.
“I did not want to shoot slingshots at Ukrainian tanks.”
“I have been in the army for about two decades. I have seen a lot. Communication is essential in any war, it’s not here. I could not work in such conditions. “They accuse us of being afraid, but we have tied our hands,” an angry South Ossetian soldier replied to the president.
He told the president that the South Ossetians preferred to withdraw because they did not want to become cannon fodder or eventually “shoot slingshots at Ukrainian tanks.”
The president’s voice asks the soldiers. “Do you think Russia will lose this war?”
“Yes, we believe that Russia will lose in Ukraine,” said several voices of the South Ossetian military.
“You are mistaken. The Russians have seen many wars. When Napoleon reached the gates of Moscow, the Russians preferred to burn their own city. “Do not think that the Russians will lose,” Bibilov says angrily.
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