It has long been known that Russia’s army, and its DNR and LNR proxy forces shell civilian structures in the occupied territories of the Donbas region of Ukraine. Russia uses the shelling of civilian structures to persuade the population of the occupied territories that they are under attack by the Ukrainian army; the success of this disinformation campaign owes to the dominance of Russian television and media in the occupied territories of Donbas, which offers Russian state-sponsored propaganda as “news.” International supporters of Russia’s undeclared war against Ukraine unequivocally attribute Russia and its proxy groups’ shelling of Ukrainian territories to the Ukrainian army, in an attempt to persuade their compatriots that Ukraine is attacking its own population; they are able to do this because of the general failure of Western journalists to cover the war in an adequate fashion. In Russia, much of the support for the war against Ukraine, which takes the form of support for the “People’s Republics,” stems from the belief that Ukraine is “attacking Donbas,” completely overlooking the fact that the territories that have been liberated from Russia’s terrorist proxy organizations which are far enough from the frontline, are at peace, do not experience shelling, and are attempting to recover from the devastation and trauma that Russia has inflicted upon them.
The following is a partial translation of the interview of LNR mercenary Alexey Sergeevich Sedikov (Алексей Сергеевич Седиков) from Archangelsk, Russia, who was wounded in the leg, and captured by Ukraine’s armed forces. Sedikov is the latest to offer evidence that Russia’s army and proxy organizations shell both sides of the conflict to inflame the war.
0.03: … being treated well here. I’m wounded in the leg. They’re helping, the doctors are treating me. I think that we’ll soon meet in Russia. And my wife… come for me.
0.15: Sedikov, Alexey Sergeevich. I came with my friend, Dmitri Marchenko, from Russia, Archangelsk oblast, Severodvinsk city, to Rostov, in order to participate in combat for the LNR and DNR.
0.30 (Interviewer): How did you find out about this, how were transported, and how did you get to Ukrainian territory?
0.35: I found out about all this from Marchenko. We went by car from Severodvinsk… We came to Uspenka [Lugansk, Ukraine]… [cuts in footage]
0.48: And here we have Russian officers… It’s not that they’re teaching, it’s like they’re advisors.
1.00: Commander of battalion headquarters, deputy commander… They’re sort of just… telling us how things should be.
1.13 (Interviewer): They’re training soldiers?
1.14: Well, the leadership advises how things should be, all in all.
1.25 (Interviewer): What’s the psychological state of the so-called rebels, militants?
1.27: Nobody wants to fight. They want this war to be over quickly. Everyone’s tired of this war. Salary – the typical soldier gets 15,000.
1.38 (Interviewer): 15,000 Russian rubles? And how much was promised?
1.40: Well, that’s exactly what they promised… Of course, I didn’t get that much, all the money I received, I was sent from Russia.
1.55 (Interviewer): Describe for us what you were told before you came here, and what you found after?
1.58: I was told that Ukrainian forces were bombing residential houses… I somehow doubt it, because I received information that… the rebels were hitting our own and that of Ukraine. That is, two shells here, two shells there.
2.18: The information that’s peddled in Russia doesn’t correspond to reality. Everything’s totally different. I’ve seen how I was treated by [Ukrainian] soldiers. They treat me just fine. I’m receiving help for my leg. Quit this war.