The Mozgovoi Manifesto, September 8, 2014

The Mozgovoi Manifesto, September 8, 2014

Translated and Subtitled by Daniil Mihailovich [wartime radio chatter]

Mozgovoi: “This truce is not what we fought for”

Resistance within a Rebellion


[Alexey Mozgovoi is one of the famous militia leaders, a construction worker and orchestra conductor before the war, ostensibly free of mafia connections / He closely aligned with Igor Strelkov from the first days of the uprising, and advocates continuing armed struggle until meaningful self-government can be achieved / His “Prizrak” (Ghost) brigade is about 1000 men strong. / They called themselves ghosts because the government declared them fully wiped out several times, whereas real losses are about 40 men as of late August / Those with a will, look for a way! Those without, look for an excuse!]

Greetings to free men. I, the commander of the Prizrak brigade, want to comment on some things regarding my last proclamation, about the Minsk negotiations. First answer: Yes, this is really my article. Many doubted that it was really written by me. Yes, those are my words. And I confirm everything said in there. In fact, there was no truce, and there could be no truce. What is happening currently is the enemy is rearming, resupplying, and redeploying of his troops. Ninety percent of civilians do not support this agreement, and hundred percent of militiamen don’t support it either. This agreement has no weight anyway. It is signed by Kuchma, it’s not an official document. [Kuchma = ex-president from 1994, like Clinton signing for US in 2014] It’s a joke. The documents need to be signed in Kiev, by the so-called “acting president.” Like Nazi Germany representatives back in the day, signing off on their unconditional surrender. That would be a meaningful document. But no private businessman can represent the interests of Ukraine—especially not Kuchma, who robbed Ukraine as much as he could. Ridiculous. Is he representing those fighting here for his [money]? Ridiculous. Just recently, those same fighters were screaming “Kuchma is a thief, Kuchma is a murderer”… And no, he is representing them? What a rapid change of heart for Maidan revolutionaries. How rapidly do they change their demands, their understanding of right and wrong…

Now I’m addressing those who think our ideas are utopian: Aren’t you tired of corruption? Bribes—in hospitals, bribes—in schools, in kindergartens, any public facility at all. Aren’t you tired of lawlessness in government—at all levels, from local officials to the president? Aren’t you tired of working for peanuts, when the so-called “owners”… of the factories and mines built by your fathers in the Soviet times are rolling in dough and buying anything and anyone they want? And you have to live within the limits set by them? Aren’t you tired of it? The lords are doing good: They wrote a “constitution” for the rest of us, a ton of laws, our healthcare is free, but not for everyone. Tell me, do you know even one woman who managed to give birth without paying? … Doubt it. Do you think the school system works fine? Doubt it.

It’s like that everywhere. How long did we protest against unfair police practices? No results. Until we _really_ start fighting against it, nothing will change. We will keep talking in kitchens, blaming the government for this and that… But if we don’t act, the government will just nod and keep doing its thing. Like the saying—“He keeps listening, but keeps eating.” And they eat well. While the common people… aren’t doing so good.

So, the smart and educated gentlemen, who think our ideas are a utopia—join us. And do at least a little bit to make it a reality. So this idea does not vanish without a trace. For this—we don’t need theoretical discussions about whether it’s a utopia, but lots of hard work. And you need to fight, like we are fighting now. Yes, we need to wage a war. It is finally time to get rid of all that scum. To finally create an honest, decent, fair society.

Now about another kind of people. Those that always say that Mozgovoi betrayed everyone, ran away, sold out, did not come back, et cetera… Keep dreaming. First of all, none of my men would ever take such statements seriously. And, as their commander, even if I do leave somewhere, I always come back. I always come back to the men that followed me. So, naysayers. Use your efforts, your energy, to do something righteous. Build something real. Stop trying to destroy, with worthless talk. I say again: even if I do leave, I always come back. Keep dreaming. So stop spreading gossip that I have betrayed or sold out somebody… I suggest that you stop. It is useless, you are simply wasting your time. Do something meaningful.

And finally, about the so-called “truce.” There is no truce. The document is a farce. We will keep fighting like we did before. Hopefully, even better. Till victory. Our victory. People’s victory. Over oligarchs and corrupt officials. This is the victory we want.
I repeat: we are not fighting the Ukrainian people, the ones sent here. Yesterday, for example, several government soldiers came over to our side. You will see their interviews shortly, maybe even in this news video. You will also see interview with a prisoner, who was shocked by many things when he was brought here. He was stunned not to any Chechen mercenaries, Russian army, any terrorists. Did not see us pillaging. He was given normal care, medical treatment, food, like prisoners should be treated by normal people. Totally shocked at how he was brainwashed and lied to by the government media. His interview will also be shown.



[Defector 1:]

[in the army] there are lots of local guys from Donetsk and Lugansk regions who were forcibly conscripted. Because West Ukraine—that’s it, anyone left [alive] doesn’t want to go anymore. They’ll be press-ganging us now.

[Defector 2:]

[Introduce yourself, please.]

[Warrant Officer?][Marat?] Alchevskiy.

[Which unit did you serve in?]

Unit 428, anti-aircraft regiment.

[So you didn’t get to shoot at anyone either?]

No, I did not [shoot anyone].

[Why did you decide to come over to our side?]

Because the president’s order was not to send the conscripted into the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation], into the combat zone. And they brought us here, into the ATO zone. So we decided… to switch sides… because we don’t want to hurt anyone. So there.

[When you came here, what did you see? Is everyone a terrorist?]

Everybody is someone I know. Everyone is from my hometown.

[So you just wanted to be a civilian? To be left in peace?]

Yes, a couple days ago, we were told our battery is redeploying… They told us we’re getting moved elsewhere from Dnepropetrovsk, going to winter bases… Not to be freezing in the fields. And then, it so happened, we were almost in—

[So you were duped?]

Yes, they lied to us and brought us to the ATO zone. At that point, we had no way of getting back.. Then we heard that they want to send us to the frontlines. We decided that we [untrained conscripts] should not be fighting, especially not against our neighbors, against our hometown. I was born here, I grew up here. And all of our conscripts also are from Lugansk, Donetsk regions. All of them know there are no terrorists here, no Russian troops, no [foreigners?]

[Defector 3:]

My name is Alexandr, I used to live in the town of Zoryansk.

[Tell me please, why did you come over to our side?]

I have come over to the side of the Lugansk People’s Republic because, while serving in the Dnepropetrovsk region, we were [illegally] sent into the ATO zone. I don’t want war. So I decided to run away. I did not see any terrorists or Russian soldiers. There are common people here, workers and miners, who decided to fight for [their rights].

[Which army or national guard unit were you in?]

I was in the unit A1428.

[Defector 1:]

[Please introduce yourself.]

My name is Stas. I am from [Zugres?].

[Why did you come over to us?]

I don’t want to wage war. Against peaceful people. Against common people.

[Which unit are you from?]


[What is the unit’s mission?]

The usual, guarding checkpoints, all that.

[Want to send a message to your side?]

Well, I don’t know guys, come over and see for yourselves that there are no murderers here, just common people.

[Defector 3:]

[Did you have any orders to shoot?]


[Did you shoot in anger?]


[At all?]

Yes, but I could feel they would make me, soon.

[So your unit did not participate in combat yet, and you decided to come over to us before that happened?]

Yes sir.

[Defector 2:]

[Ukraine shouldn’t think there are terrorists here. Everyone here is calm and peaceful, didn’t see any terrorists. Didn’t see any Russian troops, or even weapons. [translator’s note: As you can see, Mozgovoy’s brigade isn’t hot on Moscow’s truce, so no supply for them] We were met calmly, quietly, no one wanted to shoot us, no one is hurting civilians either.

[Defector 3:]

Our so-called government is forcing the people to fight each other. The government is lying to us all. So, I don’t know, guys, join our side. The other side is all lies.

[Defector 2:]

I want to tell the guys from Dnepropetrovsk, from West Ukraine, so they wouldn’t think that we are terrorists that want to explode the whole Donbass. Everybody wants justice. The government in Kiev has gone completely nuts. They tell me one thing on TV, on the news, but I’ve seen complete opposite things with my own eyes.

[Defector 1:]

Guys, our common enemy is in Kiev, not in Donbass.


[Alexey Mozgovoi:]

I want to address the government soldiers. Those who were forcibly conscripted. a lot of soldiers are in this situation, I know. There aren’t many volunteer units. Because our oligarchs can’t finance the whole of the army. They can only finance their own pocket armies. [= so-called volunteer battalions] All the rest are herded—forgive the term, but that is what is happening… People are herded, given no choice—although they always have a choice, they do, but many do not see it. But if you end up conscripted—I suggest you come over to our side. To the side of the [Ukrainian] people. And you will see for yourself that our side is truly righteous.



We were conscripted via lies. And before that, I lived forty years without serving in the army. They just told me we’ll be guarding [depots?] and local areas. Later, we were cheated by the government and sent to guard [supply columns?]. So we did not know where and why are we being sent. So, here I just read this document by your brigade commander Alexey Mozgovoy. And I fully agree with him. The people have a right to self-determination, to choose where… where they want to live, where do they want to work, where do they want to raise their children. I have a little kid myself, my wife is disabled. Hope to God I can return to them, alive. And, at home, in Dnepropetrovsk region, I will try to tell everyone what is going on here, why did the local people take up arms. There are no Chechens, Afghans and other foreign insurgents from across the border, like they tell us back there. I did not see anyone like that. I saw what’s going on here with my own eyes. And I hope the Lord and truth help these people.


[Alexey Mozgovoi:]

In the end, I would like to address those who are still undecided. To come and enlist with the resistance is a step forward. A worthy step, for any free-thinking person. To finish what we started, [to march] together to victory, is a real step forward. A worthy one. A righteous one. Therefore, I call on everyone to join the self-defense militia. Come. Make the right choice. The right choice in the one chance of our lifetimes. This chance appears once in a hundred years, in a thousand years—but right now, we have a chance. And it would be criminal not to use it. Criminal and stupid. A once-in-a-lifetime chance that we got has to be taken. We need to take it. We need to win in the name of truth, justice and returning power to the people.

To sum things up. The Minsk agreement is nothing short of a betrayal. DPR and LPR governments responsible have to resign. The government of Novorossiya has to act in the interests of its people first and foremost, has to work for justice and the ideals that our people took up arms to defend. And not in anyone’s financial interests. And that is exactly what we are seeing at the moment. Tell me, construction companies moving in while the war is still on—does that make sense to you? I don’t think so, unless they are sure that the war will not continue. But they are already moving in. What companies are these, who owns them, why are they here and on what conditions? Nobody knows. Was there a tender or no? Also, companies are moving into our mines and starting operations. On what grounds, who are these companies, who owns them? What did we fight for? What are we still fighting for? We kick out one bunch of oligarchs to replace them with another? That won’t do.

Second. Kiev’s minor concessions in the form of “special region status”… are not what we want. We already have a status. A status of a free and just society. And this is a worthy status for Novorossiya. There’s not much honor in getting a pittance [for your victory], even if it comes from the capital.

Third. We need to, as soon as possible, call a meeting of the Commanders’ Council, where we will elect a new government for Novorossiya. Not DPR, not LPR, but Novorossiya as a whole. Otherwise these toy governments could squabble indefinitely. Or maybe our governments are finished already, it’s just that we don’t know it yet. All of Novorossiya’s combat units have to unite. Their commanders need to unite and establish direct communication. We have to form a united front. All of the units that are really for truth, honor, and dignity of the people of Novorossiya. All of the units that are ready to go till the end, till victory, have to unite at last. We don’t need the leaders that have been bought and are now selling out Novorossiya. Give us victory and justice, give us honor and dignity… Or give us death. This is the only way.

“Don’t think about your hide. Think about your honor.” This is the motto of our resistance. And I ask everyone to follow it, and join our forces. We know what we’re fighting for. We know who we answer to. We know what to be proud of. And under no circumstances should we fight for somebody’s financial interests. First and foremost, we are fighting for our people. First and foremost, we are fighting for our honor and dignity. And may the Lord be with us. With us, with the Slavic union, with the Slavic peoples. We will win.


By piotrbein