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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
SBU Releases Phone Recording Between Separatist Leader and Russian Neo-Nazi Politician
6 years
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The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) has released a recording, reportedly of an intercepted phone conversation between Dmytro Boitsov, who they describe as one of the "leaders of the unregistered Orthodox Donbass organisation" in Donetsk, and Aleksandr Barkashov, the leader of the Russian National Unity movement in Moscow.  Russian National Unity is a neo-Nazi political group, active since the early 90s, though they have somewhat faded from view in recent years.

A YouTube video of the recording, uploaded by the SBU with English subtitles, is below:

During the conversation, Boitsov says that the planned Donetsk referendum is infeasible due to the Ukrainian government anti-terrorist operation.The following excerpts are taken from the SBU's subtitles:

Boitsov: The troops are landing... Donetsk won't stand up...

If we don't get support, if Russia does not bring its troops, we will be fucked up. I am cancelling the referendum set for the 11th, because it can't be held. We can't conduct it lawfully as long as these cocksuckers are here.

Barkashov: Dima, Dima Dima, there is no way that you cancel it. It will mean that you got scared...

Boitsov: No, we are not scared at all. We simply can't hold it, we're not ready.

Barkashov: Dima, just flog whatever you want. Write something like 99% down... Are you going to walk around and collect papers? Are you fucking insane? Forget it, fuck them all...

Boitsov: Got it.

Barkashov: Write that 99%... well, not 99%... let's say 89% voted for the Donetsk Republic. And that's it, fucking shit.

The recording also suggests a growing level of discontent amongst Russian fringe-elements and separatists with perceived inaction from Vladimir Putin.

Barkashov: I was the first to write to the president, then Zhirik [Zhirinovsky], Zyuganov [leader of the Russian Communist Party]... In the end everyone spoke on TV, even Kadyrov by the evening...

Boitsov: Everybody will turn their backs on him - Russia, Ukraine, Belarus - if he does not help.

Barkashov: What the fuck is our damn tricky president waiting for? I have no fucking idea... People are already writing and they are very indignant. They come down on him but that's what I can't do... I'm just not in a position to call him names and come down on him. You understand?

Boitsov: Of course, it's certainly a mess.

The recording, if real, is further evidence of the activities of Russian nationalists in eastern Ukraine. Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the far-right Liberal Democratic Party, made a publicity move yesterday announcing his gift of an armored car to Russian separatists in Lugansk. The relationship between such adventurism and the Kremlin is less clear, however. Today, President Putin publicly called for the separatist referendum to be postponed, causing some confusion in Donetsk.