Serb Volunteers in Novorossiya: Part 6

NR16A few weeks back I wrote a post about a Serb mercenary who fought in Ukraine and died in Syria. Someone got in touch with more information. An interview came out of it.

My interviewee is a well-informed Serbian observer of the events in East Ukraine. He prefers to remain anonymous. His opinions are his own; feel free to comment or message me if your own views differ.

In the first part of the interview we talked about Bratislav Zivkovic’s activities in the Crimea and the media storm when he returned home. In parts two and three we looked at Serb sniper Dejan Beric who became a celebrity with his YouTube videos. Part four dealt with Zack Novak and other English-speakers working on Novorossiya’s propaganda campaign. Part five looked at the various motivations that drove Serbs to Novorossiya.

We’re coming to the last few sections of the interview. Here we talk about how media controversies, rumours of assassination plots, and mistreatment by separatist authorities led to many Serb volunteers returning home.

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Serb Volunteers in Novorossiya: Part 5

NR12The interview continues. Someone who knows a lot about Serb mercenaries got in touch to talk about the situation in East Ukraine.

In the first part of this interview we talked about Bratislav Zivkovic’s activities in the Crimea and the media storm when he returned home. In parts two and three we looked at Serb sniper Dejan Beric who became a celebrity with his YouTube videos. Part four dealt with Zack Novak and other English-speakers working on Novorossiya’s propaganda campaign.

In this part of the talk we discuss the motivation of Serb volunteers. My interviewee prefers to remain anonymous. His opinions are his own. If you have anything to add or correct then please get in touch.

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Serb Volunteers in Novorossiya: Part 4

NR9A well-informed Serbian observer of the events in East Ukraine got in touch to talk about this fellow countrymen’s involvement in the conflict. He prefers to remain anonymous.

In the first part of this interview we talked about Bratislav Zivkovic’s activities in the Crimea and the media storm when he returned home. In parts two and three we looked at Serb sniper Dejan Beric who became a celebrity with his YouTube videos.

Now the conversation has moved on to an American of Serb background who assisted the separatists in propaganda and humanitarian projects. Together with two other English speakers, Zack Novak was the public anglophone face of Novorossiya.

My interviewee’s opinions are his own. If you have corrections or elaborations then get in touch. The truth is not a monopoly business.

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Serb Volunteers in Novorossiya: Part 3

NR6Russia and Serbia have a historically close relationship. It was a Serb nationalist whose assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand pulled Russia into what became the First World War. At the other end of the 20th century Russian nationalists joined Serb forces in the wars that tore Yugoslavia apart.

Serbian volunteers returned the favour when the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine led to a Moscow-backed secession in the east. A well-informed observer of the situation got in touch to discuss his fellow countrymen who fought for Novorossiya. He prefers to remain anonymous. His opinions are his own.

In the first part of our conversation we discussed Bratislav Zivkovic’s activities in the Crimea and the media storm when he returned home. In part two we looked at the life of Serb sniper Dejan Beric who became a celebrity when his videos of life in the Novorossiya forces appeared on YouTube.

Here is part three.

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Serb Volunteers in Novorossiya: Part 2

Serbian 1The separatist movement in Eastern Ukraine has pulled in foreign volunteers from many countries. Russians rub shoulders with Brazilians, French with Americans. Some come for money; some for politics; some for adventure.

A well-informed observer of the situation got in touch to talk about Serb volunteers who joined the secessionist east. He prefers to remain anonymous. His opinions are his own.

The first part of our conversation covered a small group led by Bratislav Zivkovic which served in the Crimea and returned with stories of battlefield glory. Unhappy ex-members later called the unit’s achievements into question. Despite this, Zivkovic made the separatist cause a major talking point in Serbia. Not long after the group’s return, Serbs became aware of another of their countrymen serving in the east.

Here is part two.

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Serb Volunteers in Novorossiya: Part 1

NR3The fighting in Ukraine continues. Many of the foreigners who joined the Novorossiyan separatists have gone home to face the media or the courts. Others remain.

The situation in Ukraine is complicated and deadly. Foreign volunteers who took part in the fighting were either tough combat veterans, shameless publicity seekers, or naive young men used by forces they didn’t understand. Like most wars.

Someone who knows a lot about the situation got in touch after reading my post on Sasha Karan, a Serb mercenary who died in Syria after previously serving in Eastern Ukraine. I asked some questions about Serbia and Novorossiya. He answered under condition of anonymity. His opinions are his own.

If you have any information that supports, contradicts, or expands what my interviewee says then get in touch. There are as many opinions about the Ukrainian situation as there are bullets flying over the battlefield.

Here is part one of our talk.

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A British Volunteer For Franco

Kelleth 3The Spanish Civil War was a vortex which sucked in foreign volunteers from Europe and beyond, and gave them a chance to fight their own battles on someone else’s soil.

In 1936 General Francisco Franco and his fellow Army officers attempted to overthrow Spain’s left-wing Popular Front government. The Nationalist insurgents believed the country was speeding towards anarchy, atheism, and communism. The government and its supporters saw the rising as a fascist assault on democracy. Foreigners from all sides flocked to join the fighting.

Italian Fascists and exiled Italians Communists came face to face in the grounds of a country house during the battle of Guadalajara. Right-wing Cambridge man Peter Kemp fought against communist fellow countrymen in the 1938 offensive that divided the Republic and took Franco’s forces to the Mediterranean. After the war he asked a survivor what would have happened if he’d been captured.

We’d have shot you,’ came the reply. ‘Sorry‘.

Kemp assured him he would have done the same if the positions had been reversed.

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