December 11, 2015 -
Translated for Fort Russ by J. Arnoldski
"Summing up the year's results"
Continuing our “blitz-survey,” the editorial board of Novorossiya Information Agency has moved from majestic Moscow and St. Petersburg, where we talked with politicians, public figures, and scientists who told us what events and people they believe the most important this year and what they would like to see in the future.
Now we have been transferred to our people’s republics and we’ll see how the the opinions differ between residents of the capitals of Russia and the opinions of the commander of the legendary “Viking” squad, senior lieutenant of the DPR army, Alexander Matyushin, call-sign Viking, and the Izborsk Club of Novorossiya’s expert from Lugansk, one of the legendary supporters of the Russian World in former Ukraine and Russian Spring activist in the LPR, Tikhon Goncharov....
1. The main news of the year for you
Alexander Matyushin: ISIS’ expansion and arrival onto the world stage. Last year, this was still a small oppositional organization of the radical Islamist type incomparable in terms of size to the Afghani Taliban or the notorious Al-Qaeda as well as all other sorts of Mujahideen. But this year, it controls a large part of Syria and part of Iraq. It has acquired all of the attributes of a state and holds the civilized world, which is gradually entering an era of decline like the late Roman Empire, in fear of the threat of terrorist attacks.
Moreover, ISIS has its own ideology based on a mix of politics and religion, and its adherents are ready to give their lives for this idea without hesitation anywhere in the world because, for them, the entire globe is a battlefield. Personally, I have the impression that ISIS was promised to us according to the Biblical prophecies of Gogs and Magogs who are to invade the world in the end times, and the “era of storms and wolves,” as is known, is already upon us..
Tikhon Goncharov: It is difficult to offhand remember the main news of the year. Maybe the introduction of the ruble as the main currency in the LPR and DPR. This is a significant measure in the economic integration of Donbass into Russia.
2. The best moment of the year was...
Alexander Matyushin: In my opinion, this was the successful operation of liquidating the “Debaltsevo pocket” on the territory of the DPR at the beginning of the year and the DPR army’s capture of the Donetsk airport prior.
The battle for the Donetsk airport lasted eight months and the airport itself became a symbol of the fighting spirit and resilience of the Ukrainian nation, therefore it was extremely important for us to take this symbol.
In addition, the battle for the airport at its last stage distracted the Ukrainian command from the Debaltsevo theater of operations which allowed us to focus on sending forces in this direction and subsequently eliminate the enemy’s protrusion. The UAF was dealt another crushing blow.
Tikhon Goncharov: The military parades in the LPR and DPR on May 9. This was a beautiful moment for lifting the Russian patriotic spirit in Donbass.
3. Three Men of the Year in your opinion
Alexander Matyushin: In the first place, I still have to recognize Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin as the man of the year. Despite many miscalculations in domestic policies and partial isolation by the world’s leading powers, as well some of the defeats of his team working on Ukraine, he continues the policy of strengthening Russia’s positions in the world and reviving the imperial power of Russia.
In second place I would put not so much a single person, but everyone who, with weapons in their hands, protected Russian imperial interests around the globe. This applies to both the regular army of the Russian Federation and the unrecognized state formations within the orbit of the “Russian World” and Eurasian integration.
The third man of the year is of course Andrey Purgin who, despite all the blows of fate this year, did not lose courage or determination even at the end, and he continues to work towards our common victory, because this man has a long-reaching will.
Tikhon Goncharov: I will mention two who are no longer with us: Aleksey Mozgovoy and Oles Buzina. I couldn’t agree on everything with both of them, but there is no doubt that they remain heroes in the people’s memories.
4. What do you consider to be the main achievement of 2015?
Alexander Matyushin: The main achievement of this year, without a doubt, was the realization that ISIS is is a threat to the entire Old World, and the beginning of forming a common coalition against it.
Despite all of the strife and lack of desire on the part of the EU and USA in regards to the strengthening of Russia, the countries of the Sea Civilization had to reconcile with Russia, the leading country of the opposite civilization, in the face of a common threat. And now there is a real chance to win in the impending Endkampf and stop the revival of the Arab Caliphate.
Tikhon Goncharov: The main achievement is, contrary to many gloomy forecasts, that the republics of Donbass not only maintained themselves, but are also continuing to develop. There are many problems of course, but all of them, or almost all of them, can be solved.
5. What was the most difficult for Russia in 2015?
Alexander Matyushin: The most difficult of all for Russia were the consequences of the sanctions imposed by Western countries and the growing worldwide economic crisis.
Unfortunately, Russia has not yet fully rebuilt its industry and agriculture to complete import substitution, that is, it has not pulled its market out of the chains of the Western world, and the type of commodity economy makes it very sensitive to oil and gas markets, constantly increases inflation in the country, and depreciates national currency reserves.
Tikhon Goncharov: The most difficult of all was resisting the challenges of modernity in all senses, and the keeping of the liberal team of managers in the economy, and, indeed, not only in the economy.
6. What event from this year will be remembered forever?
Over the course of this year a number of events occurred: the death of my friends and associates, the arrest and then resignation of Andrey Purgin, the ongoing war in Donbass, the beginning of Russia’s involvement in Syria, the growing power of ISIS, and the terrorist attacks in Paris.
For me personally, the event that will be remembered forever is probably when we were in position in Peski district and a mine fell next to me but didn’t explode. Of course, similar events had happened to me before. But in this case, it fell really close and I, dropping to the ground, already realized that I would not survive, and my entire life flashed before my eyes. I even had some self-pity that I was going to die so young and that I would never see the people who love me and are waiting for me. But, fortunately, the mine fell in some soil, there was silence, and that allowed me to get to more suitable shelter from mortar shelling rather than an open field...
Tikhon Goncharov: Personally, this was when I performed with the Lugansk Symphony Orchestra in Moscow Philharmonic Hall.
7. Describe this year in one sentence
Alexander Matyushin: I will quote the words of A.M. Gorchakov, the Chancellor of the Russian Empire: “Russia is concentrating.”
Tikhon Goncharov: A year of hope and foreboding.
8. What should be achieved in the new year?
Alexander Matyushin: Next year, we should, first and foremost, finally achieve peace.
But peace, of course, is possible only as a result of victory - a Russian Victory. And we will win because we are victors.
Tikhon Goncharov: I will say what I wish for the new year: the fall of the Nazi regime in Kiev and the continuation of the process of gathering Russian lands.