Moscow – Russian Afghan war veterans protest against Russian military intervention in the east of Ukraine. They held protests in the city of Bryansk. Their main mottos are: “No to war in Ukraine!” and “Let us not allow Afghanistan 2.0!” However, the local press viewed these actions as a “provocation.”
Former Soviet army soldiers take to the Bryansk square as private agents, and the leadership of the Russian Afghanistan Veteran Union does not support the anti-war initiative, says protest organizer, head of the Bezhitsky district department of the Bryansk oblast ‘Afghan’ organization Vladimir Barabanov. He is a senior reserve lieutenant, who served in Afghanistan in 1986-1988.
“We, as internationalist soldiers, remember very well that Afghanistan began the same way. I think this is how the Russian-Japanese war began as well – the enthusiasm was the same. It’s just that no one wants to remember history. We don’t want a repeat of these events. They promised us there would be no Afghanistan 2.0. The war that currently involves Russia in Ukraine, is devaluing the sacrifices we made,” assures Vladimir Barabanov.
“How will we look the Ukrainians in the eyes if the war ends tomorrow?”
Vladimir Barabanov has no doubt that Russian soldiers are at war in Ukraine. Besides, an undeclared war, to his mind, is underway in media space.
“We want to live in peace with everyone. We are internationalists. This is very similar to a special op, very similar, we see it as former soldiers. Are the Ukrainians to blame for the fact that Russians live badly in Ukraine? It’s a lie. A horrible lie which we see on TV screens, Goebbel’s kind of lie. And the majority of the people blindly follow television for some reason. They are not used to thinking. And it is 100% obvious that tomorrow the caskets will come and they will start talking differently. How will we look the Ukrainians in the eye if the war ends tomorrow?” asks Vladimir Barabanov.
The oblast department of the Russian Afghan Veteran Union called the protest in Bryansk a “provocation,” and its participants – a “bunch” of people. The chairman of the board of the Russian Afghan Veteran Union Franz Klintsevich says that he heard nothing about the protests, and emphasized in an interview to Radio Liberty that the war has to come to an end.
“A normal human being has to stand against war, for the war to end, that the civilians cannot be subject to shelling, that people with weapons in the 21st century, though it has become the norm, are really contradictory to human nature. And everything should be done to stop people shooting at each other,” said the veteran.
Franz Klintsevich, just like the representatives of the Russian government, categorically denies the information that Russian regular troops are involved in the war in Ukraine.
The Bryansk Afghan veterans intend to hold another protest against the war in Ukraine at the end of this week.
Source: Radio Liberty
Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina