Cover Osteuropa 3-4/2019

In Osteuropa 3-4/2019

Autonomous beginnings, controlled endings
Armed groups in the Donbas supported by Russia

Natalʼja Savel’eva

Deutsche Fassung


During the summer of 2014, numerous militias fought against the Ukrainian army in eastern Ukraine. They consisted mainly of volunteers, some of whom came from the Donbas itself. Meanwhile, others streamed into Ukraine from Russia. However, the establishment of the militias would not have been possible without the support of experienced fighters from both countries. Many of them were supplied with weapons, ammunition and food from Russia – with the approval of the state. The situation changed entirely when the Ukrainian army succeeded in pushing them back. From then on, Russia sent regular troops, centralised the reinforcements for the militias and ensured that they were integrated into a “People’s Militia” controlled by Moscow.

(Osteuropa 3-4/2019, pp. 133–147)