- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, 2022 Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.

Kiev Was Preparing Full-Scale Offensive Against Donbass in March 2022 – LPR Head

© Sputnik / Valery MelnikovDPR LPR Russia Ukraine Military Operation
DPR LPR Russia Ukraine Military Operation - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.03.2022
On 24 February, Russia began a military operation to "demilitarise and denazify Ukraine." LPR Head Leonid Pasechnik’s in an interview with Sputnik Serbia spoke about the current situation in the region, Ukrainian armed units receiving the latest equipment from Western partners, and Ukrainian nationalists planning terrorist attacks.
Sputnik: How is the operation to liberate the occupied territories of the Lugansk region going, in particular the key position of the Ukrainian armed forces within the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) in Severodonetsk?
Leonid Pasechnik: The LPR People's Militia forces are currently engaged in liberation battles for Popasnya. During the eight years of war in Donbass, the enemy has established a strong, powerful foothold in this settlement. At the same time, Ukrainian nationalist formations remain blockaded in Rubezhnoye, Severodonetsk and Lysychansk. The Ukrainian fighters are not letting civilians out of these towns, using their houses as firing points and people as human shields similar to actual terrorists.
At the same time, the enemy, retreating, abandoning equipment and weapons on the ground, realizing their impending defeat, does not abandon attempts to do as much damage as possible to people and civilian infrastructure. Every day the nationalists are shelling the front-line regions of the Republic. The number of homes destroyed and damaged in less than a month is in the hundreds. Dozens of civilians, including children, were wounded, some killed.
However, we know that the criminal Kiev regime will face very soon the punishment it deserves and will answer for all its crimes.
Sputnik: What have the LPR forces found at abandoned Ukrainian army positions? Anything that suggests links to NATO?
Leonid Pasechnik: Data repeatedly provided by our military, and afterwards by the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, confirms that Kiev was preparing a full-scale offensive against Donbass in March 2022. Of course, the Ukrainian armed forces (UAF) and all the nationalist battalions operating in the country were preparing for this. Personnel underwent training by foreign instructors from at least the United States of America, Canada and the United Kingdom. Although the list could be much longer. Ukrainian armed units have been receiving the latest equipment and armaments from their Western partners. Moreover, Kiev was incredibly proud of this.
Liberating our territory, the Republic's defenders almost daily find their “gifts” dumped: Swedish guided anti-tank missiles, American-made grenade launchers, American Javelin portable anti-tank missile systems and so on. What the Ukrainian government was so proud of and wanted to use to “defeat Donbass” is now arming the LPR People's Militia and will be used by our military against the very Ukrainian nationalists who refuse to voluntarily lay down their arms but continue the genocide of the people of Donbass.
Sputnik: Is it true that those suspected of having links to the DPR, LPR, and Russia were have been in towns controlled by the UAF?
Leonid Pasechnik: Yes, most regrettably that is true. Ukrainian nationalist battalions terrorized the civilians of Donbass not only because of some kind of family ties, support for the Lugansk and Donetsk People's Republics and Russia but also for personal gain. They kicked residents out of their homes, took away their cars, robbed them and beat them up. Some people were told this was due to alleged ties with the Donbass Republics or Russia, while others were told they thought a person was a spotter just because he was walking down the street and talking on the phone. Such nightmarish stories are numerous. Anyone who has experienced first-hand what war in Donbas is like will tell you a lot about the cynicism and cruelty of the “Ukrainian liberators”.
The LPR People's Militia recently discovered sites of massacres of civilians in the Popasnya direction. The bodies were found near the Popasnya railway. Retreating enemy units drove people out of basements and used them as human shields. Those who resisted or tried to escape were shot. Some managed to survive. At the moment, we cannot evacuate the bodies due to massive shelling by Ukrainian armed formations.
Sputnik: Is there any risk of sabotage attacks in the liberated territories?
Leonid Pasechnik: Certainly, we cannot completely rule out such a scenario. The mop-up operations have not yet been fully completed in all the liberated territories. Scattered groups of Ukrainian nationalists may try to carry out sabotage and terrorist attacks. Nevertheless, the law enforcement authorities who started to work in such territories are, as they say, “on their toes” at all times.
Sputnik: How is the population of the newly liberated territories reacting? How are people greeting the LPR People's Militia?
Leonid Pasechnik: The residents of the liberated territories are happy to be back home after eight years. Many are in tears, hugging our soldiers, grateful that they have finally been liberated. As I have already said, over the eight years that the people have been under the oppression of the Ukrainian nationalists, they have had to endure many terrible, horrific experiences. Now they realise that they have nothing to fear.
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