“What makes you think that I am at war with Ukraine? I am at war with NATO.”
-Colonel Olga Kachura, commander of the MLRS battalion of the 31st Motorized Rifle Brigade, 1st Army Corps, of the Donetsk People’s Republic
On July 29, 2022, Colonel Olga Kachura, the commander of the multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) battalion of the 31st Motorized Rifle Brigade, 1st Army Corps, of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) was killed by Ukrainian artillery. Colonel Kachura had gained some notoriety as a female commander of an MLRS battalion and was posthumously awarded the title of ‘Hero of Russia’ by Russian President Putin. The accompanying excepted article from official Russian government newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta features an interview of Colonel Kachura shortly before her death. The interviewdescribes Colonel Kachura’s beliefs about why the war was justified, but also about the perceived nature of the conflict. Colonel Kachura believed that the Ukrainian forces she fought were well-trained and well-armed by NATO and were also commanded by NATO. Therefore, she believed that she was not really fighting Ukraine, but NATO by proxy. While other combatants of the DNR and the Lukhansk People’s Republic may have different beliefs, Colonel Kachura’s perspectives certainly support the narrative of the Russian government.
Alexander Stepanov, “Последнее интервью Ольги Качуры: Фашистов будем бить, никого не спрашивая (Olga Kachura’s last interview: We will beat the Nazis without asking anyone),” Rossiyskaya Gazeta (official Russian Government daily newspaper), 3 August 2022. https://rg.ru/2022/08/03/poslednee-interviu-olgi-kachury-fashistov-budem-bit-nikogo-ne-sprashivaia.html
In Gorlovka, Kachura Olga Sergeevna, whom the entire Donetsk People’s Republic knew under the call sign Korsa, died. A fragile woman with iron nerves and a steel character was the commander of the multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) battalion of the 31st Motorized Rifle Brigade, 1st Army Corps, of the Donetsk People’s Republic. Quite recently, Rossiyskaya Gazeta correspondents came to Olga Sergeevna at one of the positions near Yasinovataya in order to interview and film the work of the battalion. She immediately said that she would not let us go to Gorlovka, under which her Grads were then working, because it was very dangerous there. We interviewed, agreed to call later to finish shooting. Did not work out. The life of a remarkable woman and a talented officer was cut short.
Olga, are you still the People’s Militia or the 1st Army Corps of the DPR?
Officially, of course, we are the People’s Militia, but calling us militia is somehow ridiculous. It’s more of a political play on words. The name of the 1st Army Corps of the DNR is closer to me.
I know that your battalion is thrown into the most dangerous areas. What are you fighting for?
By conducting a military special operation against Ukraine, we continue the work of our grandfathers – we destroy fascism. We have the right to do this not only morally, but also legally. This right is enshrined in the UN Charter. Thus, articles 106 and 107 of this organization explicitly state that the victors in the Second World War of the USSR, whose successor is Russia, the United States, Great Britain and China, have been given the right to apply all measures against the countries that fought against them to suppress actions aimed at revising the results of the Second World War. This includes the use of military force against these countries. To do this, it is enough to notify the other three countries, but not to obtain their consent. Therefore, sorry. We will beat the Nazis without asking anyone… Artillery is my creed. This is my life. It’s rocket artillery. They even gave me earrings in the form of guns. I haven’t taken them off since 2015.
What was the beginning of the special military operation for you?
This is what was expected for more than one day. We’ve been waiting for this all eight years. Prepared for this, studied. Maybe even waiting too long.
You are opposed mainly by those Ukrainian nationalists who were born in the south of Ukraine, there are few Western Ukrainians among them. How can this be explained?
Wait. And where did you get the idea that I am at war with Ukraine? I am at war with NATO. The Ukrainian units include Ukrainians, Moldovans, Russians, Belarusians, Georgians. Look at those defendants who were sentenced by the court of the DNR. There are citizens of those countries who do not understand what is forgotten here. There is no confrontation purely with Ukraine. We are at war with NATO. The territory of Ukraine is a springboard for hostilities.