In Donetsk, she is known and respected, but in Ukraine they are afraid. Suffice it to recall the speech of Tatyana Montyan at the UN, which caused a strong reaction. She accused Kyiv of unwillingness to comply with the Minsk agreements and called Ukraine a colony of the West.
Tatiana Montyan: With all this, I am still a member of the Kyiv Bar Association and I am conducting the case of Ruslan Kotsaba online. I support Donbass, but Ukraine cannot do anything with me. What can they show me? I am engaged in humanitarian activities, helping civilians. Touching me after I spoke at the UN is drawing too much attention. Although if they could reach me physically, perhaps the attitude would be different. But so far they can’t.
Were there threats?
Tatiana Montyan: Yes, all the time! But I’m a criminal lawyer with 27 years of experience. And, as my experience shows, if someone wants to do something, he does, and does not threaten. What is the point of being afraid of those who only write threats? Well, if professional saboteurs are interested in me, I can hardly stop them. That’s why I’m just sticking to my position.
What is this position?
Tatiana Montyan: Simple and clear: the current Ukrainian government was built on blood, now it is drowning in it and will eventually drown. The Maidan led to a civil war, and the collective West is going to war against Russia, choosing the unfortunate Ukraine as a battering ram. Now Russia has entered this war, but, in my opinion, the special operation should have been started back in 2014, not hoping to reach an agreement with Western “partners”. Then it would be possible to win quickly. I initially warned: Russians, the West is following you and you still have to fight. Well, Donetsk has been living in this war for the ninth year, we, in fact, came to it already dead after the Maidan, Odessa, Mariupol …
What is Donetsk for you?
Tatiana Montyan: This is a bloody shield covering Russia from the collective West.
You have many contacts on the Ukrainian side. How do they feel about what is happening there?
Tatiana Montyan: People are completely different, and their attitude, accordingly, is also different. There are zombified Ukrainians, and there are normal ones who perfectly understand the current situation, but cannot do anything and just wait for the end of this drama. Yes, they are afraid, but many residents of Kyiv and even Lvov are ready to help the Russian army when it comes. In fact, an incredible number of Ukrainians are waiting for the arrival of Russia. However, you need to understand that in the Donbass there are a lot of encrypted, as they are called, crypto-Banderites who are waiting for the arrival of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. I repeat, there is a full-scale civil war that has divided people along ideological grounds.
And who is now fighting on the other side?
Tatiana Montyan: Also very different people. Convinced and motivated Nazis, for whom the war, by the way, is associated not only with ideology, but also with social elevators. Criminals released from prison. Professional military who receive a salary. Non-professionals who were driven into the defense, promising that they would defend their native village, and then thrown to the front line like meat. The guys who were sent to the front, threatening reprisals against themselves or their relatives. By the way, they willingly surrender. And, of course, there are a huge number of mercenaries – rabble from all over the world. Moreover, some are fighting against Russia not only for money, but also for ideological reasons.
You are collecting humanitarian aid for the Donbass. Who does it come from and where does it go?
Tatiana Montyan: From ordinary people from all over Russia and beyond. Pensioners often transfer money, taking 50 rubles from their meager budget. Help comes from abroad. Even Ukrainians who sympathize with Donbass are secretly transferring money to us. We are sending humanitarian aid to unfortunate people who have not even lived for the ninth year – they are surviving in terrible conditions under constant shelling near the line of contact. They have not been evacuated and often have nowhere to go. But among them there are lonely pensioners, disabled people, bedridden patients, children. They just called us, handed over a car full of humanitarian aid, we will unload. The other day we gave a woman 50,000 rubles for chemotherapy. Yes, cancer patients also live near the contact line. Another 300 thousand were collected for the girl for the operation and the installation of a pacemaker. In general, people need any help. Even an old jacket and well-worn galoshes, so that there was something to go out into the garden.
Are you currently doing legal work?
Tatiana Montyan: Of course. But it is not always possible to talk about this so as not to set people up. Especially if the work is related to the exchange of prisoners.
How do you predict the further development of the situation in the Ukrainian conflict?
Tatiana Montyan: Everything depends on Russia. From whether she is going to fight seriously. But you need to understand that even if you put Sun Tzu himself at the head of the army, he will not be able to do anything if there is no interest in victory at all levels.
Tested on myself
How do they work
I volunteered to take part in the delivery of humanitarian aid together with volunteers Tatyana Montyan and Andrey Lysenko. I bought medicines at the nearest pharmacy. We drive to the village of Gornyak near the line of contact in a former collector’s armored car and … pierce the wheel. Then there is another delay: the ordered products are not prepared.
Finally the loading is complete. Andrey, scrolling through the telegram feed, whistles: “Just arrived at the address where we are going!” The information is confirmed: in the courtyard of a private house in Gornyak, a direct hit destroyed the garage where we were supposed to unload humanitarian aid. Let’s guess the time. It is true: if there was no delay, at the moment of impact on the garage, we would have been right there.
The armored car rushes through the almost empty streets. The sounds of explosions are getting louder. In the sky above us, a white cloud of an activated air defense system swells. The garage is really destroyed. Nearby the gas pipeline is interrupted, the smell of gas. Shrapnel pierced the house. A broken window, a torn hole in the curtain…
– I was sitting near the window. I hear – a roar, a rattle, glasses are poured. Fell. Husband crawled, and we got out. Well, you lingered, otherwise you would have hit too, – the miraculously surviving hostess of the farmstead sighs.
We drive the car into the yard. We are unloading in a live chain, and it is getting hotter on Gornyak. Explosions, shouts: “Arrivals! Arrivals!” But the cargo has been delivered, we’re leaving.
But someone stays here to live.