The importance of Alexey Mozgovoy on the world stage today can’t be measured through his tactical genius and success against Kiev. It’s not what his political views were or that he was the “hometown hero” in Donbass.
What made Mozgovoy extraordinary is that he didn’t care what your politics are. He wasn’t a nationalist or a socialist like his critics try to paint him. If you loved people he could work with you. He was a normal guy that woke up in extraordinary circumstances and rose to the occasion. If Maidan hadn’t happened the world wouldn’t know him and obscurity wouldn’t have diminished him in the slightest. We may know about people we consider great because of events but those qualities were there to begin with.
The reason LPR (Lugansk People’s Republic) and Prezrak (Ghost Battalion) love this leader was his humanity. It’s also why he is respected in Kiev by regular army leaders. It is a very odd quality for a wartime military leader to be known for.
He engaged and spoke with counterparts from across the front line in the Ukrainian military leadership regularly to find a way to stop the war he often described as “brother against brother.”
This is in spite of the fact that Mozgovoy’s Prizrak battalions have been one of the most potent forces on the battlefield in Donbass. According to Mozgovoy the true enemy of the people in both Donbass and Kiev are the Oligarchs that own the government, the resources, and businesses in Ukraine.
“… Another issue is that we defend the interests of the people, not the government. Because governments change, but the people – never. With those who honestly perform their duties to the people, we always find a common language.” From an interview with Alexey Mozgovoy
Under him, Prezrak battalion set up a humanitarian aid battalion that is getting international attention today as a model of how a military can deliver aid and help the civil population survive under the harsh conditions driven by Kiev’s war. Recently this was enhanced with the addition of humanitarian battalion “Angel” which joined Prezrak this spring.
Contrast this with Amnesty International’s report blasting Kiev for torture, Ukraine’s repeal of any human rights in Donbass, and the ongoing humanitarian blockade keeping food and medicine out of the region, its easy to see why both he and Prezrak battalion are so respected.
“Senior Advisor to the international human rights organization Amnesty International Joanne Mariner said that the report on the use of torture against prisoners in Ukraine will shock Europe. Kiev has to immediately bring to justice the perpetrators of such crimes and if this does not happen, the EU should put economic pressure on the Ukrainian authorities.”
When I heard about his murder I looked across the spectrum of Ukrainian social media and the reaction was mixed. Some and the emphasis is some, Ukrainian nationalists saw his assassination as a mistake. His was among the clearest voices constantly suing for peace in Donbas, and trying to save the lives of soldiers on both sides.
Why Alexey Mozgovoy was Assassinated
A reporter for the Komsomolskaya Pravda, Alexey Kots concluded that the Prezrak commander was murdered to sow discord between the battalions and government in LPR (Lugansk People’s Republic). By killing one of the few people that acted like a natural bridge between all parties in the conflict, a civil war could be started in LPR between the different military units. The hope of peace and unifying Dontesk People’s Republic (DPR) and LPR destroyed.
Kots adds credibly that it is quite possibly a Ukrainian Special Services operation and ultimately the goal is to stop the building of the country to be known as Novorossia. Mosgovoy was seen as a primary figure in this project.
What the Murderer’s Don’t Understand
On that note I received a communication that paints the assassination of Mozgovoy squarely into Alexey Kots’ conclusion, and gloating Novorossia would never happen now. This came from the person organizing Ukraine’s Information War. What the murderers and planners didn’t comprehend is that Prezrak was run by an intellectual that loved humanity, not an ego bent on gaining power. Mozgovoy’s commanders care about the people as much as he did and the work will continue.
The only way Kiev’s terrorists could win is if all the work and organization of the battalion were centered on promoting a single strongman leader. Prezrak’s leadership is as far from a cult of personality situation as it gets.
Why They Failed
The battalion is centered on humanitarian responsibilities that define Prezrak in LPR. Every officer is a capable leader and although he’ll be missed Alexey Borisavich Mozgovoy left Prezrak Mechanized Battalions in capable hands. The dream of Novorossia that started last year will go to completion.
Looking back to the beginning of the war the commander’s own words describing how Prezrak “Ghost” battalion was birthed:
Thanks to the idiocy of Avakov we gained our name. Through the incompetence of Poroshenko we gained our weapons. Keep up the good work, and soon, we will have a free country which will be a free, social civil society! – Alexey Borisavich
I only met commander Mozgovoy once when we spent some time together doing an interview. I got to know him very well through his men throughout the course of a year. I spent time embedded with them and interacted with them in a variety of situations.
May he rest in peace.
“The greatest victory will be if we create a government that thinks of the people; not victory in the war, but victory over ourselves, over our own minds.” Alexey Mozgovoy