The Strelkov Example

Let us take you back to Ukraine in early 2014. Riots, a coup d’etat, instability, invasion, civil war, etc. We, of course, can’t cover all of that. Instead, we’ll talk about the example provided by one man, Igor Strelkov, who took advantage of the chaos and, for better or worse, changed history.

Igor Strelkov is a man like many of us – a history buff and military enthusiast. He is also a former FSB Agent and a veteran of the Russian military. During the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, he formed a small paramilitary group, which assisted with the annexation. After this, however, Russia’s government didn’t plan on taking any additional land. In fact, the decision to take Crimea itself was very controversial in the upper echelons at the Kremlin.

Strelkov, as a Russian Nationalist, was outraged. He gathered 54 men, most of whom were veterans of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, and, ignoring orders from Moscow, set off for Slavyansk, in the Donetsk Oblast of Ukraine.

With his small force, he managed to seize Slavyansk, a city of 150,000 residents, and his bold actions galvanized the faltering Donbass uprising. Soon, he had a force of roughly 1,000 men, and they prepared the defense of the city. Strelkov set up his own government in Slavyansk, executing all known drug dealers and other criminal elements, and waiting for the Ukrainian attack.

Despite being outnumbered 15 to 1, and having no armored vehicles, artillery, or anti-aircraft equipment, Strelkov and his men held out in Slavyansk for 85 days, withstanding the withering assaults of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. When he finally realized that he would not receive the Russian government’s assistance, which he had been pleading for, he led his troops out of the city in an orderly retreat.

Strelkov’s actions launched the war in Donbass. What had previously been a relatively non-violent protest movement became a full-fledged war, a war that put brother against brother, father against son, etc, and this war continues to this very day.

Now, what can we learn from this? It’s simple – when you see an opportunity, TAKE IT. Strelkov and his paltry force of men saw their opportunity in the midst of governmental instability, societal chaos, and popular unrest. They acted, and they changed the world. The repercussions of the actions of these men are still felt today.

Many of us, including Strelkov, have dreamed about this before – leading a ragtag group to success, taking real action, and applying our deeply-held beliefs to the real world. Strelkov, to his great credit, actually did this.

We in the United States, of course, are not quite in this kind of a situation yet. But, the cracks in the facade are showing, the population is becoming divided, and opportunities may soon be available. We need to prepare ourselves to take advantage of these opportunities. And, when and if they do come about, we must all be prepared to act on them like Strelkov did!