The "5th column" Strelkov refers to are the very same people I call Atlantic Integrationists.
Strelkov names no names, but he describes them very accurately (see above) and he adds that they only value "money and other material resources". They are the Russian equivalent of the AngloZionist 1%ers. Their main political goal is to fully integrate Russia into the AngloZionist international system on a financial, political, economic and cultural levels. They see Russia as "European" and they believe that "the West" (i.e. the AngloZionist Empire) and Russia need to stand together against Islam, China and any other non-imperial ideology, religion, nation or alliance. They believe in capitalism and they are opposed to a "social state" (to use Putin's description of modern Russia) and they are systematically contemptuous of the "masses" though they try hard not to show this aspect of their worldview. These are the folks who gradually took power during the 1980s and who had the predatory instincts to seize the moment in the early 1990s to rapidly and ruthlessly acquire an absolutely unimaginable amount of wealth, stolen from the Russian people.
Now, it is true that due to an absolutely brilliant move by the Russian security services during the late 1990s and thanks to the chaos in which Russia was plunged, these AI (aka 5th columnists) did make a fatal mistake. Their plan was to put forward a rather uninspiring and dull bureaucrat into power and surround him by men coming from their own circles. What they did not foresee is that this rather uninspiring and dull bureaucrat would turn into one of the most formidable statesmen in Russian history - Putin - and that he would immediately set out to decapitate the top layers of the AI - the so-called "oligarchs" and the thugs who enforced their rule - and their armed branch- the Chechen Wahabi insurgency. Putin acted so fast that he rapidly ended up in full control of the so-called "power ministries" (state security, presidential security, internal affairs, armed forces, emergency services) and, which is crucial, an immense popular support. In a way, this combination of state power and popular support made Putin untouchable, but that also limited his power.
While the top and most notorious AI columnists either left Russia (Berezovsky) or were put in jail (Khodorkovsky) or died, the system they had created was still very much in place. Banking, the natural resources industry, the weapons trade, financial services and, of course, the media were still very much in their hands. So when the most arrogant one of them, Khodorkovsky, was jailed the two factions (ES and AI) achieved something of a compromise, a temporary ceasefire if you wish. The deal was this: first, as long as they don't try to take over the Kremlin and generally stay out of politics, the AI would be allowed to keep their wealth and continue to make huge profits; second, the top power would be shared between the ES (Putin, Rogozin, Patrushev, etc.) and the AI (Medvedev, Kudrin, Surkov, etc.).
The first big blow which Putin delivered against the AI was the firing of Serdiukov and, even "worse", his replacement with Shoigu. The second massive blow was, according to Strelkov (and I agree), the operation to liberate Crimea. According to Strelkov, this operation was a huge blow to the interests of these 5th columnist because they immediately realized that it would set Russia and the AngloZionists on a collision course. They therefore gathered all their forces to a) prevent a Russian military intervention in the Donbass and b) make a deal with the oligarchs now in power in Kiev. I fully share this analysis.
Russian vs Novorussian strategic interests
Here comes the tricky part. There are a few assumption made by many bloggers which are the result of a fundamental flaws in logic:
Russian and Novorussian interests are one and the same
Anything supported by the AI is bad for Russia
Putin is in full control and can do whatever he wants
Novorussian leaders are always right by virtue of their heroic struggle
Disagreeing with Novorussian leader is a sign of stupidity, betrayal or dishonesty (including for Putin himself)
Reality is not quite that simple. For one thing, Russian and Novorussian interests are not only one and the same, they are in direct opposition on a crucial matter: Novorussia wants full independence from Kiev (whoever is in power) while Russia wants regime change in Kiev and maintain a unitary Ukraine. Second, while the fact that Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs are trying to hammer out a deal to stop the war and maintain a unitary Ukraine this might or might not be bad for Russia. Now, before I get accused of God only knows what, let me explain:
During the late 1980s and the 1990s a bizarre kind of "partial fusion" took place between the Russian mob and the KGB. I know, sounds crazy, but it is nonetheless true and yours truly has personally seen it and personally met ex-KGB officers working in the Russian mob. However, as some say, there is no such thing as an "ex-KGB" officer. Well, in reality there is, but in most cases, at least informal contacts are maintained. So here is how I would very roughly summarize this bizarre association:
In the 1980s: corrupt KGB officers realize that a lot of money can be made in the underworld and some official of the internal security branch of the KGB (2nd Main Directorate) found ways to profit from tight contacts with the mob.
In the early 1990: a lot of young and smart KGB officers realize that their skills are useless in the KGB, they resign and immediately find very good positions in the "New Russian" world (at that time 100% mobsters) and use their skills (language, education, work capability, courage) to make loads of money
These were terrible years for the KGB/FSB, but they also had one positive impact: the more corrupt and less patriotic officers left leaving many idealists behind them, idealists which would, with time, climb up the ranks.
Now here comes the really interesting part:
In the mid 1990s-2000: the successor to the KGB, the SVR and FSB came to realize that they had a fantastic network of potential collaborators in the newly created world of Russian business, finance, commerce, tourism, etc. They act on this and begin use this mostly "ex-mob now turned legit" worldwide network for state security purposes and industrial/commercial espionage. Even the military intelligence service, the GRU, begins to do the same with ex-officers now working in aerospace, electronics, communications, etc.
[Off-topic but interesting sidebar: there is another most valuable network which the SVR/FSB/GRU also began to use during this period: the huge number of Jews from Russia who emigrated to the USA and Israel. Keep that in mind when you think about Russian-Israeli relations]
2000-today: Putin and his backers begin their behind the scenes secret but ruthless war on the Atlantic Integrationists who are fundamentally oppose to the Eurasian Sovereignists who are now firmly behind Putin. Most importantly the security services who are controlled by Putin allies develop a network of potential supporters inside the basis of power of the Atlantic Integrationists. See how complex that becomes?
So while some superficial analysts are correct when they say that the Russian oligarchs are generally 5th columnists and dangerous enemies of Putin, what they are missing is that a) not all oligarchs fall into this category and b) that Putin has the means to influence or even coerce some anti-Putin oligarchs thanks to his control of the security services and their network inside the oligarchs power base.
So here is the crucial point: the relationship between the Kremlin and the Russian oligarchy is a very complex one. Yes, by and large, it is correct to say that we have Putin, the security services, the military, the common Russian people on one side and the oligarchs, the liberal intelligentsia, big business, banking, finance and CIA agents on the other. But in reality, this is a primitive model, the reality is infinitely more complex. I know I am going to get even more hate coming my way for saying that, but some oligarchs are (for whatever reason) Putin allies or Putin controlled-individuals. I have met some personally in the late 1990s and I am quite sure that they are still there. Why?
Because there is a lot of money to be made in Russia by being on Putin's side. For one thing, if you are in good terms with the Kremlin, you become untouchable for the rest of the more-or-less legal "business" world. You also get juicy contracts. And the tax authorities might not be as meticulous when you file for taxes. Again, the black-and-white Putin vs oligarchs image is generally true, but only as a primitive model.
ZOOMING BACK IN TO STRELKOV'S PRESS CONFERENCE
Let's remember where Strelkov came from. While little is certain about him, he appears to be an ex-FSB Colonel (in anti-terrorism), who fought as a volunteer in Yugoslavia, Transnistria and Chechnia. He is also a historian, a columnist and he likes to participate in military recreations. He is a monarchist, an Orthodox Christian and and admirer of the White movement during the civil war. In Novorussia, however, he entered a totally different level jumping in one rapid, gigantic most successful leap from anti-terrorism Colonel to what could be roughly described as an divisional or even army corp commander who turned a volunteer militia force into a more or less regular army. That is a huge feat: From almost nobody he became the #1 hero and commander of the entire Novorussian resistance. And yet, Novorussia is tiny compared to Russia and big Novorussian politics are tiny compared to big Russian politics. And yet, in yesterday's press conference Strelkov made yet another huge leap - he jumped from Novorussian military issues straight into the single most complex and dangerous struggle I can imagine: the secret behind-the-scenes struggle for power in the Kremlin. It is far too early to tell if this move will be as successful as his previous one, Strelkov went from swimming with Piranhas to swimming with Great White sharks, but I am cautiously optimistic. Here is why:
Strelkov's potential in the Russian struggle for power
Putin is acutely aware of the fact that his official power base (the state apparatus) is chock-full of 5th columnists. The best proof for that is that he did two very interesting things:
a) He created the All-Russia People's Front (ARPF) which unlike the official party in power, United Russia, was not created with a strong Medvedev/Atlantic Integrationist component, but was created by Putin alone. Officially, the ARPF is not a party but a "political-social movement" which is supposed to bring together a large segment of generally pro-Kremlin organizations and individuals and to provide a way for the common people to convey their concerns to Putin. In reality, however, it is also a "political party in waiting", very large, very well connected and which Putin can "turn on" at any time, especially if challenged from inside United Russia.
b) Putin's security services have contributed to the creation of a plethora of "near-Kremlin entities" (околокремлевские круги) which officially have no subordination to the Kremlin, but which can get a lot of things done without the government involved or, even, informed. These near-Kremlin entities include some news outlets, some commercial entities, a number of clubs, some youth organizations, news agencies, etc. There is no formal list, no admission procedure, no one leader. But somehow, there are always people with contacts to the security agencies near or in these circles.
This is were Strelkov fits in.
Strelkov will first and foremost represent the interests of the people of Novorussia, but since he correctly identified the Russian 5th column as the main threat to Novorussia, he also is objectively becoming an ally of Putin in a common struggle against the Atlantic Integrationists. Now, let us be clear here. Strelkov and Putin will not agree on a number of issues. Strelkov clearly indicated that when he said
"No matter how critical I am about certain internal or external policy decision of president in conditions of war started against us, I consider it necessary to support him as the only legitimate superior commander the main guarantor of freedom and independence of the state"
The fact that he concluded that Putin must be supported does not change the fact that he is clearly very critical of some Putin decisions. My guess is that the obvious areas of disagreement are:
a) The ceasefire and subsequent negotiations
b) The fact that Putin does with with some Russian oligarchs
c) That Putin wants a united Ukraine
These disagreements are normal and should not be interpreted as the sign of some kind of opposition. Again, Novorussia and Russia simply have different interests.