Original Russian: http://ukraina.ru/interview/20150708/1013596916.html
Oldrich "Czech" Grund: Under Debaltseve we lost 40% of our tank battalion
Czech volunteer lieutenant colonel of tank troops DNR in an interview with "Ukraina.Ru" about how he fought in Slaviansk and Ilovaisk, and that when he will be able to allow himself a cup of beer
Oldrich, aren’t you from Prague?
- No, (used to live on) the border with Germany.
- You are a Czech. For Czech volunteer coming to Donbass to fight for Novorossia requires at least sympathy for the Russian world. And how to be with a tooth (meaning: hidden anger – RA), which Czechs are supposed to have on Russians, because in 1968 Soviet tanks crushed the Prague Spring? After all, you, on the contrary, should fight for Ukraine. What was your motive to come to the Donbass? Aren’t you angry at Russians for the Prague Spring?
- I do not take offence to the Russians. No reasons for it. The fact is, when, in August 1968 in Prague, Warsaw Pact troops entered, I was not born yet. I was born in 1975. You see, those who take offensce at Russians, tend to live in Prague. And if you move 60 kilometers away from Prague – people start to perceive you by what personality you are. Everything! Even though you're Russian, though you’re a German. Nobody does not make a difference. All people. In the Czech Republic there are good people and there are bad.
- When you and your friends have decided to come to fight in the Donbass?
- When it all began, there was not much on TV about this (events). Basically all they antagonize Russia. Nothing particular. Only in Internet one could find information. After reading it, it was possible to identify and draw conclusions. When it all began in Slavyansk, I immediately came to the conclusion that the beginning of the second Yugoslavia. When I saw that they were civilians - old men, women and children - being killed with phosphorus and chlorine, I just went mad. Again, when I saw how Ukrainian nationalists fly the flags of the Third Reich, I would like to ask them a question: have you mixed up something? And I decided, if I can help, then I should go help. I knew where I was going and what I was doing. I knew I could be killed. If a person goes to war, they must be ready for anything.
- What was your profession before the war?
- As a mechanic, a specialist in fuel equipment. Diesel engines and fuel injection equipment. Before the war, I worked for three years on crawler excavators, and the rest of the time - the trucks.
- Served in Czech army?
- Yes, (was) the driver of the tank T-55 AM2. I served in 1993. Czech Republic was only just then entering NATO.
- You've come to the Donbass alone or with friends?
- I arrived in Slavyansk alone. When we left Slavyansk for Donetsk, along came my friend from Brno. He was a physical education teacher. And somewhere in the middle of July came my brother. He hitchhiked across Ukraine. I myself managed to come via Belarus to Russia, and then came here from Russia. We were just with ‘Thor’ and fought under the Saur-Mogila and in Stepanovka.
- When you come to Slavyansk, where did you go, to enlist in the militia?
- I arrived at the Russian border. Talked with the guys there ... I was travelling not alone but with Russians. We joined there with them, drove to the border at Izvarino. We were then driven across the border, and from there to Krasnodon. It was the end of May. On June 3, I was already in Slavyansk. There I met with Strelkov. He was meeting every newcomer personally. Greeting, communicating with every one.
- Can you remember your conversation with him?
- (Laughing) He was surprised that citizen of the Czech Republic arrived in Slavyansk. There I was the first foreigner. He questioned me how I managed to reach Slavyansk. It was him giving announcements via Internet: anyone who may - come to Slavyansk. Help needed: tankers with experience to help to teach. I thought that I would go as tanker: help by teaching. Strelkov told me that he was very pleased.
- And there, in Slavyansk, as I recall, there was "Nona". So you drove it?
- Yes. Two "Nona", which were in Slavyansk, inherited from the 25th Airmobile Brigade. When the militia seized Artemovsk military unit, also from there came two "Nona". When exiting from the Slavyansk we had one "Nona" left, because of a broken clutch. The motor was removed, the engine is not present, there is no transmission. We have failed to fix it. By the time of exit (from Slavyansk –RA). I had to leave her there. We took off with it all they could. We tried to set fire to it, but for some reason it failed to burn. And when Ukrainian troops moved to our base where we were in Slavyansk, they found her and took her to Kiev, to the museum. And the other "Nona" was working, so come with us from Slavyansk.
- What was your first fight?
- We went to a position to fire at the columns of "Grad" and "Uragans" passing by. They moved toward Semyonovka with Motorola, Trump (“Козырь”) and Cap(itan). There were a lot of people. Just recruited fresh crew. The first combat mission. One "Nona" works, shoots, and the second, we can not load. It is necessary to do it in wise way. Well nobody knew. The first trip we have not fired a single bullet. My gunner was the guy who served on a D-30, and the "Nona" is all different. So we had to take our time to investigate. During the second mission... There was a fire depo on Artema street. We got into position. In the morning we moved there. We have struck Dill (Pro-Ukrainians) with two Nonas. We had two crews. One behind the "Nona" and the other - on the roof. Correcting fire from there. Then we hit the convoy. Caught in a feed mill, and then they turned to chemical weapons storage.
- No chlorine. We hit it. It was four o'clock in the afternoon. The wind, thank God, was in their (enemy-RA) direction, and not in the direction of the city. Up to 6 o'clock in the morning there drove ambulances. The next day there was news in the Internet, it's all done by fifteen hundred Russian special forces and heavy tanks. Survivors there heard cries of "Allahu Akbar!".
- Well it's Motorola broadcasting the tapes with prayers of Muslims.
- Yes, Motorola. Every morning Motorola was placing loudspeakers and switching on prayer. They thought that there are Chechens, the Russian troops. We thought that would be a part of Donbass and Russia, as well as the Crimea. I think that Russia will help. That's right, they will come. But she did not come. Everyone understands that if (Russia) does come, it will start the Third World. It is, however, already going on. Thank you for this comrade Obama and unfortunate Merkel.
Last edited by Aristonicus on Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:02 pm; edited 1 time in total