Self-defense forces in the anti-Kiev stronghold of Slavyansk are Ukrainians, not Russians, who distrust the new regime and the Western powers that support it, New York Times reporters have discovered. The forces also said they are not being paid to fight.
Two New York Times reporters have spent a week in the city of Slavyansk in eastern Ukraine, talking to members of the self-defense forces. The journalists visited self-defense checkpoints and observed the forces as they battled Ukrainian troops amid a military assault on the city on Friday.
The resistance fighters of the 12th Company, part of the People’s Self-Defense of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, deny claims made by Kiev and its Western sponsors that Russia or private tycoons are paying them to fight.