Boris Filatov: Everything is clear with Putin and his horde. They will stop where we can stop them
For the second time in his political career, Dnipro Mayor Boris Filatov has faced war and defense directly. In 2014, after the appointment of Igor Kolomoisky to the position of head of the YEAH of the Dnipropetrovsk region, Filatov became one of the deputy oligarchs.
Then the region, due to geographical features and the coordinated work of a team of Dnieper businessmen, became an outpost separating the war from the peaceful part of the Ukrainian territories.
Today, after eight years of war in the Donbas, after the February full-scale Russian invasion of the Dnieper, it is again of strategic importance. However, this time Russia acted on three fronts at once: from the north, south and east.
How is the Dnieper being prepared, what military scenarios are being considered in the city and which of the oligarchs is helping in the defense? "Ukrainian Truth" spent three days in the Dnieper.
The interview with Boris Filatov is the first part of the story about the city.
"Now we understand that war is for a long time"
- In 2014, there was, so to speak, the first phase of the war. It is now 2022. Please tell me, did you believe that there would be a full-scale invasion? What did you think when it happened?
- Like all normal people, I did not believe until the end that at the beginning of the 21st century there will be such a terrible war. Any human psychology cannot accept this. Although, of course, when the situation in the information field began to worsen 2-3 weeks before the war, I was very worried, sitting on the phone all the time, reading various analytics.
And on the 24th, I remember it for sure, I spent the night at my dacha, did not sleep, sat, fiddled with the phone. Before that, our military called me and said that, you know, it looks like it's about to begin. But then again, I drove those thoughts away.
And how did I find out that the war started, Kristina Berdinskikh ( journalist NV - UP ) and I are friends, and she writes: "The war has started, Kiev is being bombed." And I have this message popping up on Facebook. And as soon as I read it, I hear sounds on the right and left. My dacha is located between military units, Guards and Cherkasy, and on the right - the airports. And the arrivals began. And such a terrible feeling, I kind of say to myself: well, it's all started.
And why scary? Thousands of birds rose from the explosions near the river, and they flew, screamed and flew in an unknown direction. I packed up and went to work.
- Is it possible to get used to this feeling at all? Here you have constantly every day - new challenges, defense, tasks…
- I will tell you that, probably, any person has a psycho-emotional swing. That is, I can not say that I fall into depression or euphoria, but it is very difficult psychologically, especially in this mode to come to terms with what is happening.
So sometimes, of course, it gets sad. Sometimes, especially today, after ours hit the missile ship "Moscow" , the mood immediately rises.
But it is very difficult to get used to the war. We now understand that war is a long one, so we must protect our strength, both physical and moral.
- In Kiev, I have repeatedly heard that you have your own effective management style in the Dnieper during the war. What is this style? How can it be described?
- It is really so, and I will tell you, yesterday we had a big selector with the Office of the President, we talked, all the governors, the mayors of regional centers. And we - I can talk about it, I'm proud of it - I mean the Dnepropetrovsk region, set an example of coordination and cooperation.
What is the style? First: we do not have any interpersonal conflicts and pulling blankets between different branches. That is, we all understand perfectly well that there is a single head of the military administration Valentin Mikhailovich Reznichenko - this is our head.
Second: we do not find out any relationship between us, we are all one fist. I am the mayor of the regional center, the chairman of the regional council Kolya Lukashuk, the head of the territorial defense of the city Gennady Korban and the fifth person is Alexander Vilkul, the head of the Kryvyi Rih military administration. We are constantly in interaction and coordination, and even with Sasha we had different periods of relationships, very difficult. Now we call him three times a day, support each other as much as possible.
And third, we prefer to talk less and do more. War is a way of deception. And so, when, say, some of our colleagues, again, I will not mention any names, record videos on Facebook, in TikTok, constantly comment on events, sometimes even talk too much on the verge of balancing military secrets, we just silently prepare.
Of course, we had time to prepare well, and we are preparing every day further and further, because the heroic experience of Kiev, Chernihiv, Sumy, Mariupol gave us the opportunity to prepare.
- How often is there a connection with Kiev, with the President's Office?
- Well, we talk to Kirill ( Tymoshenko - UP ) every three days, for example. And again, when there are pressing issues, because I understand perfectly well that everyone is busy.
I am in constant correspondence with Alexei Reznikov. We have a long-standing friendship. And if there are any questions, we are constantly communicating. At the same time, I am not trying, say, to impose any of our problems, we prefer to solve them on our own, rather than blaming our superior comrades.
- There were military actions under President Poroshenko, now military actions under President Zelensky. You interacted with that president, now with this president. How is that time different from the present?
- It is difficult to compare, yes, probably, it is not necessary. Because the scope of naturally solvable tasks and the scope of military action are simply incomparable. And then we had normal communication - Pashinsky, Avakov, Turchinov could be called within half an hour. And now we have normal communication. Maybe not so fast, because the President's Office and other responsible comrades have much more tasks. I would not compare.
You see, this war, it is for survival, for the state sovereignty of an independent country. Therefore, everyone here understands what is happening, and everyone understands the measure of responsibility. And, of course, everyone understands that they must stick to each other and constantly interact.
"They will get to where we can stop them and believe me, we have done a lot for that."
- In what condition is the city now?
- The situation is tense, but absolutely controllable. If we talk, for example, about food, about providing medicine, then we also have a supply of food for several months, city hospitals are provided with all the necessary medicines. By the way, other military administrations help us a lot, again on a horizontal level.
I have excellent relations with Max ( ed. Maxim Kozitsky - UE ), this is the Lviv Military Administration. I asked for specific drugs that are hard to find, they sent a large amount. I communicate a lot with Transcarpathia, I communicate a lot with Chernivtsi.
All the mayors are calling, I can't even list them all, because someone will be offended if I forget. And I do not call them, but they call me. They say, "Fight, do you need something?" I say: here and there. "We'll send it to you now."
If we talk about the psycho-emotional situation in the city, then, of course, it is very tense. Especially since the rocket fire has intensified, and this is very unpleasant. Because, given the way they squat in a square-nesting way and often get into residential areas. Naturally, the people are worried. But at the same time I do not see a large outflow of people from the city. Moreover, many began to return.
The third is refugees. As a result of our geographical location - between three fronts - we have become such a humanitarian transit hub.
It is difficult for me to count all those we have, because many do not want to register as internally displaced persons, many are in transit. But we estimate that there are now more than 60,000 migrants in the city.
Donbass has gone very strongly now: from Kramatorsk, Mariupol before that through Zaporozhye arrived. Therefore, there are many problems with migrants. We solve them, settle them, feed them, restore documents, issue hygiene items.
But I kind of recommend everyone to go further, to safer places.
- Are there any statistics now - how many Dnipro residents left the city?
- Let's say so, in the approximate approximation, based on railway data, it is about 200 thousand people. That is, we believe that one-fifth of the city has left.
- Is there now a scenario in the context of the Dnieper?
- I did not want to comment on the script. I have only one answer to this question, which is often asked by journalists. That is: there some New York Times wrote something that the Dnieper will be attacked and so on. With Putin, everything is clear and with his horde - they will stop where we can stop them. And it is better, of course, to discard.
I do not believe in the scenario that they will break through now and go to the Dnieper in columns and march, because they, of course, now need to solve the problem of Donbass, if you can use such a term, although it is completely incorrect. Next we will see how successful the fighting in Donbass will be.
And so, again, I will repeat: they will get to where we can stop them and, believe me, we have done a lot for this, to stop them on the approaches to the area, and we continue to do so constantly. And then everything will depend on success at the front.
We all pray and help the APU and terrorist defense.
Why should you join the UE Club?Mykhailo Tkach, journalist of the UEFriends, join the Ukrainian Truth Club to support journalism that leads to change and to contribute to the objective informing of societyJOIN
"That's when we win, I'm just wondering how they will come and with what eyes they will explain it all."
- How does the Dnepropetrovsk elite behave during the war? Were there, for example, people you or your team asked for help and they refused? Were there people who just ran away and didn't participate?
- Here we need to decide who we consider the elite. If we talk about business and society, then a lot of entrepreneurs, owners of car dealerships, workshops, donated their cars, repair equipment, some shops work for them. That is, the people were fully integrated into this story.
In the first days of the war, anti-tank hedgehogs were cooked, asterisks were made to throw equipment under the wheels. Everyone is working for victory, for the front.
If we talk about the oligarchs, then, for example, if we talk about the enterprises of Viktor Mikhailovich Pinchuk, they are also fully integrated and help with equipment and construction materials. On the basis of the polyclinic, their factory provides medical care to migrants.
If we talk about Igor Valeryevich Kolomoisky - I do not know where this man is. Who says he is in the Dnieper, who says he is in Bukovel. That is, it is not visible on the horizon at all, it is simply not visible. The feeling that it does not exist. Maybe he is helping someone somewhere in Bukovel, I will not comment on this…
There, one of his henchmen recently gave an interview to 1 + 1 TV channel and said that he does a lot, but does not want to publicize it. Well, let him show what he does in terms of defending his hometown, which made him a multi-billionaire. He has many relatives and friends in the territorial community ...
That is, if we speak on behalf of the defense headquarters, it is zero, it is zero. I can neither confirm nor deny his whereabouts.
We also had patriots who made films about themselves in the 14th and 15th years, they almost wanted to nail a memorial plaque to one building where they had a headquarters, in a cafe… We showed this film on the respected Channel 5, how they separatists Dnipro repulsed. But they just packed up and left. And that's it. On the first or second day of the war.
"You mean Mr. Petrovsky ?"
"Of course." I can clearly name this surname. Why? Because, first of all, they declared that they are great patriots - once. And secondly, they always told how scary, brave they were, they sang songs about themselves, wrote: "we are the ones who are not afraid of bullets."
There is, however, another question: how could they cross the border as conscripts. And the second question: where did their accomplice, a criminal authority nicknamed Umka , who was under a written undertaking not to leave, go? That is, he also dematerialized.
Probably someone was helping them cross the border. I think that after the war it will be necessary to deal with this issue.
On the other hand, they completely zeroed in on their own, including their criminal "environment".
That is, they are security guards, machine gunners, attack on journalists , complete legal nihilism. But when the war broke out, they just ran away from their hometown like rats.
That's when we win, I'm just wondering how they will come and with what eyes they will explain it all. First of all, to your friends, relatives, acquaintances, business partners. Well, I'm probably even sure they'll tell us that we organized an underground and guerrilla war abroad. Let them tell.
- In the context of Igor Kolomoisky, do you think that Igor Kolomoisky is needed and important now for the defense of the city?
- I would not talk about him as a person, I would talk about him as a person who has great financial resources. It is clear that his recent misunderstandings with the American side, sanctions, problems with law enforcement, which, incidentally, he successfully solved, probably somewhere depleted his wallet.
But at the same time, I am sure that he has enough financial resources to help his country and his hometown.
Therefore, from the point of view of personality, I think that its significance does not matter. And in terms of financial resources, organizational, he has companies that work that can be integrated into defense - this, of course, matters.
For us, every person who has a resource matters. But, unfortunately, we do not observe it.
- Can we now identify specific categories - what does the city need at this stage?
- Yes of course. First of all, we are interested in large stocks of products. What can be put into strategic reserves in case God forbid.
Then we have the appropriate instructions from the central authorities - we form a large number of prodpikes. We (I mean the military administration) pack them and send them, for example, to other areas that came out of the occupation - Chernihiv region, Kiev. Therefore, we are interested in products, first.
And the second - we are interested in drugs. That is, there are drugs, but issues related to cancer, insulin, specific drugs, expensive, they are, unfortunately, not enough.
And the third thing, which is simply catastrophically lacking, and my Transcarpathian colleagues confirm this to me, is the so-called iron. What is iron? These are Ilizarov's devices, everything that is used in operations after mine injuries.
Unfortunately, this is a consumable. That is, military and civilian people come to us after Kramatorsk. We repair their limbs, stabilize them and then send them on. And, of course, this iron leaves with them, and we start to miss it catastrophically.
Therefore, taking this opportunity - your esteemed publication has a very large audience - that's who wants to help our city hospitals, Mechnikov Hospital, military hospital with iron, we take iron.
- You have started a campaign, you talk and publish a lot about it - you have appealed for help to various world stars. What is the situation there? I have already seen several appeals of different stars.
- I will introduce our dear comrade and partner, the man who literally recorded such an appeal today. This is a famous American general who was once one of the hundred most influential people in the world - this is Martin Dempsey, former chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Therefore, we appeal to everyone, ask for help everywhere.
Naturally, we did not have such donations as my close friend Max Polyakov made - a million dollars . We were helped by one embassy of an Asian country. Without revealing all our benefactors, the money goes, but not as fast as we would like.
Many help. There are many different worthy funds: "Come Back Alive", the Pritula Fund - they all raise money. But again, taking this opportunity, I would very much like to ask for the details of our fund to be published as well ( information about the fund at the end of the interview - UE ). We are ready to report for every penny, for every penny.
There are transfers in cryptocurrencies. But, unfortunately, it is difficult to buy what we need for cryptocurrencies. That is, it is, you know, a monetary surrogate. We are primarily interested in finances.
- I have seen your statements that different cities in Israel are helping, and I also read that you have criticized the position of the official state of Israel. How do you assess Israel's participation and assistance in our war in general, and why is this happening?
- First of all, I clearly share the people of Israel and its government, the government of Bennett, which has taken, I believe, an absolutely immoral position in this situation.
Naturally, Israel has a difficult foreign policy and geographical situation. It is clear that they do not want to quarrel with the Russians, who control the Syrian sky. This is geopolitics, it's hard for me to comment on that.
But there are other things. This is dirty Russian money - the fact that they go there, the fact that Israel has not joined the sanctions.
There are other triggers that you need to pay attention to, and not just cover up that we will not give you military assistance, because we do not want to quarrel with the Russians.
- Do people who continue to work for Russia remain in the city, in the interests of Russia, who continue to defend some values of the Russian world?
- In the public sphere, of course, no. First, even those who felt some sympathy, illusions, after our cities began to be bombed by missiles, and even more so by bombs and barrel artillery, realized that all sympathies and illusions had vanished. This is the first reason.
And the second is that it is dangerous to express these sympathies now. Because the Security Service is working.
"This is a black and white war, it is in a clear, understandable paradigm."
- Are there any officials who fled the city at the beginning of the war? Judges, prosecutors…
- Look, I don't know judges, prosecutors, I don't follow them. But, for example, I met with Irina Venediktova, our regional prosecutor. I understand that my colleagues will not tell me about their difficulties, but they have convinced me that there is no real outflow of prosecutors from the city.
If we are talking about municipal officials, for which I am responsible, many of me have been allowed, of course. I told the women, "Girls, I'm not holding you, go." But they have already returned, they have returned to work, they are doing everything.
We have now completely disbanded the City Hall, everyone is working remotely. Because it is dangerous to be in the city hall. We don't understand where they will want to sandalize the next rocket after the Nikolaev administration . That's why the mayor's office is functioning, everyone is remote, and four-fifths of the city council is here in the city.
By no means do I want to convey that I recommend for the mother to be inactive. This is generally immoral. I have always said that if there is an opportunity to leave - material, financial, relatives - it is probably better to stay in quieter places.
And so the deputies are all in place. We have a whole branch of deputies, everyone writes messages to each other. I can be proud of the parliamentary corps, regardless of their affiliation.
- It is very difficult for me to comment on the delusion of an inflamed mind. I think their logic is very simple. They just want to intimidate me as one of the most active media characters. I have a huge number of followers on Facebook, I am read everywhere - in Belarus and in Russia. They want to somehow destabilize me psychologically.
- It was the 14th year, now the 22nd. How do you explain to yourself internally - do you have to do this? How do you perceive your activities now and then?
- I, honestly, have always been very burdened by my work. I have always said that I am not very happy here. This job is a constant stress. I was a rich man, I was never going to go into politics. I was, as it were, drawn to the story of the 14th and 15th years. I thought: well, now let's fight back, I'll leave the post immediately. They fought back with grief in half, although half of Donbass is occupied.
Then they come and say: well, come on, you're such a good guy, run for the Verkhovna Rada. Then: come on, you're such a good guy, people, the public, active citizens, come on mayors! What's up with the mayor? They bring sociology, it is clearly written that if I do not run, Alexander Yurievich Vilkul will win - you are the only one who can win. Well, go.
But I never imagined that I would be sitting on the volcano I am sitting on now. And at the same time I understand that I am the leader of the territorial community, I am the mayor, hundreds of thousands of people are behind me, they believe in me.
This is a black and white war, it is in a clear, understandable paradigm that has existed since ancient Rome. And there is such an expression in Latin, I can't remember in Latin: for hearths and altars. Here we are fighting for hearths and altars. This is our country, this is our hearths, this is our homes, these are our altars, these are the graves of our parents. All.
- What will you do first of all after our victory?
- And I already know, the residents have already made an order for me. They told me to set a big table in the central square. And everyone will come with their products, we will fry sausages. Maybe even drink 50 grams.
Everyone wants to hold a big banquet, the residents clearly write: let's get together, just three people's festivities.
- Have you already thought about the end of the war, will you stay in politics?
- To be honest: I do not want. I don't want to. I didn't want to go to the second cadence either - yes, with a big squeak. Right away how? Ruble entrance - ten exit. Don't try to jump out of this story anymore. I just swore to my wife that I would not run for a third term.
And now I don't know. You know, like Bulgakov's "White Guard", this funnel has twisted you, and you don't understand where it will throw you out, on which shore.
Now we are clarifying relations with the parliament within the AUC ( Association of Mayors of Ukraine - UE ). I emphasize - not with the President's Office, but with these idiots, people's deputies, who, apparently, now have nothing to do, and they began to generate some meaning.
Now there are several bills: yesterday Chernyshev and I clarified the relationship, with Shmygal - the local government wants to take half of the taxes. Second: to prohibit local self-government from paying salaries without the consent of the military administration. Now all the mayors have shown the whole country, the whole world, how strong Ukraine is in terms of local self-government. And the deputies are always trying to somehow blur and rob us.
"Our task, the task of the Armed Forces, if we speak for the Dnieper, is not to let them reach the borders where they can and will strike."
- Do you have capital ambitions?
- No, I have no ambitions in the capital and never have. I'm fine, this is my favorite city. Here is everything that keeps me going. I have no ambitions in the capital at all and I have never had anything to say.
Now there is probably no point in thinking about any ambitions.
We need to definitely win, save the country, save as many people as possible. Because, Vlad Atroshchenko called me. I'll tell you honestly - it's impossible to listen.
He says: there is no Chernihiv - it was simply dismantled. Despite the fact that Vlad and I were not on very good terms at one time, he is a real hero. And what he says does not fit in his head. What Igor Terekhov tells me is also out of my mind.
They bomb Kharkiv every day, launch some rockets into Gorky Park, which Gena, the late Kernes , was building - the best park in Ukraine.
Therefore, we must definitely solve this problem now and win. And after that we will think about ambitions. There are no ambitions at all now.
- Do you admit that what the enemy is doing to Kharkov could happen to the Dnieper?
- At the beginning of our interview, I said that in fact they will stop where we stop them.
Therefore, our task, the task of the Armed Forces, if we speak for the Dnieper, is not to allow them to reach the borders where they can strike and strike.
Now the scheme of the war has completely changed. If before they rode with columns in the hope that everyone here would give up and meet them with flowers, now they are starting to dig in, to wage a remote war. They just beat us, cities beat us from afar.
And they do not beat just like that. They are stupidly beating the city's infrastructure, bakeries, food warehouses, gas distribution stations, and gas power plants. Here is Serega Sukhomlin ( the mayor of Zhytomyr - UP ) telling me: they took an uncontrollable bomb and dropped it on the heating plant.
We are well aware that their task is to destroy and create chaos as much as possible. And I understand that they also have a further task to make Europe explode from such a migration crisis.
You remember the crisis, when some 300 or 500 Syrians fled on the border between Poland and Belarus, and they said: this is a migration crisis. No, the migration crisis is already there. I understand that they, too, are counting on it. These are non-humans.
I have no words for their army, their people, their government.
- Your task is not to allow them to the Dnieper, not to give them opportunities…?
"Shoot." Of course. Here Vlad told me Atroshenko's key phrase. He says: "Fight, you still have time to spend any money on the construction of fortifications."
Because no amount spent on the construction of fortifications can compare with how much the destruction will cost when they can crawl up and start sending bombs and missiles here. This is our task. That's why we spend on fortifications - dig, dig, build, build.
Well, I will not talk about it - where and how and how. We are preparing.
Mikhail Tkach, UE
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