Posted 4 сентября 2023,, 10:39

Published 4 сентября 2023,, 10:39

Modified 4 сентября 2023,, 15:58

Updated 4 сентября 2023,, 15:58

Watchman's syndrome: the wide area defense in some regions started to lose perspective

Watchman's syndrome: the wide area defense in some regions started to lose perspective

4 сентября 2023, 10:39
Ирина Мишина
The wide area defense detachments formed by the governors in the border territories are beginning to raise more and more questions. It comes to complaints about harsh treatment by people with incomprehensible powers. And the participants of the theroborona themselves complain about their use «for other purposes».


The local Belgorod media FONAR.TV reported on the complaints of the «teroboronschikov» themselves that they are being used in any way, just not for their intended purpose.

«Circle of interests» with not harmless functions

One of the participants of the defense complained to journalists that they were being sent on duty around the city, unloading linoleum and things from cars. Volunteers were sent to city events: a procession of students, duty before the festival «Belgorod in bloom», a half marathon. «Now the administration has its own „circle of interests“: from a few people to hundreds of „militia“ must come to all events according to the order. Is this the purpose for which we were assembled?» — a man from the Belgorod defense Ministry was indignant.

Increasingly, there are complaints about the participants of the defense by journalists, bloggers and other representatives of quite peaceful professions.

So, in June 2023, historian and blogger Alexander Stefanov went to the Belgorod region to shoot a video about the situation on the border territory. In the village of Otradnoye, Belgorod district, he was detained by people who introduced themselves as members of the territorial defense.

«I came, walked around the village, asked the locals if there were arrivals or not. From there, he planned to walk to the Red Farm, which is regularly shelled. And then my grandmother came up to me, asked if I was a Ukrainian saboteur. Then a certain Yuri, who called himself a member of the Theroborona, came up. He demanded documents, snatched the passport out of his hands and said that we would wait for the border guards. He only gave my passport to the police, » recalls Alexander Stefanov.

During the conversation, Yuri did not confirm his membership in the theroborona to Stefanov in any way. Later, they were approached by other villagers who also introduced themselves as members of the Theroborona.

«They have a military uniform that anyone can buy. There are no identification marks on the uniform — only white ribbons. Yuri also had a badge of the Wagner Preparatory Center, which he boasted about. But I'm not sure he was in this center. It was like a civil arrest — a group of people detained me and handed me over to law enforcement agencies, » the blogger says.

While the security forces were following Yuri's call for blogger Stefanov, the man said that he and other members of the theroborona have smoothbore hunting rifles. The police told Stefanov that they did not understand the functions of the defense detachments. The status of its members remained unclear for the blogger.

«They were villagers with the watchman syndrome. Incomprehensible people detain you on incomprehensible grounds — this is a whole legal lacuna. Who are they, what status do they have, what can they do? It seems like they can't do anything — especially with civilians. But in theory, everything is possible, » writes blogger Stefanov.

«Sometimes they lose their shores»

But how well it all started…

In the context of military operations on In Ukraine, the authorities of the Russian regions began to call the detachments of civilian volunteers formed on a territorial basis territorial defense. They were probably guided by President Putin's order of October 19, 2022. According to him in The Krasnodar Territory, Belgorod, Bryansk, Voronezh, Kursk and Rostov regions have introduced a medium-level response regime and «separate territorial defense measures» are allowed.

After that, on July 25, the State Duma adopted a bill in the third reading, amendments to which allowed the heads of Russian regions to create their own military companies, and then transfer them combat small arms and ammunition. This initiative could be the legislators' response to the already established practice.

The governor of the Belgorod Region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, reported that the theroborona detachments have already begun patrolling the streets of cities and villages in the region. «I can say that for several days they, together with police officers, have been patrolling the streets of our villages and cities, checking documents, monitoring law and order. I wanted to say big words of gratitude to these courageous people who work during the day, and in the evening, at the call of their hearts, stand up for their native land, » Vyacheslav Gladkov said.

The governor of the Belgorod Region preferred not to mention the new strange functions of the representatives of the defense Ministry at all. Meanwhile, this is not a secret for many media outlets.

«There have indeed already been complaints about representatives of the Defense Ministry, » <url> editor—in-chief Yevgeny Gritsenko told NI. — If the defense Ministry does not have a profile job, they are attracted to duty or for «extras» at various events. Somewhere the municipality sends them, somewhere the governor asks. There are complaints about them, they periodically talk about abuse of authority. There were signals from Western publications whose representatives were detained by the Defense Ministry. Sometimes they lose their shores there.»

In general, we wanted the best, but it turned out as always. But the problem is also that this very defense has weapons with it in some cases. And no one knows how these people who are «losing their shores» will dispose of them…