Photo from UNIAN

Former "Defense Minister" of the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic" ("DPR") Igor Girkin, nom de guerre Strelkov, has said that mercenaries in the self-proclaimed republics in Russian-occupied Donbas, eastern Ukraine, are contract servicemen who are ready to shoot even at "their own people" for as little as RUB 15,000 (US$230).

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"If needed, they will shoot at their people for the RUB 15,000, which is very good money there. There is such a contingent, except for some units, who do not care at all," Girkin told Russian Roy TV, according to a video posted on Facebook by officer of the 53rd separate mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Anatoliy Shtefan.

"The money paid to them is not from the treasury of the 'republic'... They are not 'militants' – such a term as 'militants' no longer exists. It ceased to exist after Debaltseve [the battle of Debaltseve in January-February 2015 where Ukrainian forces took heavy casualties in fighting with Russian regular troops]," he said.

As UNIAN reported earlier, Igor Girkin aka Strelkov, the long-forgotten "hero" of the failed "Novorossia" project, has sharply been criticizing the Russian government and the Kremlin's policy on Donbas (without any consequences, which is important to note) ever since he fled eastern Ukraine for Moscow. Some military experts say he may see a sharp "career turn" soon, as in a rather dramatic twist, the "retired" FSB Colonel and infamous terrorist could be returned to the occupied territories in Donbas.