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Don't Mess With Donbas

A day with American Communist ex-pat and DPR veteran Russell "Texas" Bentley

May 12, 2022


Earlier this week, I was pleased to make the acquaintance of Russell “Texas” Bentley, a 62 year-old native of Austin, Texas. In 2014, after a long and adventurous life, including a tour in the US army in Germany, and various forms of activism in the US, he made his mind up to come to Russia, and then to Donbas, to take up arms with the resistance fighters of the Donetsk People’s Republic against the post-Maidan Ukrainian regime.

Russell, a self-described Communist, who now resides in Donetsk with his wife Lyudmila, is certainly a lightning rod; he is unapologetic in his opposition to the United States, and as irreverent as he is dedicated.

Say what you will about his presentation, which this author finds refreshing in its directness; Russell is someone who has put his anti-imperialist action where his mouth is, and this is something from which we might all learn.

On Wednesday, May 11th, the Donetsk Day of the Republic, we drove together to the Kievsky district of Donetsk, the site of enormous destruction and ongoing shelling, mere kilometers from the Ukrainian front lines. It was here, between an airport and a monastery, where Russell first saw combat upon his arrival to Donbas. He told his story, and waxed on a few different subjects, in the video linked above.


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