A FORMER SERGEANT MAJOR with Soviet Special Forces has said initiation of nuclear war is not the focus of Vladimir Putin, just yet.

On Wednesday, the Ukrainian military agreed to a 12-hour ceasefire with Russia to allow civilians to escape through evacuation corridors. Over 1,200 casualties have been confirmed since the invasion, a fortnight ago.

Maurico Pipistello arrived in Ireland 22 years ago, he worked as an architect up until last year when he started doing deliveries around Ennis. This transition, he said, came in advance of the looming invasion and would allow more time to organise humanitarian efforts locally. “For most of the world it was like news when the war broke out, but for me and for a lot of people from those areas where I’m from, it wasn’t actually surprising, it wasn’t really news, we expected it for a long time. So I wanted to contribute, and I needed a job to pay my bills, but it also allows me plenty of time to organise what we’re doing right now”.

This has led to the creation of Solidarnist which will coordinate the efforts of local groups and organisations receiving refugees from Ukraine. “We are only making right now baby steps, my message is that we need to do a thousand times more. Really not only for the sake of refugees, but also for the sake of Irish people to deal with the situation,” he told The Clare Echo. They have been in regular communication with groups such as Clare Haven and the Clare Immigrant Support Centre.

Ten volunteers from Ukraine living in Clare are involved in the group, the Finnish native said. He is hopeful they can open an office in Ennis that will be manned up to sixteen hours a day serving as an information desk for the refugees offering help as they integrate into society. They hope to launch a website, solidarnist.ie in the coming week and believed their fluency in different languages would be an obvious advantage. “We have to think globally and act locally, and one of the concerns was that the problem was so enormous that you could get overwhelmed, but we cannot, we have to save one family at a time, one person at a time, one situation at a time. That’s the true crisis, it’s unprecedented, so we do what we can and I still have my day job so I have to wiggle around my spare time”.

He outlined, “We’re not talking only about accommodation, we’re talking about schools, kindergartens, all the rest of it. So how do these people get their bank accounts open, I mean there’s all sorts of issues. There is no one centralised, organised body by the government set in place to deal with the whole process of people integrating into the society, there’s a lot of voluntary organisations, semi-official, what have you, right across of course, leading the way here”.

Based in Shanaglish by the Clare and Galway border, Maurico voluntarily joined the Soviet Army as a teenager. He trained in special equipment, air defences and was with the special forces rising to the ranks of Sergeant Major between 1987 and 1990. He was trained by KGB officers and told The Clare Echo the invasion had been imminent for some time, “On the day it happened I rang my father, and we agreed that [the invasion] would happen, and 3 hours after that telephone conversation, it happened. Every next step that the Russian army has been taking, it’s no surprise to us”.

Nuclear war is not on Putin’s immediate radar, “it is not about initiating nuclear war, just yet,” he believed. “When Putin said about in his rhetoric and his speech, and sort of trying to allude to the west, that if you interfere, you will see ‘consequences that you have never seen before in your history’, in his words. Yes, the nuclear threat is always there, that’s no question, no one can say for absolute certain what goes on in Putin’s mind, and it is Putin’s war, make no mistake about it. There are other ways, and one of the things we were more fearful of, especially in light of the humanitarian crisis, is that they have the ability and the intent to eliminate the satellites relaying information from east to west”.

Cutting down this link and removing the satellites is very dangerous, Maurico warned. “I’m more fearful of that than the nuclear threat at this moment in time because they know that initiating the nuclear war will mean the end of this world. The other message underlined in the speech from Putin was the humanitarian catastrophe, what they’re doing is to cultivate threats and the fear in the people, the more they are shelling the cities with no precision, these weapons are no precision weapons, they create an absolute, harrowing terror. They are trying to make all these people live their towns and cities towards west”.

He added, “The situation is very grim and is growing worse and worse as the days go by, because the Russian invasion won’t stop, and we knew this all along. Since I speak fluent Russian, I can communicate with the Ukrainian as well, and I have been talking to a lot of people, I have my own intel on the ground in multiple states as people are moving across the Europe right now. I also know that Ireland is on the minds of many, many people moving and all the refugees there”. Projections of Ireland taking 25,000 refugees should be doubled, he said.

On why he predicted this scenario would occur, Mauricio explained, “the textbook is there, and the way the Russian forces are acting is almost the same textbook I studied. And again, Baltic States, Latvia, Lithuania have been trying to convey that message all along, so for us it was not a surprise at all. We always knew, the intel is there, there is also paramilitary organisations over there constantly preparing for this oncoming event. On the day it happened I rang my father, and we agreed that [the invasion] would happen, and 3 hours after that telephone conversation, it happened. Every next step that the Russian army has been taking, it’s no surprise to us, at all”.

Related News

ballycar railway line train 28-04-20 2
40 year old Co Clare man sent lewd image of himself to female 'public figure' & committed solo sex act on train
firearm-409252_1280
Judge grants domestic violence order to woman after ex-partner brandished loaded shot-gun in row
image00001edit
ASafe Global grow international operation from Ennis Headquarters
doolin pier swimming 1
Fresh calls to fight for Doolin's designation as bathing area
Latest News
ballycar railway line train 28-04-20 2
40 year old Co Clare man sent lewd image of himself to female 'public figure' & committed solo sex act on train
dromoland castle golf
Ladies Winter league concludes at Dromoland
clare v offaly 18-02-24 ciaran downes 1
Clare team named for decisive league encounter with Down
clare v kilkenny 10-03-24 david fitzgerald 2
Clare & Tipp name teams for league semi-final
galway greyhound stadium
Tremendous treble for Gort's John Quinn
Premium
Trump Resort Doonbeg
Council to hold meeting at Trump Doonbeg 'to prove 100% support of resort & its coastal protection plans'
ballycar flooding rail march 2024
'A let-down to rural Ireland' - Clare councillors slam inaction on solving Ballycar flooding
paul bugler tony killeen darragh mcallister páraic mcmahon 1-2
The Electoral Chair - Varadkar's Earthquake / Clare's political climate / Standout councillors & those stepping away
clare v antrim 16-03-24 mark fitzgerald 1
Clare must cut down on basic errors or face being 'torn alive' by Down - Fitzgerald
tralee court 1
Meelick man with 82 previous convictions sent to prison

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Scroll to Top