Leonid "Lenny" Zarchenko
Leonid Alexandravich Zarchenko, better known by his call-sign Lenny, was born in Donetsk on 26 June 1980. He graduated from technical college and then worked as a mine electrician before opening a business in the mining industry, also having studied with the law institute of the Interior Ministry. Zarchenko had a wife, Leyla, and four sons all of whom were killed during a artillery bombing on Donetsk by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Shortly after the bombings began by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Donetsk & Donbass on April 4th 2014, Lenny joined the Donetsk People's Republic's Somalia Battalion which was formed a Rebellion to defend the people against the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Ukrainian Civil War on Donbass & Donetsk. The Somalia Battalion was lead by his friend Mikhail "Givi" Tolstykh, a famed warrior and hero. After his involvement in the Battle of Ilovaisk (Link), during which over 1000 Ukrainian troops were surrounded and slaughtered, Lenny was promoted to commander of the Donetsk People's Republic's Somalia Battalion and helped lead to the formation of Novorossiya (Link) by the rebel leaders of Donetsk, Donbass, Lugansk and other rebel regions. Lenny led the heavy assault in the famed Second Battle of Donetsk Airport (Link). He gained his reputation as a valiant commander and fearless warrior.
Countless nights of artillery attacks against civilian areas ensued. More people risen to join the cause and fight for their homeland. The Russian military gave assistance with weaponry and supplies, but in a very seldom manner. The Somalia Battalion was heavily outgunned and outnumbered at all times throughout the war and nevertheless managed to bring mass casualties to the Ukrainian Armed forces with their Guerrilla warfare tactics.
Over a year into the war, several videos surfaced of Lenny & his fighters physically abusing prisoners captured at the Second Battle of Donetsk Airport (Link). His friend & General Givi is seen clearly identifying himself before grabbing the prisoners by the face, brandishing a dagger, and cutting off their military insignia before forcing prisoners to eat them (Link).
Leonid & other Rebel commanders first got news of the breakout from our Russian counterparts who were sent from Moscow to aid the resistance efforts, their commanding officers assured them that all personnel would be evacuated by Russian forces if need be before the breakout got to Eastern Ukraine where the bulk of the Rebel Forces were located.
Seeing as the Ukrainian government had no interest in evacuated the civilians in Rebel held areas, it was up to the Donetsk Rebel Forces and other Rebel groups to aid the evacuation across the Russian border.
By week 2, the majority of the country was overrun by infected and the rebel lines were experiencing breakthroughs on all fronts. The dead swarmed through the fields, farms, woods and eventually began wandering out in the streets. There weren't enough men to hold them back, the only option was to rush to the Russian border where the lines were strong and refugee camps have been set up.
Leonid & his commanders were the last of the men to leave the Donetsk Base in a Chopper to the Russian Armed Forces Main Command Base in Sochi.
**Still developing backstory for this character.**
Novorossiya was the name of a territory of the Russian Empire formed from the Crimean Khanate and Zaporizhian Sich which was under a mutual condominium of the Russian Empire and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The territory had been annexed several years after the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca concluded the Russo-Turkish War in 1774. Novorossiya initially included today's Southern Ukraine as well as some parts of today's Russia such as Kuban. The modern Russian Black Sea coast that was occupied by indigenous Circassians under military protection of the Ottoman Empire was not conquered until 1829 and was ceded to Russia under the 1829 Treaty of Adrianople.
The region was soon colonized by Ukrainian, Romanian, Russian, German, Greek, Bulgarian, Jewish and other settlers. The major cities were Odessa, Kherson, Mykolaiv, and Novorossiysk. In 1802 the province of Novorossiya was split into three Governorates.
Most of 18th century Novorossiya was incorporated in 1917 into the newly proclaimed Ukrainian People's Republic because ethnic Ukrainians constituted the majority of the population. After the defeat of pro-independence Ukrainians in the Ukrainian–Soviet War, the Soviet government confirmed that Southern Ukraine was part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.
The Novorossiya movement made its appearance in Odessa in August 1990. The movement, known as the Democratic Union of Novorossiya, argued that given the separate ethnos of the region it should have an autonomous status within a federated Ukrainian state. It campaigned for 'special state status' within 'the historical boundaries of Novorossiya (at the time Odessa, Mykolaiv, Kherson, Dnipropetrovsk, and Crimean Oblasts, and also part of the Dniester region of the Moldavian SSR). It failed, however, to gain popular support.
In September 1990 Alexander Solzhenitsyn published an article in opposition to the cultural partition of Ukraine and Russia in which he references 'Novorossiya', i.e., "including those regions which have never been part of the traditional Ukraine: the 'wild steppe' of the nomads—the latter "New Russia" -as well as the Crimea, the Donbass area, and the lands stretching east almost to the Caspian Sea". He argues that "self-determination of peoples" requires that a nation must resolve issues of identity for itself.
By November 1991 representatives from the Odessa, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Crimean oblasts had met in Odessa to discuss the question of forming a new state, 'Novorossiya'. This was necessitated, they explained, by the growth of 'nationalist tendencies' in Ukraine, its increasing isolationism, and diminishing ties with Russia.
Three days after the 1 December 1991 referendum on Ukrainian independence, the mayor of St Petersburg, Anatoly Sobchak, argued that Russia had handed over to Ukraine "a whole series of Russian provinces, the so-called Novorossiya, whose population is for the most part Russian" and that the Russian minority in Ukraine was threatened with forcible 'Ukrainianisation'. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union the term Novorossiya began to be used again in calls for the independence or secession of regions of Ukraine corresponding to different areas.]
As late as September 1992, in Odessa, several organizations such as the Civic Movement of Odessa, Rus', the Socialist Party, and Novorossia are campaigning for the establishment of a separate Novorossian region, the exact borders of which were still being debated.
In June 1994 the chairman of the Dniester Republic's supreme council made reference to Crimea, Odessa, and other oblasts as "Novorossiya".
Dmitry Trenin of the Carnegie Moscow Center wrote that in 2005 and again in 2008 some quarters in Moscow, that were not entirely academic, discussed the idea of a Russia-friendly buffer state, "Novorossiya", being formed out of southern Ukraine from the Crimea to Odessa in response to perceived Western penetration into the former Soviet Union.
The term Novorossiya came into usage in 2014 among Antimaidan protesters following the Euromaidan Ukrainian Revolution.
On 17 April 2014, during talks in Geneva on resolving the rising unrest in southern and eastern Ukraine, President Putin stated at a question and answer session that even "in the tsarist days – Kharkov, Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson, Nikolayev and Odessa – were not part of Ukraine" but part of Novorossiya, and that they had been irresponsibly ceded to Ukraine.
On 29 August 2014 President Putin issued a statement addressed to the "Militia of Novorossiya" calling upon it to show humanitarian compassion and allow surrounded Ukrainian soldiers to withdraw and reunite with their families. This was the last official statement by President Putin addressing "Novorossiya".