Having followed the Ukrainian crisis on a daily basis from the beginning of 2014, I can attest that, if the Russian people spontaneously reintroduced (to the great chagrin of the oligarchs and standard/liberal political science) the term oligarchy and oligarchs back into common usage, many people and members of the militia in Novorosssiya have been also spontaneously defining their struggle from the very beginning as a struggle against oligarchy and against fascism. Furthermore, in the same spirit, they have also continued to define the threat presented to them by the combined forces of old new oligarchy and new Nazism as that of slavery. Such is also the existing political consensus and prevalent view among the people in Novorossiya, which is also widely shared among the people in Russia as well as those who are sympathetic to Novorossiya’s cause.
Alexander Zakharchenko, Prime Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, sees the situation in the same way. For him too, Nazism is either slavery or death:
In the Soviet Union … we were confident, proud, and we could look into each other’s eyes. We did not feel to be degraded or oppressed. Then they changed our psychology and made of us, proud Slavs, slaves. …The first time I felt that I a slave was when a man in front of me beat up another, and I went through all the institutions, and there was no justice. He was excused. Then, I understood that the system sees me as a slave. … We are looked down upon as people who took up arms because of poverty and hunger. But the fact is that Donbass is one of the richest regions in Ukraine.
A member of the Novorosssiya militia under the name de guerre Parpor, who fought together with Igor Strelkov from the very beginning in Slavyansk, explained the main reason why people volunteer to fight against fascism and oligarchy not merely in terms of Russian patriotism, but by defining such Russian patriotism by the revolt of the spirit against enslavement:
Yes, these are Russian people. The volunteers are Russian people, with Russian mentality. The [powers that be] attempted to turn them into slaves. I wouldn’t say that about the Soviet system. That system did not make slaves, but it did need somewhat passive people who would be receptive. But the work [that changes people into slaves] certainly reached its apogee after the territory which is now called Ukraine was separated during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In [post-1991] this production [of slaves] has reached its apogee because people were zombified day and night, day and night, to make them feel to be slaves, that they are vatniki [slur to call Russians or anyone who does not support West-supported oligarchs] and so on and so on. They were insulting them everyday. The slogan “Kill the Moscowite [Russian]” has been a leitmotif of such propaganda for twenty three years of existence of this Ukraine. And people were becoming much upset about it, but they also kept tolerating it. But then change happens quickly. … Information accumulates and grows; one hears this, sees something else, something is said, and it all gathers. And then something switches inside, and a man who used to be completely politically passive yesterday wakes up the next morning and realizes that he must do something to change such life so that he does not just die in vain, that he must act, that he must change something in this life and not just die in bed.
 Начальник Донбасса,”
<http://expert.ru/russian_reporter/2014/39/nachalnik-donbassa/> Accessed on October 15, 2014.