For years Serbian mercenaries have been participating in Donbas conflict. Allegedly, about three hundred Serbians have taken part in the hostilities in eastern Ukraine.
Dejan Beric, Marko Barovic, Radomir Pocuca ... Ukrainian special services know their names, this list is transferred to the Serbian government in order to get a proper response.
One of the last such discoveries is Danijela Lazović, call sign “Bagira.” Serbian media outlet Blic claims that this is the real name of the most famous female sniper, fighting on the side of the pro-Russian militants. She is a citizen of Serbia.
A successful handball player became hegumen: Who is Danijela Lazović
The life story of Danijela Lazović is truly fascinating and could become a film script. Relatives of the future mercenary told the journalists that she was born in Gornji Milanovac, west of Serbia, in 1986.
Danijela was fond of sports, and she became a successful regional league handball player. Sports became an opportunity to go leave her native town and to study in Golubac (east of the country).
Being an Orthodox Christian, she suddenly became interested in Islam and even at some point wanted to change her faith, but stopped and resorted to another extreme - entered the nunnery.
Danijela’s relatives still cannot explain her actions, they say, most likely, she was not yet fully adult or mature.
Soon it became known that Danijela was appointed abbess. She has acquired a new name – “mother Ksenija.”
From prison to Donbas: Danijela’s criminal background in Serbia
The life of “mother Ksenija” was rather unusual: she left the monastery, wore plain clothes, and went to Belgrade and to Kosovo.
It turned out that “mother Ksenija” dealt drugs and used them as well. She was arrested and even sentenced to prison.
According to Blic, she disappeared after her imprisonment – she broke off all the contacts with her friends and family. Then she was first seen in the east of Ukraine.
Danijela Lazović went to Snizhne (Donetsk region) and joined the illegal armed formation “Oplot,” which at that time included the so-called “Serbian Hussars” regiment.
She was trained and placed in the unit, which downs the unmanned aerial vehicles. However, she soon became better known not as a drones hunter, but as a sinister sniper "Bagira."
Why Danijela Lazović went to Donbas
In 2015, the local authorities received the first evidence of Danijela Lazović’s participation in Donbas hostilities, and they launched the verification.
In 2014, Serbia adopted a law prohibiting its citizens to fight on foreign battlefields. This is considered a serious crime and is severely punished.
Law enforcement agencies tried to find Lazović, searched by her place of residence. At that time, she had already become a "separatists’ superstar" and Russian propaganda media: she gave comments about the Serbs in the Donbas, told about her own battles on the side of the militants and plans for the future.
For example, in an interview with the Federal News Agency, Lazović said that she came to Donbas to protect her Russian brothers in gratitude for the virtue of their Tsar Nicholas I.
According to her, there are a lot of people like her in eastern Ukraine, they took part in the battles for Ilovaisk and Debaltseve, and are not going to return to their homeland.
However, Blic suggests that the real reason for coming to eastern Ukraine and joining the ranks of the pro-Russian militants in Donbas is a financial one – some mercenaries receive $ 2,000 monthly.
Fake kill: Where is Lazović now
In June 2016, some media wrote about Bagira’s death during a clash with the Ukrainian forces near Horlivka, but Blic journalists are convinced that this is just fake news of pro-Russian militants – Danijela Lazović lives in Russia with her fellow soldier Dejan Beric.