Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
On Monday, July 9th, the commander of the Operation of United Forces [the new name of the former ATO launched by Kiev in 2014 – ed] Sergey Nayev said that armed volunteers who aren’t a part of the structures that are officially involved in combat operations are banned from being near the contact line from now on.
Nayev didn’t specify what units he is talking about, but it is obvious that he means the so-called “Ukrainian Volunteer Army” (former “Right Sector”), which indeed isn’t a part of neither the UAF, nor the National Guard.
“Strana” found out what will happen now with volunteers.
They were asked to leave long ago
Actually, the statement of the commander of the OUF was made post factum – at the frontline there is indeed almost no volunteers left – they were squeezed out from the frontline about a month ago. And they didn’t always leave voluntarily: the last large formation – the 8th Ukrainian battalion volunteer army “Aratta”, near Marinka [a settlement in Donetsk – ed], was even disarmed with the help of the “Kord” special troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. After weapons were confiscated, all volunteers were, to put it mildly, asked to leave.
“‘Kord’ and SBU members came to us on the frontline and suggested to hand over our weapons. We told them to f*ck off, but they in literal sense surrounded us and forced us to hand over our guns. Moreover, they patted us down whilst we exited – they were looking for weapons. Of course, none of ours were delighted by the actions of cops. Let Nayev with Poroshenko now go forward without arms and fight. Up to this point we did everything that the UAF didn’t want to do – we went to the frontline as a part of saboteur and reconnaissance groups and captured prisoners. The fact that we were now squeezed out from the frontline is a big error of the command. And we now feel superfluous in this war,” said one of militants of the “Aratta” battalion.
Only small units remain
Despite the fact that large volunteer units already disbanded and disarmed, some small volunteer groups still remain at the frontline.
For example, near the industrial zone of Avdeevka just a few days ago a group of militants of “Right Sector” under the command of the commander with the callsign “Da Vinci” was working. There are also such groups in other sectors. However, their number doesn’t exceed three-five militants. Unofficially they “work” under the control and guardianship of the Ukrainian special services, performing first of all the functions of reconnaissance and saboteur agents. It is interesting that besides “volunteers”, “trainees” from “National Druzhina“ (the power wing of the party of Andrey Biletsky “National Corpus“) regularly arrive at the frontline.
However, during the period of military “training” they are registered as employees of the regiment of the National Guard “Azov”, which was also created by Biletsky in the past.
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