“We Will Blow up the Regime From the Inside”: Why Dmitry Yarosh Needs “Stormtrooper” Units in Every Region of Ukraine

Ultra-right Ukrainian nationalists are going to “blow up the regime from within”.

It is under this unofficial motto that on July 28th in the village of Pokrovsk in the Dnepropetrovsk region the meeting – “Provid” of commanders of UVA (Ukrainian Volunteer Army) took place. This paramilitary group is illegal and is not a part of any of the official law enforcement bodies in Ukraine, despite the repeated attempts to include it there.

The leadership of the “Governmental Initiative of Yarosh” – “DIYA” – organisation was also present in the same place.

The Ukrainian “Strana” news agency understood what was decided by nationalists at the congress.

“Union of Defence of Ukraine”

A decision on the creation in regions of a system of territorial defence under the aegis of “UVA” was the main project that was discussed by the nationalists.

According to the concept, in each region a regional training center for militants of territorial battalions who on “D-Day” at any time can orderly take up weapons should be created and show “resistance to the enemy”.

For this purpose, Dmitry Yarosh and his accomplices suggest to create a general paramilitary organisation called “Union of Defence of Ukraine” with a branched system of regional and district branches on the basis of which groups of militants-volunteers should be created.

As sources in “UVA” told “Strana”, the number of primary regional groups is not regulated. However, it is assumed that the district must pass through annual assemblies as a part of the regional sub-units of the “Union of Defense of Ukraine”.

Training at a training camp in accordance with NATO standards will be provided by veteran “UVA” militants who fought in Donbass. It is interesting that in addition to normal military skills like reading maps, firing, and mountaineering assault, in the program of training of volunteers there are also ideology lessons.

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The nationalists’ idea of creating voluntary paramilitary divisions is nothing new – after World War I in Germany “voluntary corps” – Freikorps, the members of which later formed the first units of “stormtroopers” of the Sturmabteilung (the military wing of Hitler’s Nazi party).

According to one “UVA” militant, the main goal of the new organisation of Dmitry Yarosh is the creation of a territorial radical nationalist base. “We will blow up the regime from within,” said the source of “Strana” in the “UVA” concerning the idea of the organisation.

The commander of the 8th separate battalion of “UVA”, “Aratta”, Andrey Gergert with the call sign “Cherven” was appointed as the head of the “Union of Defense of Ukraine” – territorial units of nationalists.

By the way, earlier Dmitry Yarosh prepared a bill for the creation of a “reserve army” based on “UVA”, which would become a part of the UAF, and would possess training grounds, centers, and regular weapons.

However, Yarosh ceased to be on friendly terms with the UAF since last autumn, and it is this that the transfer of efforts to the “civil field” is connected to.

How “UVA” was squeezed out from the frontline

The units of the Ukrainian Volunteer Army fought in Donbass until the autumn of 2018. The nationalists were brought from the front line after their failure to become a part of the UAF and sign contracts.

The process began after the ATO’s conversion to the OUF, when in May of the same year all the power in a zone of the conflict was handed to the military personnel.

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Thus, on July 9th, the commander of the OUF Sergey Nayev said that the stay of armed volunteers who are not a part of the structures that are officially involved in combat operations are from now forbidden at the front line.

Nayev did not specify what units he was referring to, but it is obvious that he meant the “Ukrainian Volunteer Army” and “Right Sector“, which indeed were not a part of the either the UAF or the National Guard.

And, according to “Strana”, the disarmament of “wild” volunteer battalions started even in the spring of 2018. Near Marinka “Kord” (Ukrainian National Police Rapid Operational Response Unit) ordered the same “Aratta” of Gergert-Chervan, who will now head “groups of territorial battalions”, to hand over their weapons.

However, officially the authorities tried to show that there isn’t any conflict. And the commander of the OUF Nayev even posted friendly photos with Yarosh. Thus those in the ATO disproved the sensational video allegedly showing Yarosh’s base being stormed by the special troops of the SBU.

However, there wasn’t smoke without fire. In the autumn, in October Dmitry Yarosh officially declared that his units were leaving Donbass. In reality they were removed for all the summer. And in the middle of the autumn the process was complete.

This was the end of the long epic of the behind-the-scenes fight for an exit from Donbass of non-obedient military formations. The fight that the authorities tried to hide, saying that Yarosh’s relationship with volunteers is “peace, friendship, chewing gum”.

However, already back then Yarosh said that nothing is yet over. He announced that creation of the territorial battalions across all of Ukraine that was discussed by nationalists the other day. 

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Нам нужно сделать все возможное, чтобы реванш, о котором кто-то много говорит, контрреволюционный реванш нечисти не произошел. Мы не допустим никакого реванша в этом государстве. Надо будет валить – будем валить, а что делать? В конце концов, мы этим четыре с половиной года занимаемся

“We need to do everything possible so that the counterrevolutionary revenge of evil spirits that some speak so much about doesn’t happen. We will not allow any revenge in this state. If it will be necessary to strike – we will do it, otherwise what can be done? In the end, we have been involved in this for four and a half years,” said Yarosh during a speech in the Dnepropetrovsk regional state administration in October 2018.

Judging by this quote, the internal pre-election front was the purpose of the new activity of Yarosh’s “army” expelled from Donbass. However, further events showed that the services of nationalists on this front were not needed – they didn’t play any significant role in the election. And “Svoboda” – which united Yarosh, Tyagnibok, and Biletsky – gained a pitiful percentage of votes.

After this failure, as we see, nationalists have come back to the idea of creating “deep lying” units, which one day will strike.


Aleksandr Sibirtsev

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