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29 Jan 2016

National Guard volunteer battalions. "Donbass" – the path of formation

 

At the beginning of the antiterrorist operation in the east of Ukraine the ability of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations to perform their tasks was limited because the needs of army development and improvement were systematically neglected by the previous authority, and the combat potential was deliberately reduced.

 

At that time the pledge of the country's defense was the initiative of patriotic citizens, who created the volunteer units to protect the country from separatism and aggression.

 

The battalion named after General Kulchytskyi and the "Donbass" battalion were formed by activists from "Maidan" and other patriotic citizens. They were included to the National Guard of Ukraine from the very first days of its formation and development.

 

Each of them has its historical traditions and battle path. They were the first who entered into an unequal confrontation with well-armed enemy.

 

Donbass Battalion was involved into its first fight on May 25, 2014 near the village Karlovka (Donetsk region).

 

In early June 2014 according to the decision of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine the volunteer battalion joined the National Guard of Ukraine.

 

During July 2014 the battalion fought near Horlivka and Popasna, three volunteers were killed there. On July 22, 2014 Popasna was liberated from militants.

 

On July 23rd, battalion moved to the area near Lysychansk (Luhansk region) with the purpose to liberate the town, and on July 24th "Donbass" with other army units managed to liberate it. And together with the soldiers of the 24th Mechanized Brigade and the 95th Separate Airmobile Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine raised the state flag over the building of Town Executive Committee.

 

Then within a few days the unit carried out mopping-up operations in Lysychansk. As a result a large militants’ food and weapon caches were discovered at the territory of one of the factories.

 

The battalion also took part in the mopping-up operations in the village Zolote and battles for Pervomaisk.

 

On August 10, 2014 the operation on liberation of Ilovaisk was started. The "Donbass" battalion played a key role in those combat operations.

 

But due to the absence of appropriate powerful weapons, armored vehicles and interference of the Russian regular troops, the battalion was forced to retreat and suffered significant losses, 22 killed, 39 injured and wounded, 111 were taken captive  and 20 went missing.

 

From January to February 2015 the battalion took part in the combat operations near settlements Vyhlehirsk, Nikishyno, Chernukhino. Novohryhorivka, Debaltseve and Logvinovo. The unit also suffered heavy losses there: 8 killed, 8 injured, 1 taken captive and 2 went missing.

 

The battalion’s overall losses during the anti-terrorist operation are as follow: 67 killed, 173 wounded, 20 men missing in action.

 

For personal courage and heroism demonstrated while defending the state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, 245 “Donbass” battalion soldiers received state awards of Ukraine, 66 of them posthumously. Awards of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine were presented to 11 servicemen, including three presentational firearms, 120 received awards of the National Guard of Ukraine.