Ukrainian MP Andriy Biletsky, has warned that corruption is pervasive in the National Guard of Ukraine (NGU), and that the National Guard contains high-ranking officers who harbor separatist sympathies and connections. Biletsky is a founder of the Azov Battalion (now, the Azov Regiment), and has recently established the National Corps political party. In a blog post for Ukrainian Pravda, Biletsky writes:
I can no longer stay quiet about the situation in the National Guard of Ukraine. The situation is absolutely abnormal for the third year of war – in leadership positions, there are outright separatists and there’s systematic corruption. The situation in the National Guard isn’t distant from me – the majority of the soldiers and officers are my brothers-in-arms, with whom I spent the 2014-2015 years of the war. The situation of which I speak – is not the result of the actions of the majority of National Guard officers, who are honestly carrying out their duty to their country. This is exclusively a crime at the top levels.
The leadership of the National Guard is threatening the defense capabilities of our country.
I’m accusing the leadership of the National Guard of outright protection of separatist officers. The latest examples that have emerged in the media space are beyond comprehension. The Deputy Chief of the Central Operational-Territorial Division of the National Guard, Colonel Oleksandr Golyakov is a separatist. In February 2014, under the flags of the Party of Regions, he created the Kryvyi Rih region’s anti-Maidan movement, and called on people to enlist in the “Kryvyi Rih Guard.” These “Guard” types killed participants in the [Maidan] Revolution, and later became a key force in the seizure of regional administration buildings, and the exacerbation of the situation in Ukraine. Another example is Lieutenant Colonel Yuri Kolmyk, deputy commander of military unit 3057. During the time of the offensive of Russian troops in Crimea, and in Donbas, this officer actively propagandized for the DNR, and in favor of it joining Russia, on social networks. NGU Captain Yuri Zaderin, in social networks, advocated for the creation of Novorossiya, supported Putin, and supported the actions of the Berkut on Maidan.
Biletsky proceeds to state that a story was recently published about a military nurse who was recent detained while traveling to the Russia-occupied territories of Donbas. Reports by Depo.ua suggest that the details of that story remain murky: according to Azov’s, the nurse went to the occupied Donbas territories “on personal business”; following the publication of the nurse’s detention in Donbas, the National Guard denied that the woman was affiliated with the Ukrainian army; another report states that the woman was dismissed “after she was taken captive” in Donbas. It is alleged that the nurse was working for the medical center affiliated with the 3057 military unit mentioned above by Biletsky.
Biletsky states that the DNR only take low-level staff such as nurses as captives, although it’s known that NGU officers make similar trips to the occupied territories. The officers then return to Ukraine, and continue serving in the NGU – Biletsky believes that this implies a tacit agreement between these NGU officers, and the DNR and their Russian curators. He also states that this situation is known at the highest levels of the NGU. Biletsky continues:
I, with the help of a team of volunteers, am preparing to disclose the corruption in the National Guard. We already have proof that this system is stealing every third hrivnya. Soon, I will be ready to fully disclose the details of these facts.
I’ll mention another topic – the systematic elimination of the volunteer battalions by the leadership of the National Guard. Those grand patriots of our homeland, who were the first volunteers, who went practically empty handed to fight to the death for Ukraine, can barely be found. Where are they? They’re gradually being diluted, disbanded, and dismissed. Remember the “Donbas” battalion – they couldn’t be destroyed in Ilovaisk, but now, this is being done procedurally. From my Azov brothers, I hear pleas to save the [Azov] Regiment practically every day. We created one of the best military units in Ukraine. Self-sufficient, motivated, and armed. Our tankists and artillerists were the best in 2016. But in the last year – the National Guard didn’t give us any armor, and our fighters received the lowest salaries. We survived the last year with great debt. At the same time, the leadership flooded the Regiment with checks and inspections.
I’d like to address the Commander in Chief, President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, the Chief Military Prosecutor, Anatolii Matios, Minister of Internal Affairs, Arsen Avakov, Head of the Security Service of Ukraine, Vasyl Hrytsak – you are fully responsible for the situation in the National Guard of Ukraine. You will be liable for crimes, if these people stay in power. This has to end. If we allow such a National Guard leadership – this means, that we have become part of that system. The choices that each of us have to make are obvious.
Glory to Ukraine,