Crimes of the Shakhtersk battalion

Today, in an ongoing series of remarks about the volunteer units of the Ukrainian security forces, we will talk about the Shakhtersk battalion and its successor, the Tornado company.

In the new video:

- from Lyashko to Kolomoisky: how the Shakhtersk battalion was created»;

- rape and murder, beatings, illegal arrests, looting, as well as other crimes of the battalion soldiers;

- criticism of Shakhtersk by pro-Ukrainian activists;

- the reasons for the disbandment of the dobrobat and the further fate of its fighters.

After everything that Shakhtersk has done, it is not surprising that in early September 2014, the question of its disbandment was discussed at a meeting with the President of Ukraine Poroshenko.

Can you imagine now what the militants of this unit really did if they were dispersed at a critical time for the country?


Today, in our series of remarks about the volunteer units of the law enforcement agencies of Ukraine, we will talk about the Shakhtersk battalion and its successor-the Tornado company.

These units were not particularly promoted in the media, unlike "Azov" or "Donbass". They did not take an active part in the fighting, like "Aidar".

Nevertheless, they left behind a loud and vile fame. Very much so.

But about everything in order.

After the decision of the Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov to create volunteer units of the special purpose patrol service in the structure of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, such units began to appear like mushrooms after the rain. And representatives of various political forces played a special role in the creation of such units. Any more or less well-known political figure tried to create such a division under his command. After all, it is known that it is very convenient to have your own army.

People's Deputy of Ukraine Oleg Lyashko also followed this path. He was actively promoted during the Maidan, and after that, in May 2014, he tried to create his own dobrobat called "Ukraine". But the scale of Lyashko's activities, and most importantly his financial capabilities, did not allow him to realize this dream. However, a certain core of people for the new unit still gathered and even managed to shed the blood of the residents of Donbass, when on May 23, 2014, they tried to take control of the city of Torez, Donetsk region. Then several local unarmed residents were killed, and Lyashko's militants hastily retreated to Dnepropetrovsk. Among the participants of the events was the infamous Ruslan Onishchenko, who later became the deputy commander of Shakhtersk and the commander of the Tornado company. By the way, Onishchenko's last name is his wife's last name. His real name is Abalmaz. Well, I will add that by 2014, Onishchenko-Abalmaz had three criminal records on a whole bunch of articles: robbery, illegal imprisonment, hooliganism and even rape. But about this "hero" later.

Once in Dnepropetrovsk, the fighters of the failed dobrobat "Ukraine" turned for help to the governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region, Igor Kolomoisky, who actively contributed to the creation of such units. In addition, People's Deputy Lyashko and adviser Avakov Gerashchenko continued to provide assistance.

And in June 2014, the battalion was formed as part of the GU of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in the Dnipropetrovsk region, its fighters began to undergo training under the auspices of the regional police headquarters. On July 8, the first 80 people took the oath, after which the unit left for the district of Mariupol. The main task was determined to maintain order in the "settlements liberated from terrorists", and to detain armed separatists.

It should be noted that in the battalion "Shakhtersk" there were a lot of previously convicted persons. Even the chief military prosecutor of Ukraine, Matios, admitted that up to a quarter of the dobrobat's personnel were previously convicted.I will give an example from personal experience.

At the end of July 2014, during the rotation in Mariupol, I was responsible for the reception of detainees in the "library". Late one evening, a patrol of the Shakhtersk battalion brought another resident of Mariupol, who was detained for being outraged by the Maidan and its consequences in a minibus. And one of the people traveling in the same minibus at the checkpoint said that among the passengers there is an "obvious separatist". To the misfortune of this passenger, the mobile patrol of Shakhtersk was just at the checkpoint, which took the unfortunate man to the "library". It is worth adding that the "separ" was driving on the floor of the jeep, under the feet of the "liberators", who all the way explained to him how"we must love the Motherland".

But closer to the topic of criminals in the service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Due to the summer time, the form of clothing was far from the statutory, often unloading vests were simply put on T-shirts. But among the patrol of "Shakhtersk" I caught the eye of one of the fighters, who sported an unbuttoned vest on his naked body. At the same time, I saw a tattoo of so-called "domes" on his stomach, indicating that the owner of the tattoo has several trips to places of detention. I was pretty surprised by this, and while the senior patrol officer was writing a report, I asked a former criminal, and now a soldier of the battalion of the Ministry of Internal Affairs – whether he was trapped with such a tattoo to serve in a police unit? To which I received the answer that he also protects the Motherland and in general, shoulder straps are temporary, while he crushes all this Donbass scum and drives them "under the shkonka". And you can do things, as he put it, in uniform.

What cases this previously repeatedly convicted militant dobrobata spoke about is now widely known.

"Shakhtersk", together with the battalions "Azov" and "Dnepr" became just a curse of Mariupol.

If the last two divisions somehow observed the appearance of subordination to the leadership of the sector "M", then Shakhtersk did what it wanted. Subordination to orders, subordination, and discipline existed only on paper. Even the management of the sector often learned about the ongoing actions of dobrobat from the news on TV. This was the case, in particular, with the abduction of the chief of the Mariupol police Oleg Morgun on August 05, 2014. He was abducted by Shakhtersk fighters on the instructions of Oleg Lyashko, who announced that the head of the Mariupol police was an accomplice of the separatists. However, despite the vociferous accusations, the senior police officer was released the next day, and he returned to his duties.

When I described the events of the summer of 2014 in a remark about the Azov battalion, I mentioned that the employees of the Mariupol police refused to register crimes committed by the Dobrobatov militants. The kidnapping of Oleg Morgun is a clear example of why they didn't do it. The militants, who behaved like real punishers in Mariupol, could kidnap any person in the city. What to say about ordinary residents, if the police chief himself was injured.

One more terrible page of activity of dobrobats in Mariupol and in particular "Shakhtersk" - rapes and murders of young women and girls. In my rotation, there was a vivid example when it was the militants of "Shakhtersk" who stopped a jeep on the highway outside the city, in which a resident of Mariupol was traveling with his friend, a 19-year-old waitress of one of the restaurants in the city. The couple on Sunday evening returned from the recreation center on the beach. Dobrobatovtsy blocked the way to the car, pulled out the owner and threw him into his car, then brought him to the "library". The reason for the detention was called banal – a St. George ribbon on the rear-view mirror. No one else saw the pseudo-separatist's jeep or his companion. A month later, when I was already in Kiev, I received a call from one of the local employees of the SBU, who reported that the body of a young girl had been found in the reeds on the bank of the Kalmius River. And, allegedly, it was the same one that disappeared after being detained by the Shakhtersk battalion.

The crimes of dobrobats in Mariupol shocked even pro-Ukrainian activists. So, a well-known Ukrainian volunteer in the city, Lilia Bolbat, known online as "Lilia Ukrainskaya", published a post on her Facebook page dedicated to the crimes committed by Ukrainian units in the territory of Donbass. It is difficult to accuse her of pro-Russian sentiments or love for the republics of Donbass, the more valuable her testimony is.

I will allow myself to quote:

"It is no longer a secret that many did not go to war for the sake of their country. Not for your home or family! They came here for profit! The units included people from 5 higher educations to 5 walkers. And looting, robberies, theft of people for ransom, looting, murder began… Tell you how a dozen soldiers stole a young girl and raped her for 10 days before the child died?.. To tell how armed people came to the establishments of Mariupol and put a gun to the head of the owner, forced them to feed. And then for a month every day there were parties there. How they slowed down every passing car on the roads and took tribute from people. How did you participate in raiding operations? How did they keep people in basements and beat them, demanding money? The ugly truth? Nasty, isn't it? But it was!»

After all that Shakhtersk has done, it is not surprising that at the beginning of September 2014, the question of its "exploits" reached the very top. So much so that the issue of its disbandment was discussed at a meeting with the President of Ukraine Poroshenko on September 07, 2014. In the protocol decision on the results of the meeting, under the number 19, it is directly written: A. Avakov. To report on the implementation of measures to disband the Shakhtersk battalion.

By that time, "Shakhtersk" managed to participate in the fighting near Maryinka in early August and partly in the battles near Ilovaisk, where it suffered losses. However, despite the critical situation at the front after the Ilovaisk defeat, despite a serious blow to the image of all volunteer units, in early October 2014, the battalion of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine "Shakhtersk" was disbanded.

As Arsen Avakov said: "The Shakhtersk battalion, which fought well at Ilovaisk, was disbanded by me, because there were repeated cases of looting in Volnovakha and in other situations," he added that the looting was carried out by about 50 people out of 700 volunteers of the battalion.

One more time. In early September 2014, after the defeat at Ilovaisk, when the situation at the front hung in the balance, the country's leadership and the Ministry of Internal Affairs decided to disband the volunteer battalion "Shakhtersk", gently pointing out that the reason – some facts of looting. Can you imagine now what the militants of this unit really did, if they were dispersed at such a critical time? You can say as much as you like that the crimes of the dobrobats are an invention of Russian propaganda, but here, as they say, the fact is obvious.

So, on October 16, 2014, the Shakhtersk battalion was disbanded. Some of the militants were dismissed from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, some were re-formed into the patrol company of the police "Saint Mary", which remained in Mariupol. Most of them were members of the political party" Brotherhood " of Dmitry Korchinsky. Well, the third part, led by the former deputy.commander Ruslan Onishchenko-Abalmaz, went to recruit other units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Later, a patrol company of the special purpose militia "Tornado"was formed from them.

But I will tell you about this unit in another remark.


Arsen Avakov

Oleg Lyashko

Ruslan Abalmaz

Igor Kolomoisky


Shakhtersk Battalion

Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine