Ukrainian National Guard
The National Guard of Ukraine is a military formation with law enforcement functions, which is part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and is designed to protect and protect life, rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of citizens, society and the state from criminal and other illegal encroachments, protection public security and order and ensuring public safety, as well as in cooperation with law enforcement agencies - on state security and protection of the state border, cessation of terrorist activities, illegal paramilitary or armed groups (groups), terrorist organizations, organized groups and criminal organizations. In accordance with the law, the National Guard of Ukraine participates in cooperation with the Armed Forces of Ukraine in repelling armed aggression against Ukraine and eliminating armed conflict by conducting military (combat) operations, as well as in performing territorial defense tasks. The main functions of the National Guard of Ukraine are:
- protection of the constitutional order of Ukraine, the integrity of its territory from attempts to change them by force;
- protection of public safety and order, ensuring the protection and safeguarding of life, health, rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of citizens;
- participation in ensuring public safety and protection of public safety and order during meetings, rallies, marches, demonstrations and other mass events that endanger the lives and health of citizens;
- ensuring the protection of public authorities, the list of which is determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, participation in the implementation of measures of state protection of public authorities and officials;
- protection of nuclear installations, nuclear materials, radioactive waste, other sources of ionizing radiation of state property, important state facilities, the list of which is determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine;
- protection of special cargoes, the list of which is determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine;
- protection of diplomatic missions, consular posts of foreign states, missions of international organizations in Ukraine;
- protection of the central bases of material and technical support of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, protection and defense of military facilities, bases (institutions, establishments) of the National Guard of Ukraine;
- participation in the implementation of measures related to the cessation of armed conflicts and other provocations at the state border, as well as measures to prevent mass crossing of the state border from the territory of neighboring states;
- participation in special operations to neutralize armed criminals, in the fight against sabotage and reconnaissance forces of the aggressor (enemy), termination of non-statutory paramilitary or armed formations (groups), organized groups and criminal organizations in Ukraine, as well as in activities related to the cessation of terrorist activities;
- participation in the cessation of mass riots;
- participation in the restoration of law and order in case of interethnic and interfaith conflicts, unblocking or cessation of illegal actions in case of seizure of important state facilities or areas that threaten the safety of citizens and disrupt the normal functioning of public authorities and local governments;
- participation in the maintenance or restoration of law and order in areas of particularly severe emergencies of man-made or natural nature (natural disasters, catastrophes, especially large fires, use of means of destruction, pandemics, panzootia, etc.) that threaten life and health;
- participation in the restoration of the constitutional order in the event of attempts to seize state power or change the constitutional order through violence, in the restoration of the activities of public authorities, local governments;
- participation in liquidation of consequences of emergencies or crisis situations on the objects protected by it;
- participation in the implementation of measures of the legal regime of martial law;
- participation in the implementation of territorial defense tasks;
- defense of important state facilities, special cargoes, the lists of which are determined by the President of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, central bases of material and technical support of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine;
- participation in the cessation of group illegal actions of persons taken into custody, convicts, as well as the elimination of the consequences of such actions in pre-trial detention facilities, execution of sentences;
- ensuring the entry of information into the Unified Register of Persons Missing in Special Circumstances, and maintaining such information in the current state within the limits specified by law.
- Organization and procedure for military service for the protection of nuclear facilities, nuclear materials, radioactive waste, other sources of ionizing radiation of state property, important state facilities and special cargo, as well as the rights and responsibilities of servicemen involved in such service , are determined by the relevant statute approved by law.
As the crisis heated up in eastern Ukraine, the country worked to recruit and mobilize local, regional militias to boost the under-powered armed forces. Semyon Semyonchenko, the commander of the Donbas volunteer militia, said, “We are looking for men who are first of all ready to die for their motherland, in case of need, better to avoid it, but this readiness to fulfill their duty until the end is what distinguishes a soldier from the quitter who just drops his weapon and runs away.”
With some 40,000 volunteers said to be coming forward to join a proposed new National Guard, Ukraine's new pro-Western authorities took tentative steps towards overhauling a military outgunned and outmanned by Russia. "It's necessary to create the National Guard on the basis of the Ukrainian Troops, whose purpose will be to protect the country and citizens against all criminals, external and internal aggression. It's necessary to announce partial mobilization into the National Guard and the Armed Forces of Ukraine," Turchinov said during a morning plenary meeting of parliament on 11 March 2014.
The National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine (NSDC) decided to establish the National Guard on the basis of the Interior Troops. On 12 March 2014 parliament considered a bill to create a 33,000-strong force. Initiated by Acting President Oleksander Turchinov, the bill tasked the guard with maintaining public order, protecting sites like nuclear power plants and “upholding the constitutional order and restoring the activity of state bodies”.
The personnel of the National Guard of Ukraine might include 45,000-50,000 people, according to the MP, former Defense Minister Oleksandr Kuzmuk. "The actual number of the personnel in the National Guard of Ukraine might amount to 45,000-50,000 people," he told journalists. In addition, former Defense Minister of Ukraine explained, "My vision is that the foundation [of the guard] should be reserve officers and the military basis of the Interior troops, who are the most battle-worthy."
Ukraine's parliament voted 13 March 2014 to create a 60,000-strong National Guard as a step to strengthen defense. The move, supported by 262 parliamentarians, basically recreates the Guard Ukraine used to have back from 1991 to 2000. The new National Guard would be created on the basis of internal troops.
The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, adopted a resolution appointing Stepan Poltorak as commander of the National Guard of Ukraine. A total of 235 deputies voted for a respective decision on 15 April 2014. Major General Poltorak is a native of Odesa region. He has been in the military service since 1983. From March 2002, he served as head of the Academy of Interior Troops of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry.
Despite the 13 March 2014 authorization of a 60,000-strong National Guard and reports of 40,000 volunteers eager to join, the actual results a few months later were a tenth these numbers.
In April 2014 the head of MIA Avakov AB decided to form a volunteer corps of special forces of public order - special police patrol battalions (PSMOP) - for protection of public order. As of 16 June according to the information Arsen Avakov areas in Ukraine zformovano 30 regional special forces PSMOP planned number of 5,660 people, of which about 3,000 people were serving. These are not to be confused with territorial defense battalions of Ukraine.
The National Guard of Ukraine itself does not have any volunteer battalions. There are newly formed battalions for operation purposes which have been brought up to strength with reservists. As the National Guard of Ukraine itself has no “volunteer battalions”, volunteers are attached to units in the National Guard. “Donbass” battalion has a special status – it is a battalion for operation purposes, and its servicemen sign contracts to join the military reserve of the National Guard of Ukraine.
On 05 April 2014, the first volunteer battalion operational purpose of the National Guard of Ukraine (1 BOP NSU) was formed with an oath of allegiance to Ukraine. Five hundred guards aged from 18 to 55 years had earlier trained for three weeks through a special military training. The first battalion of the National Guard, formed of the Maidan volunteers, left for the east of Ukraine on 15 April 2014. NSDC Secretary Andriy Parubiy wrote: "The first battalion of the National Guard, formed of volunteers of the Maidan's Self-Defense, left for the front. Fighters have high morale and readiness to defend Ukraine. It is very difficult. I know since I have only recently returned from Luhansk, where I spent the whole week. But I'm sure that we shall win because God is with us and Ukraine."
In May and June 2014, with reservists NGU was additionally formed three volunteer battalions National Guard operational purpose (BOP NGU). On 27 May 2014, Deputy Interior Minister Sergei Spring reported that the Ministry of the Interior had launched a third battalion of the National Guard. National security and Defense Council Secretary Andrey Parubiy said the second battalion of the National Guard of Ukraine already had military posts around Slavyansk (Donetsk region). The National Guard of Ukraine started forming the fourth reserve battalion, Deputy Commander of the National Guard, Maj.-Gen. Alexander Krivenko, said at a press briefing of the National Guard 19 June 2014. According to him, the third battalion at that time was finalizing work at the training centre of the National Guard.
US troops deployed to western Ukraine in Spring 2015 to train the Ukrainian National Guard. The training was set to take place at the Yavoriv Training Area near the city of L'viv, although the exact number of troops taking part was not initially confirmed. The training is part of US State Department efforts "to assist Ukraine in strengthening its law enforcement capabilities, conduct internal defense, and maintain rule of law." The US had earmarked $19 million of funding in from its Global Security Contingency Fund, to help train and equip soldiers.
The United States would deploy personnel in early March to train the Ukrainian national guard, US 173rd Airborne Brigade Commander Colonel Michael Foster said. “Before this week is up, we’ll be deploying a battalion minus… to the Ukraine to train Ukrainian forces for the fight that’s taking place,” Foster stated. “What we’ve got laid out is six United States companies that will be training six Ukrainian companies throughout the summer.” The training will take place at the level of US and Ukrainian national guard companies, Foster explained, adding that “we have nothing above battalion staff level” engaged in the military training.
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