Russian separatist forces in Donbas

The Pro-Russian separatist forces of the war in Donbas is the umbrella term for the militias and armed volunteer groups affiliated with the pro-Russian unrecognized breakaway Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic. These groups were formerly unified as the United Armed Forces of Novorossiya (Russian: Объединённые Вооруженные Силы Новороссии; acronym NAF),[2][6] which would have been affiliated with the unrecognized political union called Novorossiya (New Russia). It consists of the Donbas People's Militia,[7][8] the Luhansk People's Militia and autonomous armed groups. They are designated as terrorist groups by the Government of Ukraine.[9]

Russian separatist forces in Donbas
Российские сепаратистские силы на Донбассе
Founded3 March 2014[1]
(as Donbas People's Militia)
Current form16 September 2014[2]
WebsiteOfficial Website of the Directorate of the People's Militsiya of the DPR
Supreme Commander-in-Chiefs Denis Pushilin
Leonid Pasechnik
Commanders of the People's Militia Directorate Major General Denis Sinenkov[3]
Guards Colonel Yan Leshchenko[4]
Active personnel~ 42,500 (June 2015)[5]
Foreign suppliers Russia (Allegedly)

The Donbas People's Militia was formed by Pavel Gubarev, who was elected "People's Governor" of Donetsk Oblast.[10] It was originally involved in taking control of Ukrainian government buildings in the oblast. Tensions increased to the point of the militia being actively involved in fighting a war against the Ukrainian government in the Donbas region of Ukraine. The militia was accused by the Ukrainian government of culpability in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on 17 July 2014, but the Donetsk People's Republic disputed this claim.[11] The militias of the Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic merged on 16 September 2014, forming the "United Armed Forces of Novorossiya".[2]

It is widely believed that the separatists are supported by the Russian Armed Forces.[12] Although the Russian government often denies direct involvement, stating that their soldiers were there voluntarily and not under orders, some of them were captured with documents that said otherwise.[13] The separatists have admitted receiving supplies from Russia and being trained there. BBC reported that separatist ranks are composed of thousands of Russian citizens.[13][14] Registered Cossacks of the Russian Federation have been reported to also be supporting the separatists. DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko claimed in August 2014 that there are around 3,000 to 4,000 Russian volunteers fighting for the militia, which includes current and many retired Russian Army servicemen.[15]

Since September 2015, the separatist units, at the battalion level and up, are acting under direct command of Russian Army officers, with former local commanders sometimes serving as their deputies.[16]


Pro-Russian rally in Donetsk on April 6, 2014

On 3 March 2014, during the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine, groups of protesters took control of the regional administration building in Donetsk.[17] A newly created armed opposition group named the Donbas People's Militia participated in it and was led by Pavel Gubarev.[17] This happened when 11 Ukrainian cities with significant populations of ethnic Russians erupted in demonstrations against the new Ukrainian government.[17] On 6 April 2014, 2,000 pro-Russian protesters rallied outside the regional administration building.[18] On the same day, groups of protesters in Eastern Ukraine stormed the regional administration building in Kharkiv, and the SBU headquarters in Luhansk.[10] The groups created a people's council and demanded a referendum like in Crimea.[18][nb 1] Within a few days, several government buildings in cities such as Kramatorsk and Sloviansk were also stormed.[27][28] On 12 April, the supporters of the Donetsk People's Republic and members of Donbas People's Militia set up checkpoints and barricades in Sloviansk.[29] The same day, former members of the Donetsk "Berkut" unit joined the ranks of the Donbas People's Militia.[30]

On 13 April, the newly established Ukrainian government gave the separatists a deadline to disarm or face a "full-scale anti-terrorist campaign" in the region.[31] Later that day, the first reports of fighting was reported between the people's militia and Ukrainian troops near Sloviansk, with casualties on both sides.[32][33] On 14 April, members of the Donbas People's Militia blocked Ukrainian military KrAZ truck's armed with Grad missiles from entering the city.[34][35] On 15 April, a full scale "Anti-Terrorist Operation" was launched by the Ukrainian government with aim of restoring their authority over the areas seized by the militia.[36]

Sloviansk city council under control of Russian Registered Cossacks[37] on 14 April 2014
DPR troops in Donetsk during a rehearsal for the 2015 Victory Day parade

On 16 April, the militia entered Sloviansk with six BMD airborne amphibious tracked infantry fighting vehicles[38][39] they obtained from parts of the 25th Airborne Brigade[40] who had switched allegiance.[41][42][43] A Ukrainian military column was disarmed after the vehicles were blockaded by locals in Kramatorsk.[44] The militia also received one self-propelled 120 mm mortar 2S9 "Nona-S"[45][46] On April 20, an unidentified armed group in civilian clothes attacked a Militia checkpoint at the entrance to the city of Sloviansk. Three attackers and three members of Militia were killed.[47] On May 14, eight members of Militia seized an IMR armored vehicle from Novokramatorsky Mashinostroitelny Zavod.[48]

On May 15, the Donbas People's Militia sent an ultimatum to Kiev. They demanded the withdrawal of all Ukrainian troops from Donetsk oblast.[49] On May 17, several members of the militia seized two BRDM unarmed armored vehicles from Severodonetsk and Lysychansk (Luhansk Oblast)[50] On May 22, the Federal State of Novorossiya was declared. On May 23, several members of people's militia seized another BRDM-RKh unarmed armored vehicle from Loskutovka (Luhansk Oblast)[51]

In July 2014, it was estimated that the manpower of the separatists was around 10,000 – 20,000 personnel.[52][53]

The militia were widely suspected to be involved in the downing of a civilian airliner, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, on 17 July 2014.[54][55]

On August 8, the militia claimed that after battles near border with Russia, they captured 67 pieces of equipment with varying status (serviceable equipment without ammunition and fuel, with faults, damaged in battle and completely unusable), including 18 multiple rocket launching systems "Grad", 15 tanks and armored personnel carriers, howitzers, MANPADS, etc.[56] As of August 12, the militia has at least 200 armored vehicles.[57]

The months of July and early August were disastrous for the militias with many analysts saying they were on the verge of defeat before a sudden counteroffensive, which the Ukrainian Government claims was supported by Russian troops, encircled thousands of Ukrainian troops and forced them into a retreat.[58] The militias soon re-captured several strategic positions such as Savur-Mohyla and Luhansk International Airport.[59] The armies of both the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) merged on 16 September 2014 to form the "United Armed Forces of Novorossiya".[2][60] It was formed under the command of Lieutenant General Ivan Korsun as commander-in-chief.[61]

On 2 February 2015, Head of the DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko, announced that there would be a general mobilization in the DPR of 10,000 volunteers, and he aimed to eventually expand the NAF to 100,000 soldiers.[62]

In March 2015, the estimated manpower of the separatists rose to 30,000 – 35,000 personnel.[63]

On 20 May 2015 the leadership of the Federal State of Novorossiya announced the termination of the confederation 'project'[64] but the United Armed Forces was retained as the joint armed service of the DPR and LPR.[65]


Oplot Brigade during a rehearsal for the 2015 Victory Day parade

The militias consist of different armed groups, which took the oath for Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic. Militant groups which refused to do it were disarmed as gangs in the DPR.[66] Other groups are autonomous forces.[67]

According to The Ukrainian Week, there is a Donetsk Operative Command set up in May 2016 by Russia that coordinates military efforts of the Donetsk People's Republic.[68] The tank battalions they claim Russia can deploy is the DPR Diesel Battalion, and LPR August Battalion.[68] Euromaidan Press reported in September 2018 that the United Armed Forces of Novorossiya comprised two army corps: the 1st corp called the “People’s Militia of the DNR” and the 2nd corps called “People’s Militia of the LNR”.[69]

On 28 December 2018 commander of the Ukrainian Navy Ihor Voronchenko claimed that the DPR had created a flotilla stationed at Novoazovsk made up of about 25 converted fishing boats.[70] According to Voronchenko the DPR had named this flotilla the "9th Regiment of the Marine Corps".[70]

Combat forces

Flag of the Vostok Battalion
Flag of the Sparta Battalion
Flag of the Somalia Battalion
Donetsk People's Republic

Donbas People's Militia (Russian: Народное ополчение Донбасса)

  • North Battalion (Russian: Батальон «Север») (unofficial)[71]
  • 1st Sloviansk Brigade (Russian: 1-ая Славянская бригада) – Brigade that was formerly commanded by Igor “Strelkov” Girkin.[72]
  • Patriotic Forces of Donbas[73] (Russian: Патриотические силы Донбасса)
  • Oplot Brigade (Russian: Батальон «Оплот», meaning "Bulwark Battalion") – Commanded by Alexander Zakharchenko.[80][81] Originally a battalion, it expanded to a brigade by May 2015.
  • Russian Orthodox Army (Russian: Русская православная армия) – A senior commander of the unit is Alexander Verin.[81] One of the armed groups, which control Donetsk, formed mostly by locals from coal mine towns.[82] It reportedly had 100 members at the time of its founding. According to Ukrainian sources, in June 2014 has at least 350 fighters.[83] According to independent sources as fighting between separatists and the Ukrainian government worsened in Donbas, membership rose to 4,000.[84]
  • Miner's Division (Russian: Шахтёрская дивизия) – Founded shortly after the rebel withdrawal from Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. It is commanded by Konstantin Kuzmin. Fighters typically range from ages 22–60. Composed of former coal miners.[85]
  • Consolidated Orthodox Battalion "Voshod" or Voshod Battalion (Russian: Батальон «Восход», meaning "Sunrise Battalion") – Formed in June 2014, it had 300 fighters.[87]
  • Steppe Battalion (Russian: Батальон «Степь»)[88]
  • DPR Security Service Battalion (Russian: Батальон службы безопасности Донецкой народной республики) – Security Service of the Donetsk People's Republic.[86]
  • Sparta Battalion (Russian: Батальон «Спарта») – Special forces battalion formed and led by Arsen Pavlov, known by the call sign Motorola until his assassination. Their current commander is Vladimir Zhoga, from Sloviansk and is known by the callsign Voha.[89]
  • 1st Separate Battalion-Tactical Group "Somalia" or Somalia Battalion (Russian: Батальон «Сомали») – Tactical group led by Lieutenant colonel Mikhail Tolstykh, known by the call sign Givi until his assassination.
  • DPR Republican Guard (Russian: Республиканская гвардия ДНР) – Elite unit created by Alexander Zakharchenko on January 12, 2015.[90][91] Commanded by Major-general Ivan Kondratov, and is composed of six battalions that totals more than 3,000 fighters.[91]
    • International Brigade "Pyatnashka" or Pyatnashka Brigade (Russian: Бригада «Пятнашка», meaning "15th Brigade") – International brigade commanded by Akhra Avidzba, known by the call sign Abkhaz. DPR positions in Marinka are held by this unit.[92]
  • Diesel Battalion (Russian: Батальон «Дизель») – Separate tank battalion formed in 2015 that is equipped with Soviet equipment, including T-72B1s.[68][93]
  • Mariupol-Khingan Naval Infantry (Russian: Мариупольско-Хинганский морская пехота) - Formed in 2016. The name is based on World War II Soviet 221st Infantry Mariupol-Khingan Red Banner Order of Suvorov Division.
Independent DPR forces
  • International Battalions – Includes Russian, Chechen, Greek, Ossetian, Polish, Hungarian, Serbian, Latvian, Belarusian, Uzbek, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Armenian and other volunteers.[94][95][96][97][98]
    • Orthodox Dawn (Bulgarian: Православна Зора) – Bulgarian volunteer group.[99]
    • Legion of Saint Stephen (Russian: Легион Святого Иштвана) – Hungarian subgroup of international battalions.[95] The group espouses a Hungarian nationalist platform, demanding self-determination for the Hungarian minority in Zakarpattia Oblast,[100] and has been accused of being close to the far-right Jobbik party in Hungary.[101]
    • Jovan Šević Detachment (Serbian: одред «Јован Шевић») – Serbian Chetnik-led group commanded by Bratislav Živković, has 250 fighters.[102] In October 2014 the fighters returned to Serbia.[103]
    • Carlos Palomino International Brigade (Spanish: Brigada Internacional Carlos Palomino) – Spanish volunteer group.
  • Varyag Battalion (Russian: Батальон «Варяг»), meaning "Varangian Battalion" – Volunteer battalion commanded by Alexander Matyushin.[104]
  • RNU Volunteer Units – Includes volunteers from Russian National Unity and other Neo-nazi organizations.[105][106]
Luhansk People's Republic

LPR People's Militia (Russian: Народная милиция ЛНР). Formerly known as Army of the South-East (Russian: Армия Юго-Востока) until late 2014.[107][108][109][110]

Independent LPR forces
Flag of the Prizrak Brigade
  • Great Host of Don Cossacks (Russian: Всевеликое войско Донское)[117] – An international organisation that recruits volunteers from Ukraine and Russia.[118]
    • Cossack National Guard (Russian: Казачья Национальная гвардия) – Don Cossack volunteer group commanded by Rashid Shakirzanov.[67] The group has over 4,000 fighters and have access to armor and artillery.[67] From May to November 2014, the group was commanded by Ataman Nikolai Kozitsyn.[67][119] Kozitsyn was forcibly removed from power in November 2014 and replaced by Shakirzanov.[67] The group's headquarters is in Antratsyt, and their rule expands to Krasnyi Luch.[67] Initially, this group was identified as Russian Special Forces by the U.S. State Department following the takeover of the Sloviansk city council.[120] In November 2014, the group instated capital punishment in Perevalsk to deter crime.[121] Kozitsyn stated that there is no more marauding, burglaries or car-jacking in the city.[121] They refused to join the LPR's military command but insist on cooperating with them, remaining autonomous and controlling territory.[67]
  • First Cossack Regiment (Russian: Первый казачий полк) – Don Cossack volunteer group commanded by Ataman Pavel Dryomov. The group has around 1,300 fighters, and the headquarters is in Stakhanov.[67] Originally part of Kozitsyn's Cossack National Guard until it split in September 2014.[67] Dryomov denounced the LPR's leadership as being corrupt and "pro-oligarchic".[67] Dryomov was killed on 12 December 2015 when his car was blown up by an unknown perpetrator the day after his wedding.[122]
  • Mechanized Brigade "Prizrak" or Prizrak Brigade (Russian: Бригада «Призрак», meaning "Ghost Brigade") – Mechanized infantry brigade that is commanded by Yuri Shevchenko. It was formed and led by Aleksey Mozgovoy until his assassination on 23 May 2015.[72] The group keeps its distance from the LPR authorities and is based in Alchevsk and the surrounding district.[67]
    • DKO (Russian: ДКО - Добровольческий коммунистический отряд) Volunteer Communist Detachment, an international organisation commanded by Piotr Biriukov.[123][124]
    • Continental Unit (French: Unité Continentale) – French, Serbian and Brazilian volunteer group.[125][126]
Flag of the Rapid Response Group "Batman"
  • United Battalions of the DPR and LPR.[127]
    • North Battalion
    • Prizrak Battalion
  • Rapid Response Group "Batman" or Batman Battalion (Russian: Группа быстрого реагирования «Бэтмен») – Commanded by Alexander Bednov until he was killed in an attack on his convoy on 1 January 2015.[128] Members of the group said that the attack was ordered by head of the Luhansk People's Republic Igor Plotnitsky.[128] According to them, Bednov and his fighters were killed "by order of Plotnitsky" because he was "ordered to sweep all intransigent commanders."[129][130] Following this attack, the LPR arrested some of Bednov's men, and dissolved the battalion.[131] Some of its personnel were dispersed into other LPR units, while DPR field commanders Givi and Motorola invited former members to join their battalions.[131]
    • Rusich Company (Russian: ДШРГ «Русич») – Special forces-type company commanded by Aleksey Milchakov. Made up of far-right Russian and other European volunteers.[131] On July 10, 2015, Milchakov announced that the Rusich Company would be withdrawing from Donbas for retraining and refitting.[132]

Non-combat units

  • Novorossiya Humanitarian Battalion (Russian: Гуманитарный батальон «Новороссия») – Non-combat unit involved in protecting the delivery of humanitarian aid.[133]


Former Head of the DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko

Donetsk People's Republic

Luhansk People's Republic


Vikings Battalion infantrymen with Russian military equipment in July 2015

According to independent sources, rebels mostly used equipment that was available domestically before the Ukrainian crisis. However, the rebels were also seen using weapons that were not known to be exported to or otherwise available in Ukraine. Appearance of some of the latest models of Russian military equipment, which was never exported outside of Russia, is particularly noteworthy.[140]

According to the Donetsk People's Republic, all its military equipment is "hardware that we took from the Ukrainian military".[141] However, according to the Ukrainian government and the United States Department of State, this is a false statement and claim the separatists have received military equipment from Russia, including multiple rocket launch systems and tanks.[142] Despite the fact that Russian officials deny supplying arms to the militia, numerous evidence proves that it is true.[140][142][143] In August 2014 Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Heletey claimed the proof for the weapons supply from Russia was that the fighters of the Donbas People's Militia were using Russian-made weapons that were never used (or bought) by the Ukrainian army.[144]

Among such exclusively Russian equipment seen with pro-Russian separatists are Russian modifications of tank T-72 (particularly T-72B3 and T-72BA seen destroyed in Ukraine[140][145]), infantry fighting vehicle BTR-82AM (adopted in Russia in 2013),[146][147] armored personnel carriers BPM-97,[148][149] sophisticated anti-aircraft system Pantsir-S1,[150][151] multipurpose vehicle GAZ Vodnik (adopted in Russia in 2005),[148] Russian modifications of MT-LB, rocket-propelled flamethrower MRO-A, anti-tank missile Kornet, anti-materiel rifle ASVK, suppressed sniper rifle VSS Vintorez and others.[140][146]

Military training

Higher Combined Arms Command School

The Donetsk Higher Combined Arms Command School (Russian: Донецкого высшего общевойскового командного училища) is a higher level institution in the ideological training of cadets.[152] People from both the DPR and LPR can enroll at the school.[153] It prepare future command cadres in four areas: reconnaissance, tank forces, infantry, and political officers. Upon graduation, the cadets are commissioned as lieutenants. Since the fall of 2016, the Military Lyceum is affiliated to the DHCACS.

Military-Physical Training Lyceum

Lyceum students on parade.
Members of the lyceum in their white dress uniform.

The Georgy Beregovoy Military-Physical Training Lyceum (Russian: Лицей с усиленной военно-физической подготовкой имени дважды Героя Советского Союза, летчика-космонавта СССР, генерал-лейтенанта Г.Т.Берегового) is an educational facility of the People's Militia, being akin to the Suvorov Military School or the Ivan Bohun Military High School. It was established on 15 May 1993 by decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as the Donetsk Higher Military-Political School of Engineering and Signal Corps. From 1993 to 2000, the Lyceum was with a three-year form of study. Over two decades, 2,793 graduates graduated from the institution, more than 1,000 of them currently serve in officer posts in various power structures of Ukraine.[154] It was renamed and converted in 2014, after which it has graduated more than 300 students since.[155] The school is open to boys between 14 and 16 years old, many of which come from military families. The cadets live at the school for 6 days a week.[156]

Relationship with Russia

As the conflict intensified, the Donbas People's Militia was bolstered with many volunteers from the former Soviet Union, mainly Russia; including fighters from Chechnya and North Ossetia.[157]

According to the Ukrainian government and the United States Department of State the Donbas People's Militia have received military equipment from Russia, including Russian tanks and multiple rocket launchers.[142] Russia denied doing this and has described the Russian citizens fighting with the Donbas People's Militia as volunteers.[142][158] The Donetsk People's Republic claimed on 16 August 2014 it had received (together with 30 tanks and 120 other armoured vehicles of undisclosed origin) 1,200 "individuals who have gone through training over a four-month period on the territory of the Russian Federation".[159][160] Prime Minister of the DPR Alexander Zakharchenko stated in August 2014 that they have not received military equipment from Russia; but that all its military equipment is "hardware that we took from the Ukrainian military".[141]

The injured of the Donbas People's Militia were exclusively treated in Russia.[157] During mid-August 2014, hospitals such as the Donetsk Central Hospital in Donetsk, Russia attended to between 10 and 20 injured fighters daily.[157] The Russian Emergency Ministry assisted with treatment logistics.[157] Those questioned and registered by the (Russian) Federal Security Service[157] and treated in Russia during this period stated that they would not return to Ukraine if the Ukrainian army won the war in Donbas,[157] but would, instead, engage in a partisan warfare campaign in Eastern Ukraine.[157]

See also



  1. "Самым неспокойным городом Украины в последние дни неожиданно стал Донецк. «Народное ополчение Донбасса» ... еще 3 марта взяло штурмом областную администрацию"
    Русский и бессмысленный // LENTA.RU от 6 марта 2014
  2. ДНР и ЛНР приступили к созданию Армии Новороссии. Novorossiya (in Russian). 16 September 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  3. "Почётный иуда Донбасса ("Синий")".
  4. "Главарь "милиции ЛНР" Ян Лещенко пострадал при взрыве в Луганске - РосСМИ".
  5. "Pro-Russian rebels have 40,000-strong army, sufficient for 'mid-sized European state': Ukraine defence minister". ABC AU. 8 June 2015. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  6. "Donetsk, Luhansk armies to form armed forces". Information Telegraph Agency of Russia. 16 September 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  7. Жители Славянска поддержали «Народное ополчение Донбасса» // "Взгляд.RU" от 12 апреля 2014
  8. ""Народное ополчение Донбасса" строит баррикады"
    Протесты в Славянске Донецкой области // "ИТАР-ТАСС" от 13 апреля 2014
  9. Steven Rosenburg (5 June 2014). "Ukraine crisis: Donetsk rebel leaders still talking tough". BBC. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  10. "In northeast Ukraine, pro-Maidan occupiers are routed by counter-demonstrators". The Washington Post. March 1, 2014.
  11. Simon Shuster (17 July 2014). "Exclusive: Separatist Leader Says Rebels Did Not Shoot Down Flight MH17". Time. Archived from the original on July 17, 2014. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  12. "Ukraine crisis: 'Thousands of Russians' fighting in east". BBC. 28 Aug 2014.
    Ukraine conflict: Deadly flare-up on eastern front line, BBC News (18 February 2020)
  13. "Captured Russian troops 'in Ukraine by accident'". BBC. 26 Aug 2014.
  14. "Ukrainians say Russian troops captured them in east Ukraine". Reuters. 29 Sep 2014.
  15. Around 3-4 thousand Russian volunteers fighting for Donetsk People’s Republic militia. Information Telegraph Agency of Russia. 28 August 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  16. Russia and the Separatists in Eastern Ukraine, by Crisis Group Europe and Central Asia Briefing N°79 Kyiv/Brussels, 5 February 2016, page 8
  17. Andrew Roth (3 March 2014). "From Russia, 'Tourists' Stir the Protests". New York Times. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  18. "Pro-Russia Protesters Storm Government Buildings In Eastern Ukrainian Cities". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 6 April 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  19. "Pro-Russia activists declare establishment of 'Kharkiv people's republic'". Focus Information Agency. 7 April 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  20. "Kharkiv settles down, while pro-Russian separatists still hold buildings in Luhansk, Donetsk". Kyiv Post. 8 April 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  21. "Kharkiv city government building infiltrated by pro-Russian protesters". Kyiv Post. 13 April 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  22. "Кернес пообіцяв допомогти звільнити затриманих сепаратистів | Українська правда". Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  23. Kharkiv torn between Europe and Russia, Deutsche Welle (6 March 2014)
  24. "После нападения антимайдановцев на митинг Евромайдана в Харькове пострадало 50 человек : Новости УНИАН". 14 April 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  25. "Latest from the Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine". Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  26. "Latest from the Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine – based on information received up until 29 April 2014" (Press release). Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. 30 April 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  27. "Pro-Russian activists seize Interior Ministry branch in southeast Ukraine". GlobalPost. April 12, 2014.
  28. "Ukraine crisis: Another police building seized in east". BBC. April 12, 2014.
  29. На одном из блокпостов около Славянска слышна стрельба и взрывы // "Первый канал" от 13 апреля 2014
  30. «Это наши люди» // «Взгляд.RU» от 12 апреля 2014
  31. "Ukraine gives rebels deadline to disarm or face military operation". Reuters. April 13, 2014.
  32. "Ukraine crisis: Casualties in Sloviansk gun battles". BBC News. 13 April 2014.
  33. "Ukraine Army Launches 'Anti-Terror' Operation". Sky News via Yahoo! News. 13 April 2014.
  34. Народное ополчение Донбасса задержало грузовики со снарядами для "Града" на въезде в Славянск // "Интерфакс" от 14 апреля 2014
  35. "Представители "Народного ополчения Донбасса" задержали грузовик со снарядами к реактивной системе залпового огня (РСЗО) "Град" на одном из блок-постов возле города Славянск Донецкой области. Об этом сообщили 13 апреля местные СМИ. Источники в силовых структурах признали факт задержания "грузовика с вооружением", отметив, что задержанный автомобиль КрАЗ принадлежит Национальной гвардии Украины"
    СМИ: манифестанты задержали возле Славянска грузовик со снарядами к РСЗО "Град" // ИТАР-ТАСС от 14 апреля 2014
  36. "Ukraine launches counter-terrorism operation in Donetsk region". UPI. April 15, 2014.
  37. Babiak, Mat. "Insurgents Identified". Ukrainian Policy. Archived from the original on 23 April 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  38. "На сторону ополченцев в Славянске перешло уже около 60 военных". RIA. 16 April 2014.
  39. "власти Украины признали, что шесть боевых машин десанта (БМД) у армии отобрали ополченцы"
    Колонна украинской бронетехники под Краматорском прорвала "блокаду" местных жителей, угрожая гранатой // NEWSRU.COM от 16 апреля 2014
  40. "За здачу зброї десантниками у Краматорську відкрито провадження". 17 April 2014.
  41. "Pro-Russian troops enter Ukraine city". Irish Independent. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  42. "Ukraine crisis: combat vehicles with pro-Russian troops enter town". 16 April 2014.
  43. Anthony Faiola (16 April 2014). "In Ukraine, a crisis of bullets and economics". Washington Post. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  44. "Ukraine crisis: Military column 'seized' in Kramatorsk". BBC News.
  45. "самоходная артиллерийская установка «Нона»... была добровольна отдана сопротивлению десантниками 25-й аэромобильной бригады из Днепропетровска в середине апреля"
    Как устроена десантная машина «Нона» - символ сопротивления Донецкой республики // "Московский комсомолец" от 13 мая 2014
  46. Самооборона Славянска обстреляла Нацгвардию из самоходной установки «Нона» // "Взгляд.RU" от 12 мая 2014
  47. Атака на блокпост в Славянске: шестеро погибших // DELFI.LV от 20 апреля 2014
  48. Вооруженные люди вывезли с Новокраматорского завода списанную инженерную машину разграждения // "Интерфакс - Украина" от 14 мая 2014
  49. Ополченцы Донбасса поставили Киеву ультиматум // LENTA.RU от 15 мая 2014
  50. На Луганщине боевики похитили две БРДМ из пожарно-спасательных частей // УНИАН от 18 мая 2014
  51. Ополченцы захватили машину разведки на Луганщине // "iPress.UA" от 23 мая 2014
  52. Ukraine's next battle is Donetsk, but no bombs, please. USA Today. 12 July 2014.
  53. The army of the Lugansk and Donetsk People's Republics has 20,000 fighters - Gubarev. Information Telegraph Agency of Russia. 9 July 2014
  54. Zverev, Anton (Jul 17, 2014). "Malaysian airliner downed in Ukraine war zone, 295 dead". Reuters.
  55. Yuhas, Alan (7 July 2014). "Malaysia Airlines plane MH17 crashes in Ukraine - live updates". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  56. ДНР заявляет о захвате около 70 единиц военной техники силовиков|DPR claimed capturing about 70 pieces of military equipment // RIA Novosti, 8 August 2014
  57. Для контрнаступления под Донецком ополченцы подготовили 200 бронемашин| For a counter-offensive near Donetsk militia prepared 200 armored vehicles//, 12 August 2014
  58. "After Re-Establishing Supply Lines, Ukrainian Separatists Launch Counteroffensive". Forbes. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  59. "Ukraine crisis: Troops abandon Luhansk airport after clashes". BBC. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  60. "Kremlin-backed rebels form Novorossiya army". Kyiv Post. 16 September 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  61. "ДНР и ЛНР создали Объединенные вооруженные силы Новороссии". НТВ (in Russian). Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  62. "Ukraine rebels plan call-up, want 100,000-strong army". Reuters. 2 February 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  63. "Ukraine: Where Will the Russian-Backed Rebels Attack Next?". Newsweek. 23 May 2015. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  64. "Russian-backed 'Novorossiya' breakaway movement collapses". Ukraine Today. 20 May 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
    Проект «Новороссия» закрыт [Project "New Russia" is closed] (in Russian). 20 May 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  65. Euan MacDonald: Divide and re-conquer?, Kyiv Post (11 June 2016)
  66. "Бойцы народного ополчения Донбасса принесли присягу провозглашенной ДНР – Fighters of Donbas People's Militia took the oath for DPR (in Russian)". ТАСС.
  67. "Armed Formations in the Secessionist 'Luhansk Republic'". ICDS, Jamestown Foundation. 10 January 2015. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  68. "Expecting a restless August". The Ukrainian Week. 11 August 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  69. Who is who in the Kremlin proxy “Luhansk People’s Republic”, Euromaidan Press (7 September 2018)
  70. The militants created a "flotilla" in the Azov Sea - Voronchenko, Ukrayinska Pravda (28 December 2018)
  71. Батальон "Донбасс": второй бой под Карловкой [Battalion "Donbas": second battle of Karlivka] (in Russian). 6 July 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  72. Russia’s Donetsk Proxies Anticipate Ukrainian Siege Jamestown Foundation, Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 11 Issue: 149. 13 August 2014
  73. Патриотические силы Донбасса (in Russian). Patriotic Forces of Donbas.
  74. Ополченцы "ДНР" хотят создать на основе батальона "Восток" спецназ. RIA Novosti Ukraine. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  75. Alec Luhn (February 23, 2014). "Ukraine separatists celebrate Soviet holiday in Donetsk". The Guardian. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  76. Alec Luhn (June 6, 2014). "Volunteers or paid fighters? The Vostok Battalion looms large in war with Kiev". The Guardian. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  77. "Патриотические силы Донбасса: Сводка от бригады "Восток": опровержение о боях в Ясиноватой". Patriotic Forces of Donbas.
  78. Pistone, Luca (15 August 2015). "Paganos de Rodnovery también participan en el conflicto ucraniano" [Rodnovery Pagans participate in the Ukrainian conflict] (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 10 December 2015.
  79. "Locked up in the Donbas: A look at the mass arrests and torture of civilians in Donetsk and Lugansk". Meduza. 7 March 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  80. "Сводка от Стрелкова 24.07.2014 -Summary from Strelkov 24 July 2014". Информационный Корпус – Помощь Ополчению. Archived from the original on 2014-07-27.
  81. "Order from Chaos: Moscow's Men Raise a Rebel Army in Ukraine's East". Vice News. 4 June 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  82. "In the wake of Donbas Separatist: who are fighting on the side of the DPR?". DW.DE.
  83. "What is in the "DPR" scheme hierarchy of separatists". Зеркало недели – Дзеркало тижня – Mirror Weekly.
  84. Albina Kovalyova. ""Meet the Russian Orthodox Army, Ukrainian Separatists' Shock Troops". / NBC News. 16 May 2014". NBC News.
  85. "В ДНР формируется Шахтерская дивизия-Miner Division formed in DPR". Российская газета.
  86. "Три батальона ополченцев готовы отправиться в "горячие точки" Донецкой области -Three battalions of volunteers ready to go to the "hot spots" of Donetsk region (in Russian)".
  87. "Православный батальон "Восход" создан в ДНР". RIA Novosti. June 18, 2014. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  88. "Женский клуб леди". Женский клуб леди.
  89. "Separatist known as Vokha will become new commander of the Sparta Battalion". UA Wire. 24 October 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  90. "Pro-Russian rebels train for more fighting despite Ukraine truce". Reuters. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  91. О гвардии (in Russian). DPR Republican Guard. Archived from the original on 9 October 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  92. "Pyatnashka" commander becomes dad". Novorossia Today. 19 June 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  93. "Training of the "Diesel" battalion". Komsomolskaya Pravda. 9 August 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  94. "Бородай признал, что за ДНР воюют добровольцы с Северного Кавказа-Boroday acknowledged that volunteers from the North Caucasus are fighting for DPR (in Russian)".
    "СМИ: В боях на Украине участвуют ветераны войны в Южной Осетии- Media: Battles in Ukraine involve veterans from war in South Ossetia (in Russian)".
    "Добровольцы из Сербии едут на Донбасс – Volunteers from Serbia going to Donbas". Блокнот.
    "How Belarusians are fighting in Ukraine (in Russian)". Росбалт.
    "I was a separatist fighter in Ukraine". The Guardian. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
    "Uzbeks Adding To Ranks of Ukraine's Pro-Russian Separatists". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
    Ukraine war pulls in foreign fighters BBC 31 August 2014
  95. "В Донецке сформированы венгерские и польские интербригады -In Donetsk, Hungarian and Polish Brigade is formed (in Russian)". Новый День – Новый Регион.
  96. Госпогранслужба: среди террористов есть абхазцы [State Border Service: there are Abkhazians amongst the terrorists] (in Russian). 28 May 2014. Archived from the original on 29 May 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  97. BACZYNSKA, GABRIELA (1 June 2014). "More foreign fighters break cover among Ukraine separatists". Reuters.
  98. Weaver, Courtney (27 May 2014). "Chechens join pro-Russians in battle foreast Ukraine". Financial Times.
  99. ""Православна зора" праща бойна група в Украйна срещу Мамоническия Запад". 2 March 2014.
  100. Легион Святого Иштвана отправит добровольцев в Новороссию (in Russian). Информационное агентство «Новороссия». 1 June 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  101. Гецко вместе с фашистами "Йоббика" создают террористическую организацию "Легион святого Иштвана" (in Russian). Анонс Закарпатья. 1 June 2014. Archived from the original on 21 February 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  102. "For what are fighting the Serbian Chetniks in eastern Ukraine?". DW.DE.
  103. Хиљаде руских козака спремно да крене у рат за Косово и Метохију [Thousands of Russian Cossacks ready to go to war for Kosovo and Metohija] (in Serbian). 27 October 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  104. "В ДНР и ЛНР объявили о создании объединенной армии". Вести. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  105. Mezzofiore, Gianluca (1 September 2014). "Ukraine Crisis: Who Are the Russian Neo-Nazi Groups Fighting with Separatists?". International Business Times. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  106. Marlene Laruelle (June 26, 2014). "Is anyone in charge of Russian nationalists fighting in Ukraine?". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  107. "East Ukraine protesters joined by miners on the barricades". The Guardian. 12 April 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  108. "Боевому подразделению ЛНР вручили знамя". REGNUM News Agency. 11 November 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  109. "Штаб Народной милиции ЛНР: киевские силовики нанесли удары по окраине Луганска". ITAR TASS. 11 November 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  110. ""Армейские корпуса" реорганизовали в "оперативно-тактические объединения", обновлён командный состав – данные исследования "СтопТеррор"". (in Russian). 2016-08-11. Retrieved 2021-06-22.
  111. "2-я Отдельная Мотострелковая Бригада народной милиции ЛНР". СТОПТЕРРОР. 2015-12-23. Retrieved 2021-06-19.
  112. Нацболы отбили атаку карателей в ЛНР Archived 2014-11-13 at the Wayback Machine.
  113. Нацболы отбили атаку карателей в ЛНР.
  114. В бою под Луганском погиб Илья Гурьев.
  115. Нацбол Кирилл Манулин представлен к ордену.
  116. "БАТАЛЬОН СПЕЦНАЗНАЧЕНИЯ "ЛЕШИЙ" – одна из страниц истории рождения Новороссии". 30 September 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  117. "A Cossack revival in Russia". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 1 September 2004. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  118. Cossack against cossack Svetlana Bolotnikova, openDemocracy, 30 July 2014
  119. The Cossack Factor in Ukrainian War Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 11 Issue: 149, Jamestown Foundation, 13 August 2014
  120. "Does US evidence prove Russian special forces are in eastern Ukraine?". The Guardian. 22 April 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  121. Nataliya Vasilyeva (10 November 2014). "Ukraine rebels a disunited front run by warlords". Associated Press. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  122. Separatist Cossack Commander Reported Killed In Ukraine's Luhansk, Radio Free Europe (12 December 2015)
  123. "Donbass militia leader describes 'our attempt to build a more just society'". 2015-06-01.
  124. Координационный центр помощи Новороссии [Coordinational Centre for the assistance of Novorossia] (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2015-04-21. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  125. Ukraine : des volontaires français dans une brigade pro-russe nouvelobs, 26 July 2014
  126. "Two more volunteers arrived to Novorossiya from Brazil". Novorossia Today. 13 December 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  127. "Ополченцы уничтожили 10 единиц украинской бронетехники в боях у Саур-Могилы". ВЗГЛЯД.РУ.
  128. Eugene Volokh (January 2, 2015). "Batman killed in the Ukraine, allegedly on orders from The Carpenter". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  129. "Ополченцы обвинили Плотницкого в организации убийства Бэтмена". Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  130. "В Луганске убит обвиняемый в пытках командир ополченцев "Бэтмен"". РБК. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  131. "Secessionist Forces in Luhansk 'Republic': Order out of Chaos?". ICDS. 10 January 2015. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  132. "War on Donbas: terrorists fired from artillery at Svetlodarsk". PN. 10 July 2015. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  133. Наталия КУДРЯШОВА. "Сбор лекарств для юго-востока Украины: первая партия, собранная саратовцами, доставлена на границу – Collection of medicine for the south-east of Ukraine: the first batch collected in Saratov, delivered at the border (in Russian)".
  134. Ополчение юго-востока Украины провело перегруппировку сил |Militia in south-east Ukraine conducted regrouping // Rossiyskaya Gazeta. 12 April 2014
  135. "Prisoners of 'Demon' in war-torn Ukraine". BBC. 9 August 2014.
  136. "Pro-Russian rebels take Ukrainian town". CNN Video.
  137. Экс-министр ЛНР сидит в тюрьме ФСБ (in Russian). 31 March 2015. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  138. "Управление ФСБ по "Русскому миру"". Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  140. Ferguson, Jonathan; Jenzen-Jones, N.R. (18 November 2014). "ARES Research Report No.3 "Raising Red Flags: An Examination of Arms & Munitions in the Ongoing Conflict in Ukraine"" (PDF). Armament Research Services (ARES). Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  141. "Donetsk Republic prime minister says militia ready for reasonable talks with Kiev". TASS. 19 August 2014.
  142. US: Separatists in eastern Ukraine have weapons, military equipment from Russia, Fox News (June 13, 2014)
  143. Jonathan Marcus (August 27, 2014). "Ukraine crisis: T-72 tank shoots hole in Russian denial". BBC News. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
  144. Militants have Russian weapons that have never been in service with Ukrainian army - Heletei, Interfax-Ukraine (22 August 2014)
  145. Потери бронетехники [Destroyed armour]. Lost Armour (in Russian). Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  146. Ferguson, Jonathan; Jenzen-Jones, N.R. (2014). "Raising Red Flags: An Examination of Arms & Munitions in the Ongoing Conflict in Ukraine. (Research Report No. 3) - Annexes" (PDF). ARES. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  147. Т-72 и БТР-82АМ у повстанцев [T-72 and BTR-82AM with insurgents] (in Russian). LiveJournal. 17 August 2014. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  148. "Russian Army BPM-97 "Vystrel" and GAZ-39371 "Vodnik" in Krasnodon Ukraine". January 12, 2015. pp. Lugansk News Today. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  149. "Russian military base with BPM-97 "Vystrel" located in Lugansk. Photos". Lugansk News Today. January 28, 2015. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  150. Smallwood, Michael (5 February 2015). "Russian 96K6 Pantsir-S1 air defence system in Ukraine". Armament Research Services (ARES). Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  151. Croft, Adrian (18 February 2015). "UK: Russia's most advanced anti-aircraft artillery system is being used in Ukraine". Business Insider. Reuters. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  152. "'DPR' Militants Train Children For Service In Illegal Military Formations". RFE/RL. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  153. "ДонВОКУ будет готовить офицеров для ДНР и ЛНР | DPR Official site". 2020-08-03. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  154. "Казахские поздравления на день рождения". — праздники и всё, что с ними связано.
  155. Sánchez, Diego Ibarra. "How Ukraine's youth train for future wars".
  156. Andersson, Hampus. "Hampus Andersson - Cadets of the People's Republic of Donetsk". LensCulture.
  157. Ukraine’s injured rebels vow to fight on, Financial Times (18 August 2014)
  158. (in Ukrainian) Putin said that any "reinforcement" DNRivtsyam not sent, Ukrayinska Pravda (3 August 2014)
  159. 30 tanks and 1,200 troops just crossed from Russia into Ukraine, according to the rebels, Vox Media (16 August 2014)
  160. Top Ukraine Rebel Leader Says Troops Training in Russia, Newsweek (16 August 2014)