|"Ukrainian: Батальйон «Донбас»|
Donbass Battalion emblem
|Branch||"" "National Guard of Ukraine|
|Engagements||"War in Donbass
• "Battle of Ilovaisk
• "Battle of Debaltseve
The Donbass Battalion is a volunteered "National Guard of Ukraine unit subordinate to the "Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, based in "Severodonetsk. The formation was established in the Spring of 2014 during the "2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine. The battalion was created by "Semen Semenchenko, an "ethnic Russian native of Donetsk, who is a major in the "National Guard of Ukraine. The unit was initially formed as independent, but has been fully integrated into the National Guard of Ukraine as the 2nd Special Purpose Battalion "Donbas".
Semenchenko, a former Ukrainian reserve captain, states that he and the other members of the Donbas Battalion gained combat experience in the "Ukrainian Ground Forces or "Soviet Army. According to him the all-volunteer Battalion was initially funded wholly by their own members savings and donations from individuals and "receiving zero salary from either the state or "oligarchs". The first trainers of the battalion were instructors with experience in the "Georgian Armed Forces. The "Ukrainian Interior Ministry adopted Donbas Battalion as a National Guard of Ukraine unit thus allowing them to operate legally.
The Battalion recruits members from different regions of Ukraine, through various media including the Internet, a newspaper and phone line. New recruits are briefly trained in "Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, and may see combat days after joining.
According to Semenchenko, some of his men have entered Donetsk city. Donbass Battalion and the other territorial battalion fight on the ground with an artillery and logistic support from the Ukrainian army.
On 19 August, Semenchenko was wounded when his forces were hit by mortar fire before entering the town of Ilovaysk, 18 kilometers east of Donetsk.
Semenchenko and battalion member "Pavlo Kyshkar were elected in the "Ukrainian parliament on the party list of "Samopomich in the "2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election. Yevgen Shevchenko, also from the battalion, was standing in the election too but did not win a seat.
On 24 December 2014, Amnesty International reported that the unit is blocking humanitarian aid sent from Ukraine by the foundation of Ukrainian billionaire "Rinat Akhmetov reaching the population of the separatist-controlled areas; over half the population in these areas depend on food aid. The reason the aid is being blocked by the Donbass, "Aidar and "Dnipro battalions is that the battalions believe humanitarian aid is being used in occupied territories for commercial purposes and ending up in the wrong hands. Russian born Denis Krivosheev, who currently acting Director of Europe and Central Asia for Amnesty International, stated that "Using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is a war crime". Explaining his actions Semenchenko said by phone that he was not against humanitarian aid but added that humanitarian convoys should be under government or U.N. control. Later on 26 December 2014 Semenchenko stated: "the Donbas battalion stays in Luhansk region and it will continue blocking “humanitarian trucks” with alcohol and cigarettes, coal and fuel, which are delivered to and from the territory controlled by the so-called “LPR.”"
There are plans to convert this battalion to a combined arms mechanized infantry regiment of the National Guard, with tanks and armored personnel vehicles. Part of it is the raising of a "Spetsnaz unit in the battalion as the special forces element.
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