Cover Osteuropa 3-4/2019

In Osteuropa 3-4/2019

Hostage-takers or saviours of the state?
Irregular battalions in Ukraine

Andreas Heinemann-Grüder

Deutsche Fassung


In the spring of 2014, numerous irregular battalions were created in Ukraine. They went to the Donbas, where the police and the army had failed to defeat the separatist movement and the intervention of Russia. These battalions have rather different histories, but they have all been supported by the government. Now, most of them are subordinate to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Defence. However, some militias of a more right-wing origin remain opposed to these ministries even today. While the extremist parties with which they are associated are being met with little political support, the battalions hit the headlines on a regular basis.

(Osteuropa 3-4/2019, pp. 51–80)