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Donbass Battalion (Ukraine)

Last modified: 2016-02-07 by andrew weeks
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[Donbass Battalion flag] Zoltan Horvath, 2 Jan 2015

The Donbass Batalion is a troop of voluntaries, who are fighting for the Ukraine government against the Russian separatists in East Ukraine. Here is a photo of the consecration ceremony of their flag in 2014.
Jan-Patrick Fischer, 1 Jan 2015

Please note that flag colours are reversed to compare with Ukrainian national flag, does it have any significance?
Zoltan Horvath, 2 Jan 2015

This battalion was established as an Ukrainian military volunteer unit (now incorporated) into the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as opposed to the "Donbass People's Militia"

Donbas Battalion, (Ukrainian: Батальйон "Донбас"), is a volunteered National Guard of Ukraine unit subordinate to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, based in Severodonetsk. The (military) formation was established in the Spring of 2014 during the 2014 pro-Russian conflict in Ukraine, more precisely through a fundraiser in April 2014 by Semen Semenchenko (nom de guerre of Kostyantyn Hrishyn) (who claimed to be an ethnic Russian native of Donetsk and holds the rank of Major in the National Guard of Ukraine. The unit has been fully integrated into the armed forces of Ukraine and re-designated as the 3rd Reserve Battalion of the National Guard of Ukraine.

Semenchenko, a former Ukrainian reserve captain, claims 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 Ukrainian Interior Ministry adopted Donbas Battalion as a National Guard of Ukraine unit thus allowing them to operate legally.

The flag is the emblem on a horizontal yellow over blue (equal stripes) flag, as seen here.

The emblem has the word Донбас (Donbass in Ukrainian) over the Donetsk County flag, above a diving black eagle.
The Donbass battalion is one of such "Territorial defense battalions" (Ukrainian: Батальйо́ни територіа́льної оборо́ни) which are non-professional (para)military units compounded of volunteers and they are under the command of Ukrainian Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defence created to combat Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic insurgents (and allegedly also regular Russian troops who later joined the conflict) during the War in Donbass. By late 2014 there were more than 50 of these units.

For additional information go to:
Donbass Battalion (official website)
Esteban Rivera, 2 Jan 2015