Ukrainian MP and Azov Commander Biletsky blames National Guard leadership for separatism

On January 14, Ukrainian MP and former Azov Battalion Commander Andriy Biletsky said in his blog on the Ukrainska Pravda website that the management positions in the National Guard of Ukraine were taken by outright separatists. He declared that systematic corruption prevails there and that it is a threat to the defense capabilities of the country.

The Military Prosecutor's Office and the SBU promised to look into the situation "carefully, impartially and according to the law.”

In his statement, Biletsky revealed the names of officers who cover for the separatists of the DPR and LPR. "I blame the National Guard leadership in covering for separatist officers. Deputy Commander of the Central Operational and Territorial Forces of the National Guard, Colonel Oleksandr Golyakov is a separatist. In February 2014, under the flags of Party of Regions [led by Yanukovych], he created Kryvyi Rih Anti-Maidan and encouraged people to enlist in the Kryvyi Rih Guard.”

Biletsky also said that during the advance of the Russian troops in the Crimea and Donbas, the Deputy Commander of the 3057th military unit, Colonel Yuriy Kolmik promoted in social media the so-called DPR and the accession of the Crimea to Russia. National Guard Captain Yuri Zaderin also went on social networks to vote to create a Novorossiya and to support Russian President Vladimir Putin and the actions of the Berkut employees on the Maidan. The latter was a reference to the shooting and beating of those who stood on Maidan during the Revolution of Dignity from 2013-2014. Biletsky also promised that soon he would make public the facts of corruption in the National Guard.

Following a statement from the People's Deputy, the leadership of the National Guard published an appeal on their official website. "The National Guard of Ukraine appealed to the Military Prosecutor's Office and Security Service of Ukraine with the request to check provided facts. We believe that this approach will avoid misunderstandings and ensure impartiality, transparency and objectivity. From our side we guarantee the full cooperation and support," the message of the National Guard reads.

According to the National Guard’s press service, the information published by Biletsky discredits the work of the National Guard of Ukraine. "Since the beginning of 2017 the General Directorate of the National Guard of Ukraine has not received any documents from the People's Deputy of Ukraine, Andriy Biletskiy concerning the information specified in the public statement," the statement reads.

Chief Military Prosecutor of Ukraine Anatoly Matios was surprised that MP Biletsky made a statement about the corruption through the blog, rather than through a formal deputy appeal.

“After the statement of the politician, the commander of the National Guard immediately sent a letter to the General Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine requesting the verification of the People's Deputy’s arguments. We will check them carefully, impartially and according to law," Matios wrote on Facebook.

Political analyst Petro Okhotin believes that former Azov Commander’s statements about separatists in the National Guard are a sign of a possible confrontation between President Petro Poroshenko and Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov.

"Why did this statement appear now, at the beginning of the year and in several versions? First, this is perhaps a question of possible reallocation of influence, as Biletsky is known to be more connected with the Ministry of Internal Affairs structures. That is where the Azov regiment was transferred and this is a structure which is subordinated to Arsen Avakov,” suggested Okhotin. “The National Guard itself is more dependent on the President of Ukraine and in this case we can also assume a possible confrontation. However, this is only an assumption. Another scenario that should not be ruled out is that it is really the front-line brotherhood that, including Biletsky, is outraged by what is happening in the country, thus forming the opinion that the separatists are becoming the leadership of the National Guard.”

  Ukraine, National Guard of Ukraine, Biletsky, Azov battalion