Today it seems that the modern history of the Ukrainian army cannot be imagined without Azov, separate detachment of special purpose. It seems that the Azov soldiers, who from the first day of their existence have become the greatest fear of pro-Russian separatists and the main object of hatred of Kremlin propaganda, have always been. However, only six years ago, on May 5, 2014, a young but well-known Ukrainian nationalist, a political prisoner of the Yanukovych regime, Andriy Biletsky founded the Azov Volunteer Battalion, a group that united the first daredevils to fight a real Russian invasion.
From the first days of their then informal existence, the Azov soldiers, without military experience and appropriate education, plunged into tasks that were dictated by an alleged “hybrid invasion” and, in fact, a real war on the territory of Ukraine. Initially, they were patrolling the outskirts of Mariupol and conducting intelligence activities. Then there were the glorious days of liberation of Mariupol, Marinka, Shirokino, Pavlopol and a number of other settlements of Donbas. The destruction of dozens of units of Russian military equipment, which was a direct proof of Putin’s aggression, and in no way “civil conflict”, as agents of Russian influence like to call the war. Destruction of hundreds of militants and protection of numerous strategic objects in our territory and blocking of arms supply channels to separatists.
On September 17, 2014, the Azov Battalion was reorganized and expanded into a regiment of the same name. Andriy Biletsky, the founder of the volunteer battalion, remained the commander of the newly formed regiment. And already on November 11 the Azov Regiment was transferred to the National Guard of Ukraine with its further replenishment to the combat standard of the National Guard brigades.
Today, Azov is a sign of professionalism, courage and protection, as well as a symbol of Ukraine’s invincibility in the face of the enemy. In the six years of its existence, Azov has not only become one of the best units of the Ukrainian army, resisting the enemy in eastern Ukraine, but has also given impetus to the creation of the most powerful social patriotic movement in the country, called the Azov movement.
Undoubtedly, Azov has many glorious pages ahead and many reasons for pride and respect, but today we want to congratulate every Azov soldier. Congratulate and thank them for the fact that Azov Regiment preserves peace in Ukrainian homes, inspires confidence in the invincibility of the Ukrainian nation and preserves a peaceful sky over the heads of Ukrainians.