How did you end up on the Maidan and what prompted you to join the Patriot of Ukraine?
Like most people in Kyiv, I did not live on the Maidan, I was not there all the time. I came there every afternoon after lunch. In the morning I was busy, at that time I was the financial director of the Khlibservice company. I was looking for the most radical people on the Maidan. It is clear that if you are looking for this, then you will meet either someone from the Right Sector, or, as in my case, with people from the Patriot of Ukraine. There was no immediate desire to join them, because people were young. We were friends, but no more. My attitude to everything changed on February 22, when a very famous meeting of the State Duma in Russia took place, at which Putin asked for the authority to introduce the army into Ukraine. That day I first tried to join the Armed Forces. I went to the military registration and enlistment office. I was told that they would call back. I realized that we needed to look for more serious, more radical ways to defend Ukraine. On the same day I went to Khreshchatyk, went to the seventh floor of the Kyiv City State Administration, where the Patriot of Ukraine was then based. After that I participated in all the promotions. There were several trips to Kharkiv. Not very organized. But after Biletsky got out of prison and arrived in Kyiv, after the events on Rymarskaya, everything changed. The next two trips to Kharkiv were effective.
How did you go from the Maidan to the combat zone?
After returning from Kharkiv, it was the end of April 2014 and we began to gather in Mariupol. All this time I was a member of the Black Men partisan detachment. But just before we left, people from Luhansk and Lviv joined us, with whom no one knew what to do, so they were placed under my command. I became the branch commander. Then we were going to Berdyansk.
How did your military journey begin?
On May 5, it became known that Avakov had signed a decree establishing a battalion named “Azov”. Biletsky was appointed commander. At that time, it became clear that Mariupol is the center of separatism in the Azov region. In fact, the first battle took place on our way to Mariupol to strengthen the security of regional departments and help the military set up checkpoints around the city. Near Mangush, the separatists ambushed us. That’s how it all started …