The second part the interview with the Deputy Head of the central branch of the National Corps Vladyslav Sobolevskyi. The first one you can read here: https://nationalcorps.org/en/war-for-all-right-wings-is-a-chance-and-an-opportunity-an-interview-with-vladyslav-sobolevsky-part-one/
Why exactly Azov? Is this somehow connected with the football hooliganism movement you were the part of?
Azov at the time of May 2014, perhaps, was not even as famous as the same Donbas Battalion, which had a wide advertising campaign. But I started serving in Azov, because of the people. A small team, literally 10 people, they were from football hooliganism movement, and I joined them.
I want to say hello to everyone who helped to go to war. When we arrived and got comfortable a bit in the battalion, we really saw a picture of the entire fan movement of Ukraine. The backbone of the battalion consisted of both representatives of the fan movement and activists of several nationalist organizations.
When are you used to being at war and defending your homeland?
Apparently, when I realized that this was not for two weeks. I remember that we went to war for just a few weeks. To liberate the city and return to civilian life. I got used to the feeling that I was at war, somewhere in the fall: after the end of the active phase in September 2014. I realized that this is for a long time and worth it. Also, the feeling that we must keep fighting, consolidated the loss. All the soldiers who have not returned from the battlefield are people who still keep us from giving up.
The most successful military operation of the Azov regiment for you personally?
For me, the most significant operation is the liberation of Mariupol. This is a successful operation in 2014, because we did not suffer heavy losses, there was only one seriously wounded soldier. The city was liberated and could return to a peaceful life that day.
What did you discover in yourself new, being at war?
I felt that it was my native environment. I would never have thought that I would feel so calm and natural in the war. All people who do not know and do not understand what war is, remember that all your ancestors served, fought and defeated the enemy. Therefore, it is natural for a man to be at war, but this is not obvious.
Did many friends support you decision to go to war? Did you manage to make friends in Azov?
Some people tried to convince that I did not have military experience, so those who served should go to fight. I did not agree with this opinion, because everyone should fight for their country.
As for friends, the majority supported me. Helped get ready for war. Few people recall this, but no one had military equipment back then. Even finding normal berets was a problem. One friend helped with the berets, another with a knife, a third with a military uniform. Those friends who did not go to work, became volunteers, and this is fair enough.
I met associates in Azov. These are people who, together with you, head towards certain goals, to the end. I also met friends, few, but those whom I can rely on.
How much has your worldview changed in comparison with the pre-Maidan and Maidan times?
It hasn’t changed. I have only established myself in my nationalist worldview. War for all right is a chance and an opportunity. The country have lived for 25 years in conditions where it was difficult to raise a man. The army was collapsing. Paramilitary groups have never been held by the state.
After the regiment you got uninvolved in politics. Why? And why the National Corps party?
In early 2017, it became clear that the problems we are fighting on the front lines are starting elsewhere. These are political problems. The inability to end the war due to the impotence of the military and political leadership, which creates only additional losses for us. No matter how trained Azov as a unit is, you will still suffer losses and fight, moving neither forward nor backward.
It is no secret, in fact, that the National Corps is perceived by many as the Azov party or the party of veterans. This is partly true. No one understands the problems of war as much as our party. For myself as a nationalist, I could not choose any other party.
What was your understanding of the political processes in Ukraine before you got into politics?
It is very useful to understand the naivety of one’s own views. It is incredibly useful to understand that politics is not done the way the general public sees it. Not everything is as simple as it seemed during the war. But the fact that Ukraine is something between a feudal state and so-called market of theft, it was no secret to me.
Difficulties in political activity that are still hard to overcome?
I believe that these difficulties can be solved only in the long run. I mean the infantilism of our people. Everyone who make great promises during the elections today will receive their percentage of support. Our people have not yet understood how to distinguish vanities from real politicians. It is very difficult to explain to people why parties need a good program because they do not read it. It is difficult to hold meetings with voters, because there they demand asphalted roads from you, but they are not interested in foreign policy.
The most successful and failed events related to your political activity?
Let’s start with the most unsuccessful – the 2019 parliamentary elections. It is easy to evaluate the result for me as well, as for the head of the election headquarters of Maxym Zhorin. We did not win. All voters chased after the Servant of the people party, and now you can see how they paid for it all.
I consider the most successful event to be how we defended the village of Zolote. We then settled in a village that was about to be the part the gray area in accordance with Zelensky’s arrangements in the Tripartite Contact Group. The military did not dare to leave the civilians, and we defended a lot of Ukrainian territory. They organized volunteer assistance to locals who were forgotten by the authorities.
What’s next? What are your plans for the future as a politician?
I want Ukraine to have nuclear weapons. This is the shield and the sword that will allow our state to develop in any version of the foreign policy situation. And I want to return Crimea.
What should be done so that Ukraine does not face the greatest fears of the patriotic community?
I understand that this is about Russia’s expansion? We have to fight. In addition, I believe that only the unity of the population will lead to the success of our state.
What is your forecast for the future for Ukraine, what will our state be like in 10 years?
Either we will no longer be as a country, because Russia is preparing for full-scale aggression sometime in 2022-2023, and Zelensky is preparing for local elections, or we as a state must become a regional leader. In 10 years, Putin will not be alive, but the question is how Ukraine will use these 10 years before this significant day. We must be ready to win.