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Andriy Biletsky
Andriy Biletsky, 2017.
Leader of National Corps
Assumed office
14 October 2016
People's Deputy of Ukraine

In office
27 November 2014 – 24 July 2019
Commander of Azov Battalion

In office
5 May 2014 – October 2016[1][2]
Personal details
Born Andriy Yevhenovych Biletsky
5 August 1979(1979-08-05) (age 43)
Kharkiv, Ukrainian SSR
Citizenship Ukrainian
Political party National Corps
Spouse(s) Yulia Biletskaya
(m. 2003–16)
Children *–Oleksandr (b. 2007)[3]
Residence Kiev, Ukraine[4]
Alma mater University of Kharkiv[5]
Religion Rodnovery
Military service
Allegiance Ukraine Ukraine
Service/branch Emblem of the National Guard of Ukraine, 2017.svg National Guard
Years of service 2014–2016
Rank Ukrainian police shoulder mark 10.svg lieutenant colonel of police[6][7]
Commands Special Operations Detachment "Azov"
Battles/wars War in Donbass

Andriy Yevhenovych Biletsky (Ukrainian language: Андрій Євгенович Білецький

born 5 August 1979[4]) is the leader of political party National Corps. He was the first commander of the volunteer-based Azov Regiment of the National Guard of Ukraine[1][2][8][9] and a co-founder of movement "Social-National Assembly".[10][11][12][13][14][15] From 2014 until 2019 Biletsky was a Member of Ukrainian Parliament.


Born in 1979 in Kharkiv, Soviet Union, Biletsky's father Yevhen Mykhailovych Biletsky hailed from an old Cossack family that founded the village of Krasnopavlivka (Lozova Raion), while Biletsky's mother Olena Anatolivna Biletsky (née Lukashevych) descended from a noble family from Zhytomyr region, to which belong the Decembrist Vasiliy Lukashevich (Vasyl Lukashevych) who founded the "Little-Russian Secret Society".

In his youth, Biletsky practiced several types of martial arts and boxing. In 1990 he refused to be accepted into the Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization. Biletsky, along with senior schoolmates, raised the Ukrainian flag over his school.[16] His major patriotic influence in his youth was his father's gift of a book prohibited in the Soviet Union, History of Ukraine for children by Anton Lototsky.[16] In 2001, Biletsky graduated with honors from the History faculty of the University of Kharkiv. His thesis was about the Ukrainian Insurgent Army.[5] The same year Biletsky participated in the Ukraine without Kuchma (UBK) protests, for which he was placed under administrative arrest. The Security Service of Ukraine pressured university administration to expel Biletsky from the institution.

In 2002 Biletsky became a leader of the Kharkiv branch of the political organization Tryzub, and in 2003 cooperated with the Social-National Party of Ukraine (SNPU) opposing the idea of its transformation into Svoboda.[5]

After transformation of SNPU into Svoboda and liquidation of the original Patriot of Ukraine, in 2005 Biletsky initiated a revival of the Patriot of Ukraine,[5] independent from any political factions. The new Patriot of Ukraine initially consisted of the Kharkiv branches of UNA-UNSO, Tryzub, and former SNPU. Since 2005, Biletsky also cooperated with the newly established Ukrainian Conservative Party.

In the 2006 Ukrainian parliamentary election, Biletsky unsuccessfully ran for Ukrainian parliament.[16]

On 18 October 2008, Biletsky and other Patriot of Ukraine members were arrested during the Ukrainian Insurgent Army memorial march. In November 2008, Biletsky initiated the creation of the Social National Assembly (SNA) which included four other organizations: Spadshchyna (Heritage), Patriot of Ukraine (2005), Revolyutsiya i Derzhava (RiD, Revolution and State), and Slava i Chest (SiCh, Glory and Honor).

In August 2011, members of Patriot and SNA were arrested in connection with the Vasylkiv terrorists case. At the same time, there was an armed assault on the headquarters of Patriot of Ukraine in Kharkiv during which two members were wounded, while the assailant was injured. Patriot of Ukraine members were arrested and charged with an attempted murder on 11 September 2011. On 19 November 2011, there was an attempt on Biletsky's life when he was fired upon in Kharkiv receiving two bullet wounds. Biletsky managed to bring himself to the city hospital where he was operated upon. The local law enforcement classified the event as hooliganism. On 27 December 2011, Biletsky was also arrested on the same charges along with other Patriot of Ukraine members and was held in detention at the Kharkiv investigation jail (remand) for 28 months.[16] The supporters of Social-National movements qualified the arrests as politically motivated repressions, and led to nationalist protests in several Ukrainian cities.

Biletsky interviewed by Ukrainian TV after a mission near Mariupol.

During the Euromaidan events, members of the Biletsky's Patriot of Ukraine were among the founders of Right Sector on 28 November 2013. On 24 February 2014, the Ukrainian parliament adopted a decision on the freedom of political prisoners. The next day, Biletsky, along with other prisoners, were completely acquitted of all charges and freed from custody.

On 12 March 2014, Biletsky became a party leader in special operations for the "Right Sector - East," which included such regions as Poltava, Kharkiv, Donetsk, and Luhansk oblasts. On 5 May 2014 in Berdyansk Biletsky became a founder and commander of the Azov Battalion (as a territorial battalion of patrol service). Azov Battalion was transformed into a regiment on 20 November 2014. The battalion was initially composed of members of the Patriot of Ukraine, SNA, football fans (notably the Dynamo Kyiv supporters) and the AutoMaidan movement. The paramilitary formation became known as the Little black men as an opposition to the Russian special operations "Little green men".[16]

On 13 June 2014, Biletsky led his detachment to the successful liberation of Mariupol (First Battle of Mariupol) from Russian separatists. According to British military reporter Askold Krushelnycky, "Biletsky was cool in the evaluation of actions and giving orders calmly and, in my opinion, logically".[16] On 2 August 2014, Biletsky, holding a rank of Major of Militsiya,[citation needed] was awarded the Order For Courage[17] (III degree) and promoted to lieutenant colonel of police[6][7] on 15 August 2014.

On 10 September 2014, Biletsky was admitted to the military council of the People's Front, yet did not became a member of the party. On 27 September 2014, he ran as an independent candidate at the 217th electoral district (Kiev) for the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election and won by receiving 31,445 votes (33.75%). In parliament, he joined the inter-factional group Ukrop.[18]

In an interview to (Left Bank) given on 10 December 2014, Biletsky announced that the Patriot of Ukraine suspended its activities as political organization due to the war, and would be absorbed primarily into the Azov Battalion.[19] In the same interview Biletsky said that logo of the battalion is different from the German Wolfsangel and symbolizes Ukrainian national idea.[19]

In October 2016 Biletsky official left the Ukrainian military because (Ukrainian) elected officials are barred from serving the army.[1] But he vowed to continue his military career "without titles".[1]

On 1 November 2018, Andriy Biletsky was included in the Russian sanctions list in connection with Ukraine’s unfriendly actions towards citizens and legal entities of the Russian Federation.[20]

Andriy Biletsky during his first 3 years of work in Verkhovna Rada participated only in 2.09% of votings.[21] He took part in only 229 votings, taking the fifth place in the rating of deputies with the least number of votings.[22][23] Biletsky missed 328 sittings of the Ukrainian parliament.[24][25] In addition, he missed all sittings of the Verkhovna Rada in 2016 and didn't appear in parliament as of March 2017.[26][27][28] According to a research of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine, published in August 2017, Andriy Biletsky did not manage to write any laws that were adopted in the Verkhovna Rada. With 30 projects, he is in the first place among the deputies who submitted the largest number of unsuccessful draft laws.[29][30][31]

In the 2019 Ukrainian parliamentary election was placed 2nd on the joined list of Svoboda with National Corps, the Governmental Initiative of Yarosh and Right Sector.[32] But in the election the party won not enough votes to clear the 5% election threshold and thus no parliamentary seats.[33]


According to the electronic declaration, in 2015, Andriy Biletsky received 58,990 (US$2,087) as salary in the Verkhovna Rada. He had ₴ 250,000 (US$8,846) in cash.[3][34] The declaration also indicated an apartment in Kiev (see below), which was recorded on Biletsky's spouse Yuliya.[3][35][36] In the declaration for 2016, Biletsky indicated 115,652 hryvnia (US$4,423) as deputy salary, and ₴ 250,000 in cash.[37]

Political views

Biletsky declares that he is not racist or antisemitic. In an interview he explained that he regards Israel and Japan as role models for the development of Ukraine.[38]

Personal life

Biletsky belongs to a Ukrainian type of Rodnovery (Native Faith) which incorporates the beliefs of Mithraism.[39]

From 2003 to 2016, Andriy Biletsky was married to Yuliya Oleksandrivna Biletskaya (nee Brusenko). The couple's son, Oleksandr, was born in 2007. In April 2016, the spouses divorced after the scandal, when the data about an apartment in Kiev with an area of 79.5 sq. meters and costing from 2.2 to 4.1 million was not included in the deputy’s declaration.[40][41]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 (in Ukrainian) Andriy Biletsky: Avakov - man system, but the system I think is negative, Ukrayinska Pravda (18 October 2016)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 (in Ukrainian) The former leader of "Azov" Beletsky declared only salary and $ 5,000, Ukrayinska Pravda (30 October 2016)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}" (in uk). Unified State Register of Declarations. 29 October 2016. Retrieved 11 February 2019. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Білецький Андрій Євгенійович
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 (in Ukrainian) "We are trying to come to power through elections, but we have all sorts of possibilities" - as "Azov" becomes party, Hromadske.TV (13 October 2016)
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Andriy Biletsky". Національний Кореспондент [National Correspondent] 8 December 2015. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Ukraine's Interior Ministry elaborates on duties of newly created 'national militia units' (Video)". Unian. 30 January 2018. 
  8. Azov fighters are Ukraine's greatest weapon and may be its greatest threat
  9. Volunteer Ukrainian unit includes Nazis
  10. Shekhovstov, Anton (March 2011). "The Creeping Resurgence of the Ukrainian Radical Right? The Case of the Freedom Party.". pp. 203–228. Digital object identifier:10.1080/09668136.2011.547696. 
  11. Shekhovstov, Anton (2013). "17: Para-Militarism to Radical Right-Wing Populism: The Rise of the Ukrainian Far-Right Party Svoboda.". In Wodak. Right-Wing Populism in Europe. Bloomsbury Academic. 
  12. Anton Shekhovtsov, Andreas Umland Ukraine's Radical Right // Journal of Democracy. Volume 25, Number 3 July 2014
  13. Shekhovtsov, Anton (2013). "17: From Para-Militarism to Radical Right-Wing Populism: The Rise of the Ukrainian Far-Right Party Svoboda". In Ruth Wodak. Right-Wing Populism in Europe. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 249–263. ISBN 978-1780932453. 
  14. Ishchenko, Volodymyr (2011). "Fighting Fences vs Fighting Monuments: Politics of Memory and Protest Mobilization in Ukraine". 
  15. Ghosh, Mridula (2013). Ralf Melzer. ed. The Extreme Right in Ukraine's Political Mainstream: What Lies Ahead?. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 Bereza, A. Andriy Biletsky. How war changed a political prisoner into a commander of the Azov Battalion. "Novoye Vremya". 22 October 2014
  17. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named medal
  18. Justice Ministry registered the party Kolomoisky, (18 June 2015)
  19. 19.0 19.1 Shvets, Ye. Andriy Biletsky: Half of Azov speaks the Russian language. But they die and kill for Ukraine. 10 December 2014
  20. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}" (in ru). Government of Russia. 1 November 2018. Retrieved 21 May 2019. 
  21. "43 депутата почти никогда не голосовали в Раде - КИУ" (in ru). Ukrayinska Pravda. 14 November 2017. Retrieved 24 September 2018. 
  22. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}" (in ru). 112 Ukraine. 15 November 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2018. 
  23. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}" (in uk). Committee of Voters of Ukraine. 15 November 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2018. 
  24. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}" (in ru). 24 Channel. 11 November 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2018. 
  25. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}" (in ru). TSN / 1+1. 15 November 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2018. 
  26. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}" (in ru). Ukrayinska Pravda. 21 December 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2018. 
  27. "5 нардепов пропустили все заседания Рады в 2017 году – КИУ" (in ru). Ukrayinska Pravda. 9 September 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2018. 
  28. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}" (in ru). Ukrainian Independent Information Agency. 9 September 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2018. 
  29. "Более 60 депутатов не стали авторами ни одного принятого закона - КИУ". Ukrayinska Pravda. 17 August 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2018. 
  30. "В Верховной Раде более 60 нардепов до сих пор не стали авторами принятых законов, - КИУ". RBK Ukraine. 17 August 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2018. 
  31. "Півсотні депутатів досі не стали авторами жодного прийнятого закону". Committee of Voters of Ukraine. 16 August 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2018. 
  33. CEC counts 100 percent of vote in Ukraine's parliamentary elections, Ukrinform (26 July 2019)
  34. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}" (in ru). 30 October 2016. Retrieved 11 February 2019. 
  35. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}" (in ru). 23 May 2016. Retrieved 11 February 2019. 
  36. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}" (in ru). Channel 24. 30 October 2016. Retrieved 11 February 2019. 
  37. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}" (in uk). Unified State Register of Declarations. 23 February 2018. Retrieved 11 February 2019. 
  38. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}" (in ru). 20 November 2018. Retrieved 19 October 2019. 
  39. Vladislav Maltsev (10 November 2016). "Языческий полк "Азов" вмешался в церковные дела на Украине".религия/929552/iazychieskii_polk_azov_vmieshalsia_v_tsierkovnyie_diela_na_ukrainie. Retrieved 4 December 2017. 
  40. Alexey Romanov (14 October 2016). "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}" (in ru). Retrieved 8 February 2019. 
  41. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}" (in ru). 4 August 2018. Retrieved 8 February 2019. 

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