July 26, 2015
By Igor Korotchenko
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
Verkhovna Rada Deputy Dmitriy Linko announced on his facebook page the death of one of the Azov Battalion’s commanders, Yaroslav Babich. According to Linko he was found hanged.
“Today Yaroslav Babich, the head of the legal department of the Azov Regiment, was found hanged. I knew Yaroslav and I simply can’t believe it,” Linko wrote. We should note that Linko himself used to be a member of Azov. The Azov web page contains no mention of Babich’s death.
Another incident was announced today: a National Guard servicemember committed suicide at one of the ATO checkpoints, according to the National Guard web site.
National Guard representative said the servicemember left his unit without permission. He was found dead in the evening with a firearm next to his body. Medical personnel concluded the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head.
It was also announced the NG servicemember was known to abuse alcohol. Ukrainian law enforcement is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death.
J.Hawk’s Comment: Linko’s facebook is so far the only source of information on Babich’s alleged death but, being a former Azov member who shares the unit’s ideology, he does not appear to have a motive to make a false claim of this sort. If the story is true (and we’ll know definitively in a day or two) it almost doesn’t matter whether Babich committed suicide or had suicide committed on him. Either way, it would be an indicator that even the most ideological of Ukraine’s armed formations has a serious problem with morale and/or discipline.
By contrast, deaths and desertions among the UAF and even the National Guard are almost commonplace these days.