The Gangs of Zaporozhye


Aug 24th 2015. Translated by Tatzhit.

From the translator: This text, originally posted by blogger gwinplane, does not contain any shocking revelations.

Rather, it is interesting because it provides a glimpse into the nature and organization of those vague local mobs of civilian people in camo that everyone outside Ukraine tends to see as a blended crowd of “Nazzies” or “RightSectorites”.


The Gangs of Zaporozhye

After the Maidan takeover, several illegal armed groups took shape in Zaporozhye.

“Zaporozhye Self-defense”, headed by a former soldier (veteran of Soviet war in Afganistan) and current gangster Sergei Tiunov, with one Alekseenko as a rabid political officer. The glorious deeds of this gang mostly include hanging out drunk at roadblocks and beating up civilians. For example – this April, the “Self-Defense” thugs led by Alekseenko beat up citizens that were protesting against the utility price increases on Pobeda street.

In June, the ringleader Tiunov orchestrated, and personally participated in, a beating of a man from Matveevka. After criminal investigation was opened into the incident, and Tiunov’s residence was searched, he had to “go to the frontlines” for some time, i.e. lay low somewhere close to the ATO area.

However, sometimes “Self-Defense” ends up on the receiving side of a beating – e.g. in September 2014, in a suburban pub “Marco Polo”, Tiunov and several of his cronies were beaten up by the OBEP (Financial Crime Police Division) agents.

- Advertisement -

The main base of the “Self-Defense” gang is still in the building of Zaporizhzhya Regional State Administration. They are constantly sh*ting all over the place, which leads to a permanent struggle between the State Administration officials and “Self-Defense” goons for the right to use toilets within the administration building.

Another gang unit in Zaporozhye region is the so-called “Khortitskiy regiment”, which was created by former ‘business raiders’ from Chernyak’s gang, now turned ‘respectable businessmen’ – Ruzhin and Lomykin. The gang includes both former racketeers themselves and the local rabid nationalists, some of whom are current or former employees of the museum and nature preserve on the island of Khortitsa (hence the name). The gang’s HQ is located in a building owned by “Selena” company, which is owned by Ruzhin. The Khortitskiy Regiment is mainly famous for parades and parties within the equestrian theater, and attempts to take over commercial assets that are of interest to the ringleaders – mainly those owned by the well-known criminal Anisimov, who lost ground after the Maidan.

Another well-known feature is the pathological fear of Hortitsky regiment bosses of going to the ATO zone. It is so profound that the few warlike idiots in their ranks had to leave the regiment and join fighting units as individual volunteers. Meanwhile, the racketeers have actually managed to ‘legalize’ the gang as “Zaporozhie Military Commissariat Security Company”, though I dunno how much it cost them in bribes. <This provides an excuse to have tons of military weapons while never, ever being near a warzone>. The biggest “results” shown by the regiment were numerous selfies in camo and with rifles some 300 kilometers from the war.

The most unfortunate gang, which was late to the party and failed to recruit while people still flocked to empty nationalist slogans is, of course, “Sila Natsii” (Strength of the Nation), led by Sergei Kanivets. After the Maidan, this man with multiple convictions (according to some sources – including an old one for sodomy), led a bunch of other misfits in trying to become Zaporozhye’s franchise of the “Right Sector”. <List of SN leadership convictions here is breathtaking in itself: fraud, forgery, sodomy, assault, drug trade, manslaughter, theft, armed robbery, extortion, robbery, resisting arrest, perverse(!) rape (Ukrainian laws, I swear to God..), robbery x 2 – and this is only the first 8 members!> But he was too abhorrent even for other nationalists. Yarosh immediately disowned him and found it necessary to send his men to beat up Kanivet’s gang. Only then did Kanivets announce the creation of “Sila Natsii” and loudly proclaimed that he has already established cooperation with other organizations nationwide.

In fact, it all fizzed out and Kanivets also spent some time hiding near the warzone from RightSectorite beatings. But you do not simply stop being a piece of sh*t after one lesson. On his return, Kanivets again got mired in local squabbles. First, 50 or so of his supporters, mostly dumb kids, got beaten up by a couple dozen Right Sector thugs at their protest by the prosecutor’s office.

Then Kanivets and his associates organized the kidnapping, beating and urinotherapy of a disabled war veteran Alexander Taran, currently the holder of the exclusive “Right Sector” franchise in Zaporozhye. Although Taran swore last week that he would not seek revenge, Kanivets was arrested by local police right at the “Sila Natsii” conference and sent back where he belongs – to the slammer.

His idiot companions managed to make fools of themselves by announcing ‘general mobilization’ of “Sila Natsii” members around all of Zaporozhye, and after that loud fart went nowhere, fell silent.

Kanivets is no better and no worse than the rest of the thugs – Tiunov, Alekseenko, Ruzhin, Lomykin and others. He merely took the money from the losing side. And the fact that he is in jail is not an indicator of the rule of law in Kiev. The rule of law and the triumph of justice will come when his cell will be shared by the organizers and members of all other gangs of the city prosecuted for their crimes past and present.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up here to get the latest news, updates and special offers delivered directly to your inbox.