The Ministry of Internal Affairs has formed eight new brigades from existing fighting regiments. The assault brigades – collectively termed the “Offensive Guard”, are subordinate to the National Guard, the National Police and the State Border Service, and aim to strengthen Ukraine through the recruitment and training of volunteers during the coming offensive.
For instance, the ‘Hurricane’ brigade is promoted with the tagline “disposal brigade of the Russian military” and reports to the National Guard; the “Steel Border” brigade states “we stand behind our border with a steel wall” and reports to the State Border Service; while “Rage” is a united assault brigade of the National Police.
Photo: Daryna Kolomiiets.
The project was developed by the head of the ministry, Denys Monastyrskyi, shortly before his death. On Feb. 2, the ministry opened recruitment to the ranks of these brigades.
To learn more about the project, I interviewed spokesperson Marjana Reva.
Mariana Reva -Spokeswoman of the Internal Affairs Ministry. Photo Daryna Kolomiiets.
What exactly is the Offensive Guard?
Well, first of all, this is an all-Ukrainian recruiting campaign. The Offensive Guard comprises eight assault brigades of professionals – already active policemen and military personnel who have gone through the crucible of war – who know how to defend Ukraine. We are also recruiting for volunteers in our ranks.
If these regiments existed before, what is the main purpose of their unification under the new project?
This was done solely to strengthen the country's defense capabilities. Each brigade is actually a team of people who understands what they are doing and why. This is a kind of elite, so to speak.
We started the campaign because we want to reach everyone who has not yet heard about the selection process for such brigades. We need interested people. It’s not necessary to have military training as we offer our own training, although experience would bring a certain advantage. We have opportunities.
I want to emphasize that the unification of these regiments and recruitment to the ranks of brigades is an important step as work becomes more coordinated. It is not only about attack, but about defense.
It is worth noting that there is an opportunity to independently choose a brigade for yourself. These eight brigades are part of the State Border Service, the National Guard and the National Police of Ukraine. And people should understand that when they join the National Guard, they become soldiers, and when they join the National Police brigade, they become policemen.
How can someone join the Offensive Guard?
Anyone who passes all stages of the application process can get in. This can be done at the administrative services center or on the website of the Offensive Guard. Next, a schedule of volunteers is made and applicants must submit documents and pass medical checks. The next stages involve psychological testing, as well as testing for logical thinking. For the "Lyut" brigade, there is an exam on the knowledge of law. After that, there is a stage of physical tests.
Training of the "Lyut" brigade. Photo: Daryna Kolomiiets.
To date, more than a thousand volunteers have passed the military medical commission.
How long will the campaign last?
We currently expect the recruitment and formation of brigades to last until April 1. But we are seeing a lot of activity – in the first week alone, we received about 15,000 applications. Therefore, if the trend continues, we will increase the number of brigades, as well as continue recruitment. Soldiers will be sent to the front line only after full training.
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