Russian Orthodox Army
|Russian Orthodox Army|
(Русская православная армия)
|Dates of operation||2014|
|Headquarters||Donetsk, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine|
|Active regions||Donbas, Ukraine|
|Part of||United Armed Forces of Novorossiya|
|Battles and wars||Russo-Ukrainian War|
This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in Ukrainian. (February 2019) Click [show] for important translation instructions.
The Russian Orthodox Army, ROA (Russian: Русская православная армия, Russkaya pravoslavnaya armiya) was a Russian separatist paramilitary group in Ukraine that has been fighting Ukrainian forces in the Donbas war. It was founded in 2014. The ROA was later absorbed into the Oplot Fifth Separate Infantry Brigade.
The Russian Orthodox Army was one of the number of pro-Russian separatist militia units in the Donbas region described as "pro-Tsarist", "extremist" Eastern Orthodox Christian.
Since the onset of insurgency in Ukraine in the early 2014, many central figures in Donetsk have been referred to be directly or indirectly related to Russian National Unity (RNU), most notably Pavel Gubarev, a prominent spokesman with multiple titles (leader of the Donbas militia, governor of the Donetsk People’s Republic, its foreign affairs minister, and the founder of the New Russia Party), who besides stating ROA was organised by RNU under his control also declared himself leader of the RNE section in Donetsk. Exactly when the RNE affiliates were created in Ukraine has not been possible to establish. Historian Marlène Laruelle states that while there are suspicions of former RNU-leader Barkashov being close to commander Verin, no reliable sources in Ukraine can verify that, and ROA's own Facebook page displayed no direct connection with RNE.
The ROA reportedly had 4,000 members according to Russian journalists, while eyewitnesses estimated their membership to be at 500.
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Notable engagements of the ROA include the June 2014 skirmishes in Mariupol and Amvrosiivka Raion. The headquarters of the ROA is located in an occupied Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) building in Donetsk city. Members had no special training apart from the usual conscription service in the army and swore allegiance to Igor Girkin ("Strelkov"), insurgent and Minister of Defence of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic, as of January, 2017.
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Along with other separatist groups in the region, the ROA has been accused of "kidnapp[ing], beat[ing], and threaten[ing] Protestants, Catholics, and members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church… as well as participat[ing] in anti-Semitic acts."
In late November 2014, the group gained attention after abducting prominent Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest, Sergeii Kulbaka, and Roman Catholic priest, Father Pawel Witek. According to the Defence Ministry of Ukraine, the ROA has also been in conflict with another pro-Russian militia, the Vostok Battalion, which accused the ROA of looting, and of avoiding combat.
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In September 2014, the ROA changed its format and joined the new Oplot Fifth Separate Infantry Brigade.
Source: "Russian Orthodox Army", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, March 28th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Orthodox_Army.
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Russian National Unity
2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine
Donetsk People's Republic
Russian people's militias in Ukraine
Siege of Sloviansk
War in Donbas (2014–2022)
New Russia Party
Far-right politics in Ukraine
Timeline of the war in Donbas (2014)
- ^ a b c d Shcherbachenko, Volodymyr V.; Yanova, Hanna (2017). War without Rules: Gender-Based Violence in the Context of the Armed Conflict in Eastern Ukraine (PDF). ISBN 978-966-929-583-5.
- ^ a b "У самопровозглашенной Донецкой республики появилась новая армия — Русская православная (In the self-proclaimed republic of Donetsk, a new army - Russian Orthodox)". InfoResist (in Russian). 10 May 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
- ^ Самопроголошеному міністру оборони "ДНР" І. Стрєлкову інкримінується створення терористичної організації та вчинення терактів в Україні [Strelkova, the self-proclaimed minister of defence of the DNR terrorist organization, charged with creating and committing acts of terrorism in Ukraine]. Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine (in Ukrainian). 21 May 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- ^ a b "Meet the Russian Orthodox Army, Ukrainian Separatists' Shock Troops". NBC News. 16 May 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
- ^ a b c United States Department of State (2015). International Religious Freedom Report for 2014 (Report). humanrights.gov. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
- ^ a b Liubchenkova, Natalia (20 November 2014). "Surviving the 'Russian Orthodox Army'". The Media Project. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
- ^ a b c Wiser, Daniel (15 October 2015). "Russia Targets Christians, Religious Minorities in Ukraine". The Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
- ^ Laruelle (p. 206)
- ^ Kuzio, Taras (2015). Ukraine: Democratization, Corruption, and the New Russian Imperialism. ABC-CLIO. pp. 110–111.
the Russian Orthodox Army, one of a number of separatist units fighting for the "Orthodox faith," revival of the Tsarist Empire, and the Russkii Mir. Igor Girkin (Strelkov [Shooter]), who led the Russian capture of Slovyansk in April 2014, was an example of the Russian nationalists who have sympathies to pro-Tsarist and extremist Orthodox groups in Russia. ... the Russian Imperial Movement ... has recruited thousands of volunteers to fight with the separatists. ... separatists received support from Russian neo-Nazis such as the Russian Party of National Unity who use a modified swastika as their party symbol and Dugin's Eurasianist movement. The paramilitaries of both of these ... are fighting alongside separatists.
- ^ Laruelle, M. (2019). Russian Nationalism: Imaginaries, Doctrines, and Political Battlefields. United Kingdom: Routledge. (p. 206)
- ^ Laruelle, M. (2019). Russian Nationalism: Imaginaries, Doctrines, and Political Battlefields. United Kingdom: Routledge. (p. 208)
- ^ Mitrokhin, Nikolay (2015). "Infiltration, instruction, invasion: Russia's war in the Donbass" (PDF). Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society. 1 (1): 234, note 38.
In the Donbass region, the RNE organized the small but highly effective group Russkaia pravoslavnaia armiia (Russian Orthodox army), which was de facto under the control of RNE member Pavel Gubarev, by Gubarev's own account.
- ^ Likhachev, Vyacheslav (July 2016). "The Far Right in the Conflict between Russia and Ukraine" (PDF). Russie.NEI.Visions in English. pp. 18–28. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
- ^ Laruelle, M. (2018). Russian Nationalism: Imaginaries, Doctrines, and Political Battlefields. Taylor & Francis. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-429-76198-0. Retrieved 2022-04-12.
- ^ "В Мариуполе бойцы Ляшко задержали представителя "Русской православной армии" (In Mariupol Ljashko fighters detained by "Russian Orthodox army")". Mariupol News (in Russian). 13 June 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
- ^ "Репортаж из казармы Русской Православной Армии (Reports of Russian Orthodox Army barracks)". Dialog.ua (in Russian). 17 June 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
- ^ Baczynska, Gabriela (2 June 2014). "Quoting Old Testament, New Pro-Russia Militia Group Lines Up in Ukraine". Charisma News. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
- ^ Daryna Krasnolutska; Tony Capaccio; Volodymyr Verbyany (27 July 2014). "Ukraine Army Advances as EU Plans Tougher Putin Sanctions". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
- ^ Сили АТО знищили снайперів у Лисичанську [ATO forces destroyed snipers in Lysychansk]. Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian). 26 July 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
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