Shakhtarsk (Ukraine)

Country: Ukraine
Details of Formation: The Interior Ministry established the group in June 2014 to support antiterrorist operations.
Details of Termination: Interior Minister Arsen Avakov disbanded the group in October 2014 because a number of members were involved in looting and because there were severe conflicts within the group (between members who were former criminals and police). It was split into two groups, one unit consisting of Christians and the other of Interior Ministry employees, the latter of which was combined with another battalion.
Purpose: The group was mainly used to support military operations related to countering pro-Russian separatists, such as antiterrorist action or border control. It was also used to re-establish order after attacks by the Ukrainian army.
Organisation: The group operated under the control of the Interior Ministry and conducted joint operations with the official armed forces. One source names Ruslan Onishchenko as a deputy commander (August 2014), while a later report refers to him as commander (September 2014).
Weapons and Training: --
Size: The entire group encompassed 700 members when the decision to disband it was made in October 2014, based on official government reports.
Reason for Membership: Some members were involved in looting, which may have been potential incentive to join the group.
Treatment of Civilians: Some members of the group were involved in looting.
Other Information: Upon formation, members of the PGM were drawn from former criminals and police, with the intention of uniting the two against a common enemy. However, antagonism between the groups persisted. Alternative spellings of the group include Shakhtersk or Shaktyorsk.
References: Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD.