Sparta Battalion

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Sparta Battalion
Батальон «Спарта»
SSI of the Sparta Battalion.svg
Service sleeve insignia of the Sparta Battalion
Flag of the Sparta Battalion.svg
Flag of the Sparta Battalion
ActiveSummer 2014 – present
Allegiance Donetsk People's Republic
BranchArmy
RoleSpecial Forces
Sizeabout 1,000 troops
Part of United Armed Forces of Novorossiya
Garrison/HQDonetsk
Nickname(s)Motorola's Division
EngagementsWar in Donbass
Commanders
Current
commander
Vladimir Zhoga
Notable
commanders
Arseny Pavlov 
Soldiers of the Sparta Battalion during the Second Battle of Donetsk Airport

The Sparta Battalion (Russian: батальон «Спарта») is a rebel militant group of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) formerly led by the Russian born Arsen Pavlov ("Motorola") militant until his assassination in October, 2016. The new leader of the company became Vladimir Zhoga (callsign "Voha"), a DPR fighter from Sloviansk.[1] The battalion took part in the Battle of Ilovaisk and Second Battle of Donetsk Airport and several others.[2][3]

Though never officially confirmed, the name and symbol of the battalion seem to have been taken as reference to fictional "Spartan Order" of the Metro universe science fiction series by Dmitry Glukhovsky.

History[edit]

According to Ukrainian sources the unit was formed in August, 2014 in Donetsk based on the previously existing anti-tank/MG troop led by Pavlov which earlier allegedly participated in Battle of Ilovaisk along with Strelkov's "volunteer" forces.[4][5]

Battles timeline[edit]

In 2014 the battalion took part in the Battle of Illovaisk.[4]

In 2015 they fought in the Second Battle of Donetsk Airport.[6]

In January 2015 they participated in the Battle of Debaltseve.[7]

In March 2016 they were in the armed skirmish in Dokuchaievsk.[8]

In September 2016 the group was deployed into Slavyansk People's Republic in order to prevent anticipated coup d'état.[9]

War crimes[edit]

The unit was often blamed for committing war crimes during Ukrainian crisis.

Branovitsky case[edit]

In April 2015 Russian deputy director of the Europe and Central Asia Amnesty International Denis Krivosheev blamed group's leader Arsen Pavlov (or "motorolla") in killing and torturing Ukrainian's POWs.[10][11] According to him Pavlov personally admitted in the interview to the Kyiv Post that he killed Ukrainian Branovitsky Igor [ru] who was prisoner of war at the time of his detention and who suffered several facial wounds and wasn't able to walk.[12][13] In an controversial tape which was published on the YouTube in April 2015 which features voices of both of Kyiv Post's journalist and voice allegedly belonging to Motorolla it may be heard that the latter claiming to have killed 15 prisoners when the journalist asked him about Branovitsky.[14][15] Amnesty called for thorough investigation of the crime.[11] Earlier, in February 2015 Ukrainian SSU started investigation into allegations.[16][17][15] In June it was reported by Ukraine official that Interpol refused to put suspected Motorolla on the wanted list on the grounds of "political nature of the Motorola case".[18][19]

Membership[edit]

Members' names were posted on facebook at 5 April, 2015 by Vyacheslav Abroskin, head of Donetsk Oblast’s police. At least 40 names were listed.[20]

Gallery[edit]

Insignia[edit]

Insignia is a combination of old Russian Empire flag and letter M which was borrowed from the Metro 2033 book (though it was never confirmed).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Separatist known as Vokha will become new commander of the Sparta Battalion". UA Wire. 24 October 2016. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  2. ^ "The Battle of Ilovaisk: Details of a Massacre Inside Rebel-Held Eastern Ukraine". Newsweek. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  3. ^ "Ukraine Live Day 335: The Battle for Donetsk". The Interpreter. 18 January 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Полевой командир "Моторола": от Чечни до Донбасса". www.depo.ua (in Russian). Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  5. ^ "Комбат «Моторола»: как мойщик машин стал командиром батальона «Спарта»". Рамблер/новости (in Russian). Retrieved 2019-05-02. Собранный как противотанковый бронебойный, отряд вскоре разросся.
  6. ^ "Бой за Донецкий аэропорт. Спартанцы против киборгов". Life.ru (in Russian). 2017-01-21. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  7. ^ "Новый командир батальона «Спарта» сообщил подробности гибели Моторолы". lenta.ru. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  8. ^ "У ДНР потери — Спарта Моторолы бессильна в Докучаевске (видео)". kriminal.tv (in Russian). Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  9. ^ "Подразделение Моторолы перебросили в ЛНР". lenta.ru. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  10. ^ ""Бойцы батальона "Спарта" фактически причастны к тому, что называется военным преступлением"". www.kommersant.ru (in Russian). 2015-04-09. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  11. ^ a b "New evidence of summary killings of Ukrainian soldiers must spark urgent investigations". www.amnesty.org. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  12. ^ "New evidence of summary killings of Ukrainian soldiers must spark urgent investigations". www.amnesty.org. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  13. ^ "War Crimes: Russian citizen Motorola boasts of killing 15 Ukrainian prisoners - Apr. 09, 2015". KyivPost. 2015-04-09. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  14. ^ KyivPost (2015-04-06), Motorola confesses he murdered 15 prisoners. Признание Моторолы в убийстве 15 пленных, retrieved 2019-05-02
  15. ^ a b Sukhov, Oleg (2015-04-10). "I killed 15 prisoners of war in Ukraine, claims Russian fighter". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  16. ^ "СБУ взялась за Моторолу. Боевику оформлено подозрение в преступлениях против человечности". nv.ua. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  17. ^ "СБУ оформила подозрение Мотороле". Украинская правда (in Russian). Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  18. ^ "Interpol refuses to search for Russian militant suspected of war crimes in Donbas". Human Rights in Ukraine. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  19. ^ "Интерпол отказался искать Моторолу". korrespondent.net (in Russian). Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  20. ^ Sukhov, Oleg (2015-04-10). "I killed 15 prisoners of war in Ukraine, claims Russian fighter". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-05-02.

External links[edit]