Today, a large amount of so-called public pro-government organizations are formed in the East and South of Ukraine. They can be easily identified by St. George ribbon which they have chosen as their symbol. However, it is harder to tell the ideological difference of these organizations from the ones created by Maidan revolutionaries.

So, let us take a closer look.


Maidan Self-Defense

Pro-government organizations

(Red Sector, Oplot, Ukrainian Front etc.)

Method establishment

Self-organization (the contacts of volunteer leaders are spread through social networks, the volunteers create a database of people who wish to take part, etc)

There has also been self-organization among public organizations, retired officers unions, oppositional political parties, football fans.

Usually formed by the Party of Regions local leaders, recruited among members of sports organizations, specifically formed to support Yanukovych & Co (so-called titushky), plain-clothes law enforcement officials, former criminal prisoners. Undoubtedly, some leaders of these organizations have had a criminal background (for example, Kharkiv mayor).


Defending protesters and peaceful citizens from abuses of police and the titushky

Official position: to support of the government.

What they really are into:

– violent suppression of anti-government protests;

– provocation of Maidan activists;

– loud events as a part of informationl war meant to create an illusion of wide-spread pro-government sentiments in the regions and to discredit the demands of the Maidan protesters


Maidan Self-Defense can call up 20 000 defenders in 2 days

About 6,500



Payment (about $60/day)


Charity donations to open bank accounts

First-hand investors are the Party of Regions leaders and members of Yanukovych’s “family” business. It is reported that Oplot, a Kharkiv organization, is being sponsored from Russia

Based on Radio Svoboda materials:

Author: Olena Okras

Translated by Irina Kostyshyna

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