of Interior of Ukraine Аcademician Bogomolets St., 10, Kyiv, 01601, Ukraine
On September 24, the presentation of the English and Ukrainian editions of the book «Volunteer Battalions. Story of a heroic deed of battalions that saved the country» was held at the theater of St. Volodymyr's Institute in Toronto. The book outlines the events of 2014-2015, when the system of volunteer units was created within the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine for the armed resistance to the Russian hybrid aggression.
The presentation was attended by Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Vadym Troyan, Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada Andrii Shevchenko, Advisor to the Minister, ex-combatant of the 20th Battalion of Territorial Defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Yevhen Terekhov, members of the Ukrainian team INVICTUS GAMES, that have just opened in Toronto, representatives of the Government of Canada, public Ukrainian and volunteer organizations in Canada.
The "Volunteer Battalions" project is a chronicle of the story of the movement and, at the same time, thoughts on its nature. More than 30 memoirs from the key participants in those events - the military-political that time authorities of Ukraine, commanders of personnel military formations, newly formed volunteer units, politicians, volunteers, journalists, public figures and average fighters.
According to Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, Ukraine has been defending its independence from the sneaky hybrid aggression of Russia, which, contrary to the international law, annexed the Crimea and occupied a part of the Donbas. At the price of the lives of thousands of Ukrainian citizens, we are in fact protecting peace and democratic values of the Western civilization from the cynical neo-imperial policy of our eastern neighbor.
"This is a difficult and exhausting struggle of Ukraine. We are grateful to the international community for the powerful support of our state on the world stage. Because of this unity it is possible to essentially restrain the aggressive appetites of the Russian aggressor. We are grateful to every foreign citizen, and especially to the representatives of the numerous Ukrainian diaspora in Canada for the help they have provided to restore the defense potential of our state. The Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs assured that each dollar or euro that had been transferred to the Ukrainian volunteer organizations, every unit of equipment, clothes and ammunition sent to the front of the Ukrainian units on Donbass, every speech delivered or adopted by the world community for Ukraine is a real help in protecting a civilized democratic Europe and all free western world.
In his turn, Vadym Troyan, a member of the volunteer movement, one of the leaders of the Azov battalion, and now the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs said that this book was devoted to ordinary people who had dropped from across the country and steamed into the mighty river that stopped the enemy.
"There is a war in Ukraine. I still can’t realize this. Back then, in 2014, it seemed like you were watching the movie. Carrying out friends to war – that`s a movie, you are collecting your backpack - that`s a movie, getting hit by a fire - that`s a movie. Then, in 2014, we were caught unawares. And now, if I were asked how we managed to defend Ukraine, which was deliberately left without troops, I wouldn`t hesitate to answer that it all happened thanks to our volunteer men. They did not think about money, they did not think if they leave work - they went to fulfill the sacred duty - to defend the Motherland. I am proud that I shared trenches with these volunteers. Everyone should know about these people, they are worth to be written about, they should be remembered", - Vadym Troyan said.
The book "Volunteer Battalions. Story of a heroic deed of battalions that saved the country" is the first book about the history of the volunteer movement in Ukraine. The creation of volunteer battalions, their combats and the current situation - all this comes directly from the event participants, politicians, militaries, public figures and volunteers. The first edition was published in 2016 with a circulation of more than 10,000 copies, a great number of which were presented to the participants of those events and the families of the dead. The book was presented at the Lviv and Kyiv book forums.
Department of communication of MoIA