Kastuś Kalinoŭski Regiment

Military unit

  • Russo-Ukrainian War
    • 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
      • Kyiv offensive
        • Battle of Kyiv
        • Battle of Irpin[2]
      • Eastern Ukraine offensive
        • Battle of Sievierodonetsk (2022)[3]
        • Battle of Lysychansk[4]
        • Battle of Bakhmut[5]
      • 2023 Ukrainian counteroffensive
WebsiteOfficial Website of the RegimentCommandersCurrent
commanderDzianis Prokharaŭ[6]Notable
commandersVadzim Kabanchuk [be] (deputy commander)
Aliaksiej Skoblia  (deputy commander)
Ivan "Brest" Marchuk   [7][8]
Pavel "Volat"  (company commander)[9]InsigniaFlag
Military unit

The Kastuś Kalinoŭski Regiment[a] (also known as simply Połk Kalinoŭskaha or the Kalinoŭski Regiment,[10] formerly the Kastuś Kalinoŭski Battalion until May 2022[11]) is a group of Belarusian opposition volunteers, which was formed to defend Ukraine against the 2022 Russian invasion.[12]

As of March 2022, it was reported that more than a thousand Belarusians have applied to join the unit.[13] According to its own statements, the battalion is not incorporated into the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine in order to preserve greater autonomy.[14]

The unit is named after the Belarusian and Polish national hero Kastuś Kalinoŭski, who was a leader of the January Uprising in 1863 against the Russian Empire in Belarus and Lithuania.[15]

The regiment is confirmed to have suffered seven killed as of July 2022.[16]


Donbas War, 2014–21

Kalinowski Regiment members, among them Dzyanis Urbanowicz [be], pose for a picture on 8 March 2022.

The first foreign volunteer group in Ukraine during the Russo-Ukrainian War was the Pahonia detachment, founded in 2014 during the war in Donbas.[17] The following year, the tactical group "Belarus" was formed uniting Belarusian volunteers fighting in different battalions[18] The Monument to the Belarusians who died for Ukraine in Kyiv is dedicated to the Belarusian volunteers who died during the Russian-Ukrainian War.[19]

2022 Russian invasion

On 9 March, the creation of the Kastuś Kalinoŭski Battalion was announced.[20] The battalion is named after Kastuś Kalinoŭski,[b] a 19th-century Belarusian leader of the 1863 January Uprising against the Russian Empire.[12] It was reported that as of 5 March 2022, about 200 Belarusians had joined the battalion.[21][22] Their motto is ‘First Ukraine, then Belarus’, indicating the volunteers' wish to also liberate Minsk from the Lukashenko regime.[23]

On 13 March, the deputy commander of the battalion, nicknamed "Tur" (real name Aliaksiej Skoblia), was confirmed killed in the Kyiv offensive when his unit was ambushed.[24][25] On 13 April, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy posthumously awarded Skoblia the title of Hero of Ukraine "for personal courage and heroism in defending the state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, loyalty to the military oath."[26][27]

On 25 March, it was reported the regiment had taken an oath and has been formally admitted to the Ukrainian Ground Forces.[28] On 29 March, the Kastuś Kalinoŭski Battalion volunteers fought alongside Ukrainian soldiers to recapture Irpin.[29] On 26 March, Dzmitry Apanasovich (call sign "Terror") was killed during fighting in Irpin.[29]

On 1 April, it was reported that thousands of volunteers — many of whom were dissidents who had been arrested following the 2020–2021 Belarusian protests — had applied to be members of the battalion, but that vetting and equipping these volunteers had created a backlog that slowed down their deployment.[30]

On 16 May, a company commander, identified as Pavel "Volat," was reported to have died during the war in Ukraine. The Belarusian newspaper Nasha Niva stated that Volat was the sixth Belarusian fighter killed since the start of the war.[31] "Volat" was killed attempting to rescue four members of the regiment buried under rubble during the Battle of Bakhmut.[9]

On 21 May, battalion commander, Dzianis Prokharaŭ (call sign "Kit") announced that the battalion would become a regiment comprising two separate battalions. This was presented as "a move to the next stage of building a [Belarusian] national military unit" which "tak[es] into account the scale of the tasks facing the Belarusian soldiers".[32] The regiment would consist of three battalions, "Litvin", "Volat", and "Terror." Terror would later split from the Regiment and become an independent unit, the Terror Battalion.[33]

On 17 June, it was announced that volunteers of the Regiment received state Ukrainian decorations "For Battle Merit" and "Ukraine Above All".[34]

On 25–26 June 2022, in Lysychansk, the commander of the Volat battalion, callsign Brest, was killed in action and several other Belarusian fighters were captured or missing.[4]

On 11 July 2022, KKR volunteer soldiers Yan Dyurbeiko (call sign "Trombli") and Sergey Degtev ("Kleshch") were put on the POW exchange list.[16]

In September 2022, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus recognized the Internet resources of the regiment as an extremist group.[35]

In December 2022, the regiment received a BMP-2 armored vehicle, and in January 2023 a captured T-72 tank. The regiment announced the formation of the first mechanized unit.[citation needed]

On June 9, 2023, the regiment met with the Verkhovna Rada committee "For a Democratic Belarus" to begin cooperating with Ukrainian officials on toppling the current government of Belarus and establishing a free and democratic republic friendly to Ukraine.[33]

On 24 June 2023, shortly after the Wagner Group rebellion ended, the Regiment announced that they have "a large number of reserves in Belarus" and urged the Belarusian population to join them in an unspecified future operation to take control of Belarus.[36][37] Later that day, in a joint statement with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the regiment urged the Belarusian population to "Wait for the signal" for the commencement of an operation to liberate Belarus.[38]

On 15 September, the unit published a video of them walking freely and unopposed through the front-line settlement of Klishchiivka stating that all Russian forces had been pushed out of the settlement as part of the 2023 Ukrainian counteroffensive prior to any official statement of the village's liberation.[39]


As of 2023 the regiment's structure is as follows:[40]

  • Regimental HQ and HQ Company
  • 1st Infantry Battalion "Litvin"
  • 2nd Infantry Battalion "Volat"
  • 4th "KAŚCIUŠKA" Battalion[41]
  • Training company
  • Curfew service
  • UAV Battalion "Nikita Kryvtsov"
  • Engineering platoon
  • Medical service
  • Technical support platoon
  • Financial service

Former units include:[1]


The battalion has been featured on public posters in Kyiv to illustrate Ukrainian-Belarusian military ties.[42]

White-red-white flag with Columns of Gediminas in the form of a trident of the Belarusian diaspora in Ukraine, which is also used by the Kastuś Kalinoŭski Regiment[43][44]

The creation of the battalion was endorsed by Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who noted that "more and more people from Belarus join to help Ukrainians defend their country".[45][46] President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, an ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin, called the volunteers "crazed citizens".[24]

On 26 March, Deputy Head of the GUBOPiK of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus Mikhail Bedunkevich stated that a criminal case had been instituted in Belarus against 50 people from the Kastuś Kalinoŭski Battalion for participating in an armed conflict in a foreign state.[47]

In November 2022, the European Parliament adopted a resolution expressing its support for the Kastus Kalinouski Regiment.[48]


In Rivne, a street was named after Kastuś Kalinoŭski in honor of the Belarusian volunteers.[49]

Notable members

See also


  1. ^ Ukrainian: Полк імені Кастуся Калиновського, romanizedPolk imeni Kastusia Kalynovs'koho; Belarusian: Полк імя Кастуся Каліноўскага, romanizedPołk imia Kastusia Kalinoŭskaha
  2. ^ Polish: Wincenty Konstanty Kalinowski


  1. ^ a b Свабода, Радыё (10 July 2023). "Колькі беларускіх добраахвотнікаў ваюе ва Ўкраіне і дзе. Абноўлены гайд па ўсіх фармаваньнях". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (in Belarusian). Retrieved 25 September 2023.
  2. ^ "Ва Украіне ваюе некалькі груп беларускіх добраахвотнікаў". PolskieRadio.pl. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  3. ^ "Бойцы батальона "Волат" полка имени Калиновского защищали Северодонецк". charter97.org. 25 June 2022. Archived from the original on 1 August 2022.
  4. ^ a b "З-пад Лісічанска не вярнуліся шэсць беларусаў-каліноўцаў. Апошнім паведамленнем было: "На нас едзе танк. Адпрацаваў па ім"" (in Ukrainian). nashaniva.com. 6 July 2022. Archived from the original on 6 July 2022.
  5. ^ "Video of a Milan ATGM strike in the Bakhmut area by members of the Kastus Kalinouski regiment on a Russian position". 22 February 2023. Archived from the original on 22 February 2023.
  6. ^ "Камандзір палка Каліноўскага пра бой у Бучы". Archived from the original on 27 June 2022. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  7. ^ "Belarusian Dissident Turned Commander Dies in Ukraine War".
  8. ^ "Belarusian volunteer battalion commander killed". 6 July 2022.
  9. ^ a b "One killed, four under rubble: Belarusian soldiers cannot retrieve bodies of their brothers-in-arms in Bakhmut". Ukrayinska Pravda. Yahoo! News. 19 May 2023. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  10. ^ "Investigative Committee files criminal case on Kalinoŭski Regiment fighting in Ukraine". 11 October 2022.
  11. ^ "Fighting for a future: The Belarusian regiment in Ukraine is staking its claim on democracy". 5 December 2022.
  12. ^ a b Buckby, Jack (10 March 2022). "Putin Won't Like This: Belarusian Volunteers Are Fighting Against Russia in Kyiv". 19FortyFive. Archived from the original on 15 March 2022. Retrieved 15 March 2022.
  13. ^ "Ukraine says they want to dress the Belarusian military in the uniforms of the Russian Federation to participate in the war". Belsat.eu. Archived from the original on 31 March 2022. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  14. ^ "How Belarusian Fighters in Ukraine Evolved Into Prominent Force Against Russian Invasion". VOA. Archived from the original on 27 April 2022. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  15. ^ Melchior, Jillian Kay (2 May 2022). "Opinion | Meet the Belarusians Who Are Fighting Russia in Ukraine". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 23 May 2022. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  16. ^ a b "Защитников Украины из полка Калиновского включили в список по обмену военнопленными". 11 July 2022.
  17. ^ "Участь в АТО візьме добровольчий загін білорусів "Пагоня"" (in Ukrainian). Еспресо TV. 8 July 2014. Archived from the original on 5 October 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  18. ^ "Расея можа паўтарыць украінскі сцэнар у Беларусі". БЕЛАРУСКАЕ РАДЫЁ РАЦЫЯ (in Polish). 10 February 2017. Archived from the original on 30 August 2021. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  19. ^ Monument to Belarusians who died for Ukraine was opened in Kyiv Archived 16 November 2019 at the Wayback Machine // Belsat TV
  20. ^ ЕВРОРАДИО (9 March 2022). "Белорусы создали батальон имени Калиновского для обороны Киева". euroradio.fm (in Belarusian). Archived from the original on 16 April 2022. Retrieved 24 April 2022.
  21. ^ "Belarusians From Kastus Kalinouski Battalion Sharpening Their Skills: Video Fact". charter97.org. Archived from the original on 13 March 2022. Retrieved 15 March 2022.
  22. ^ Some Belarusians join the fight against Russia, archived from the original on 31 March 2022, retrieved 30 March 2022
  23. ^ Wood, Paul (7 April 2022). "Europe's last dictator: Lukashenko's fate depends on Ukraine". www.spectator.co.uk. Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  24. ^ a b Свабода, Радыё (15 March 2022). "Лукашэнка адрэагаваў на ўтварэньне ва Ўкраіне беларускага батальёну імя Кастуся Каліноўскага" [Lukashenka reacted to the formation of Kastuś Kalinoŭski Belarusian battalion in Ukraine]. Радыё Свабода (in Belarusian). Archived from the original on 19 March 2022. Retrieved 15 March 2022.
  25. ^ "Под Киевом погиб один из основателей белорусского добровольческого движения в Украине" [One of the founders of the Belarusian volunteer movement in Ukraine died near Kyiv]. 24 Канал (in Russian). 13 March 2022. Archived from the original on 18 March 2022. Retrieved 15 March 2022.
  26. ^ Свабода, Радыё (13 April 2022). "Беларускага байца Аляксея Скоблю пасьмяротна ўганаравалі званьнем Героя Ўкраіны" [Belarusian fighter Aliaksiej Skoblia posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine]. Радыё Свабода (in Belarusian). Archived from the original on 13 April 2022. Retrieved 14 April 2022.
  27. ^ "DECREE OF THE PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE №233 / 2022 About conferring the title of Hero of Ukraine". Archived from the original on 14 April 2022. Retrieved 14 April 2022.
  28. ^ "Батальён беларускіх добраахвотнікаў імя Каліноўскага ўвайшоў у склад Узброеных сіл Украіны" [A battalion of Belarusian volunteers named after Kalinouski has joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine]. Радыё Свабода // Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (in Belarusian). Archived from the original on 26 March 2022. Retrieved 26 March 2022.
  29. ^ a b "Battle For Ukraine Day 34 - Charter'97 :: News from Belarus - Belarusian News - Republic of Belarus - Minsk". 29 March 2022. Archived from the original on 1 August 2022. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  30. ^ Max Bearak (1 April 2022). "A Belarusian battalion fights in Ukraine 'for both countries' freedom'". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 1 April 2022. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  31. ^ Balachuk, Iryna (16 May 2022). "Company commander of the Belarusian Kastuś Kalinoŭski battalion dies". Pravda. Archived from the original on 16 May 2022. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  32. ^ "Батальён Каліноўскага становіцца полкам" [Kalinoŭski Battalion Becomes a Regiment]. Наша Ніва // Nasha Niva (in Belarusian). Archived from the original on 22 May 2022. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  33. ^ a b "Belarusian regiment fighting against Russia and exiled leader to cooperate actions". Euromaidan Press. 9 June 2023. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  34. ^ Свабода, Радыё (17 June 2022). "Байцы палку Каліноўскага атрымалі ўкраінскія дзяржаўныя ўзнагароды. Фотафакт" [Soldiers of the Kalinoŭski Regiment received Ukrainian state decorations. Photofact]. Радыё Свабода (in Belarusian). Archived from the original on 20 June 2022. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  35. ^ МВД признало экстремистскими формированиями ресурсы Полка Калиновского, телеграм-каналы «Движ» и «Баста!»
  36. ^ Stepanenko, Kateryna; Hird, Karolina; Bailey, Riley; Evans, Angelica; Clark, Mason. "Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, June 24, 2023". Institute for the Study of War. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  37. ^ Whelan, Luke (24 June 2023). "Belarus rebels warn Lukashenko 'time is approaching' in another huge boost for Ukraine". Daily Express. Retrieved 27 June 2023.
  38. ^ ""Wait for the signal": Belarusian opposition leaders appeal to Belarusians". Ukrayinska Pravda. Yahoo! News. 24 June 2023. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  39. ^ Korshak, Stefan (15 September 2023). "Victory in Andriivka, Possible Capture of Klishchiivka – Ukraine's Local Success in Bakhmut Sector". Kyiv Post. Retrieved 15 September 2023.
  40. ^ "The Kastuś Kalinoŭski Regiment". /bel.army. 11 September 2023.
  41. ^ "The Kalinousky Regiment is now recruiting foreigners". bel.army. Retrieved 9 March 2024.
  42. ^ "У Кіеве з'явіліся беларускія банеры" [Belarusian posters have appeared in Kyiv]. Наша Ніва / Nasha Niva. Archived from the original on 26 March 2022. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  43. ^ "Білоруси створили в Україні "Білоруський Добровольчий Корпус"". Мілітарний (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 26 December 2022.
  44. ^ Журавель, Дмитро (26 December 2022). "В Україні з'явився "Білоруський Добровольчий Корпус" (ВІДЕО)". ШоТам (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 26 December 2022.
  45. ^ "Svetlana Tikhanovskaya: Is the fate of Belarus tied to the fate of Ukraine?" (Podcast Interview). BBC. 11 March 2022. Archived from the original on 15 March 2022. Retrieved 16 March 2022.
  46. ^ "This is the Kastus Kalinouski battalion – a volunteer group of Belarusians formed to defend Ukraine". Twitter. Archived from the original on 15 March 2022. Retrieved 15 March 2022.
  47. ^ "ГУБАЗіК завёў крымінальную справу супраць байцоў батальёну імя Каліноўскага". Радыё Свабода. svaboda.org. 27 March 2022. Archived from the original on 12 April 2022.
  48. ^ "MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the continuing repression of the democratic opposition and civil society in Belarus". europarl.europa.eu. 22 November 2022.
  49. ^ "У Роўне з'явіцца вуліца Кастуся Каліноўскага" (in Belarusian). belsat.eu. 5 April 2022.
  50. ^ ""Міру не будзе ніколі, пакуль існуе такая грозная імперыя, як Расея". Забіты яшчэ адзін беларус". Archived from the original on 14 April 2022. Retrieved 14 April 2022.
  51. ^ "Экс-гребец Шурмей о войне в Украине: "Каким бы не был этот путь, он закончится победой украинского и беларусского народов"" [Ex-rower Shurmei about the war in Ukraine: "Whatever this path is, it will end with the victory of the Ukrainian and Belarusian peoples"]. BY.Tribuna.com. Archived from the original on 15 March 2022. Retrieved 15 March 2022.
  52. ^ ""Будзе перамога і ў Беларусі; вы зьдзівіцеся, як шмат украінцаў нам дапамогуць". Экс-вясьляр Шурмей пра вайну, Украіну, Лукашэнку і Пазьняка" ["There will be a victory in Belarus as well; you will be surprised how many Ukrainians will help us." Ex-rower Shurmei about the war, Ukraine, Lukashenka and Paznyak]. Радыё Свабода // Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (in Belarusian). Archived from the original on 8 April 2022. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  53. ^ Свабода, Радыё (8 March 2022). ""Верым, што пераможам Расею, а пасьля вызвалім Беларусь". У беларускую роту тэрабароны Ўкраіны запісаліся сямёра маладафронтаўцаў". Радыё Свабода (in Belarusian). Archived from the original on 10 March 2022. Retrieved 22 March 2022.

External links

  • Media related to Kastuś Kalinoŭski Regiment at Wikimedia Commons
  • Official Telegram channel
  • Official Website of the Kastuś Kalinoŭski Regiment
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