**Freikorps** is a Kharkiv-based far-right militarized organization with a cell in Ivano-Frankivsk. The name Freikorps refers to eponymous volunteer squads in Austria and Germany. In the 20th century, this name was adopted by members of far-right paramilitary formations that fought against the left and later joined the Nazi movement. Freikorps positions itself as a military order which stands on national-conservative principles.

Officially, Freikorps was registered in 2018 as the Public Military-Patriotic Organization Freikorps. Its founders are **Heorhiy Tarasenko, Bohdan Voitsekhovskyi** and **Volodymyr Sakharchuk**. Its legal address is Rymarska Street, 18, in Kharkiv. Other nationalist and far-right organizations are registered at the same address. In particular, the office of the Patriot of Ukraine headed by Andriy Biletsky, the organization from which the Azov battalion and, later, the National Corps party emerged, was located here. In 2014, there was an armed conflict between nationalists and representatives of the Kharkiv anti-Maidan at the location.

In November 2018, Freikorps announced the mobilization of a volunteer unit to participate in combat operations in eastern Ukraine. The unit consisted of at least 10 men who took part in the fighting.

Since the beginning of their activities, some of the main targets for Freikorps have been LGBT+ activists and the feminist movement. In 2018, they disrupted a lecture on the LGBT movement in Ukraine and the world organized by the Sphere NGO. Attacks on the organization’s office and events have occurred every year since then. In 2018, Freikorps members trashed the Autonomy anarchist squat, which sheltered displaced people from the war zone in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

Since 2018, Freikorps has made annual attempts to disrupt the KharkivPride (or Equality March), the main LGBT+ event in Kharkiv, together with other far-right organizations such as Tradition and Order, the National Corps, Bratstvo, and the Right Sector. The most violent attack occurred in March of 2019 when Freikorps members and other far-rightists threw stones at the march and attacked people who tried to get to the rally. As a result, 7 participants were injured, and 17 far-right activists were detained by the police. However, only three of them, including Freikorps leaders Maksym Sakhnenko and Vadym Makarov, were declared suspects. Two years later, the Dzerzhinsky District Court in Kharkiv found them guilty of violence against a law enforcement officer and gave them two years of probation.

Freikorps is involved in Kharkiv city politics. It conducts actions against local authorities and politicians who are not patriotic enough, according to the Freikorps activists. Particularly important for the organization is the fight for the decommunization of the city, symbolized by attacks at memorial signs of Marshal Georgy Zhukov. In May 2018, Freikor’s members tore down a monument to the Soviet marshal, although it does not formally fall under the law on decommunization. In June 2019, Freikorps and members of other far-right organizations tore down a bust of Zhukov. The bust was restored twice, but each time it was subjected to new attacks by the nationalists.

Freikorps has also been involved in politics on a national level. The organization supported the Movement against Capitulation, common to many right-wingers, who demanded to refuse negotiations with the Russian Federation on settling the conflict in the Donbas in the format of the Minsk Agreements and the Steinmeier Formula. Freikorps members participated in nationalist protests in Kyiv and, together with the National Corps, attempted to prevent the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from the town of Zolote in the Luhansk Oblast, which was part of the cease-fire agreement.

In 2020, Freikorps initiated Gunpride, a project aimed at legalizing firearms for the public. The organization actively promotes the idea, and members of Freikorps systematically make posts in the social networks with pictures from shooting ranges. In addition to classes on the use of firearms, they have regular training in knife fighting.

Freikorps also promotes the use of guns in schools. Under the “lessons of courage” program, members of the organization regularly visit schools in Kharkiv, where they give lessons to children of all ages, starting from the 2nd grade. Automatic rifles, grenade launchers and Freikorps flags are indispensable elements of such lessons. In May 2021, the then acting mayor of Kharkiv, Ihor Terekhov, called the practice “lessons of fascism”. Other nationalist organizations immediately mobilized against such a statement by Terekhov. Freikorps was supported by Tradition and Order, Centuria (the paramilitary wing of the Azov Movement), the Right Sector, the Carpathian Sich, and Eduard Yurchenko’s Order. Eventually, Freikorps continued to visit schools and work with children.

In June 2020, Heorhiy Tarasenko, chairman of Freikorps, became part of the Coordinating Council on National Patriotic Education under the Kharkiv Regional State Administration. A member of the Right Sector, Yuriy Likhota, joined him.

After the active participation of Freikorps members in the attack on the Kharkiv March of Equality in 2019, the human rights organization Freedom House filed a lawsuit to deprive Freikorps of the status of a legal entity. However, the attempt was unsuccessful. In 2020, the Kharkiv District Administrative Court refused to terminate the organization’s activities.