“Rusich” is a combat unit of Russian nationalists and neo-Nazis who took part in the war in Ukraine. The “Rusich” Diversion and Assault Reconnaissance Group is a volunteer group which was formed in early June 2014. “Rusich” included two assault platoons. The unit chose the Slavic swastika called “Kolovrat” as its emblem.

**Donbass war in 2014**

The group consisted mainly of volunteers from Russian nationalist organizations in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other cities. Subsequently, local residents joined the group. In addition, the unit consisted of citizens from Italy, Bulgaria, and Poland.

The first members arrived in Donbass on June 22, 2014, having illegally entered Ukraine. The group was small in number, but well equipped and prepared. Initially the group’s goal was the city of Slavyansk, but it turned out that the city had been surrounded by Ukrainian soldiers, and the group’s contact refused to go there. Then an invitation was made on the spot to the LNR special militia unit, rapid response team “Batman” under Aleksandr “Batman” Bednov command. At first, there was little weaponry and ammunition, but then the group acquired trophy weapons.

The commander of the “Rusich” unit, the St. Petersburg neo-Nazi Alexei Milchakov, better known by his call sign “Serb,” arrived from Russia and his deputy, Jan “Great Slav” Petrovsky, arrived from Norway. Another well-known member of “Rusich” is an outspoken neo-Nazi, a native of Donetsk, Yevgeny “Topaz” Rasskazov. After 2014 he became a mercenary and joined PMC “Wagner”. He then [started]( a channel on Telegram where he posted far-right propaganda and promoted mercenary culture.

The group received widespread media coverage in August and September after the battles at Luhansk airport and a successful ambush of a convoy of the 24th Aydar territorial defense battalion in the Luhansk region.

**Ceasefire of 2015**

During the ceasefire, “Rusich” refused to recognize the ceasefire and end the war, and continued sabotage and reconnaissance work. It was known for not taking captive Ukrainian soldiers, but immediately killing them and publishing most of the corpses’ photos on social networks. During the storming of Donetsk airport, Rusich together with “Sparta” and “Somali” battalions took the airport and dislodged Ukrainian soldiers.

In early January 2015 Aleksandr Bednov was killed in the LNR. So in March 2015, the “Rusich” joined the 4th Battalion of Territorial Defense of the LNR (formerly the “Prizrak” Brigade) under the command of Alexey Mozgovoy. At the end of March 2015, after redeployment to the DNR, the unit became part of the “Viking” Slavic Corps, where it took part in battles in the Volnovakha direction, in the areas of Belokamenka and Novaya Laspa.

In June 2015, the command staff of “Rusich” decided to withdraw the group from Novorossiya, citing as reasons the need to retrain and re-staff for a new war. This was primarily affected by the Minsk agreements. The leadership stated that they no longer saw any reason or interest for which they should continue to fight in Donbass and were withdrawing to retrain and rearm. Also, that another war awaits them. Milchakov himself stated that he would no longer fight there, only for more money.

In the summer of 2015, Milchakov (“Serb”) and “Rusich” were accused of war crimes and added to western sanctions list.

**Russian invasion of 2022**

Assault and reconnaissance group “Rusich” take part in the current war from the beginning. A friendly Telegram channel [published]( a post with pictures of the squad’s fighters. The post said that the squad leader, most likely Milchakov himself, was wounded and required expensive treatment. The photo shows the neo-Nazi symbol Valknut.