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Semen Semenchenko

Semen Semenchenko Age: 40 years Education: unfinished higher The commander of battalion operational purposes “Donbass” No. 2 in the list of “Association “Samopomich” March 2014 divided a life of battalion commander Semen Semenchenko on “before” and “after”. “Before” – he is Konstantin Grishyn, the owner of a company which is specialized in the field of […]

Semen Semenchenko
Age: 40 years
Education: unfinished higher
The commander of battalion operational purposes “Donbass”
No. 2 in the list of “Association “Samopomich”

March 2014 divided a life of battalion commander Semen Semenchenko on “before” and “after”. “Before” – he is Konstantin Grishyn, the owner of a company which is specialized in the field of telecommunications, a father of four children. “After” – he is a popular commander, who writes posts almost from the battlefield, one of the active newsmakers of ATO.
His battalion released Lisichansk, Popasnaya, participated in the battle of Nikolaevka, Artemivsk, Dzerzhinsk, Karlovka and Pervomaysk, and among others took part in releasing Mariupol. August 19, Semenchenko was wounded during the assault on the positions of separatists in Illovaysk.
“His courage, commanding persistence and power of spirit – is an example for everyone. It passed a few hours after the operation, and he says that he is ready to defend Ukraine from enemies!” – wrote Petro Poroshenko on Facebook.

September 1, Semenchenko, who previously appeared in public only in balaclava, showed his face.
At the beginning of September, 15 fighters of “Donbass” accused Semenchenko in incompetent leadership of the battalion. Former soldiers call Semenchenko PR expert. The battalion commander responses that the participants scandalous press conference were previously expelled from the battalion for looting.
Semenchenko was born in Sevastopol. He says that learned to write when he founded his first newspaper “Sevastopol Gazette”. Semenchenko has three higher educations, but all three unfinished. One of the latest places of study is higher courses of film and television RSIC on the course of “Dramaturgy and direction of television”.
About 190 thousand people are signed on his page in Facebook.
“Before Maidan I was an entrepreneur, was engaged in my family, did not give bribes, and did not enter into any corruption schemes. When was carried to desperation, participated in protest initiatives. Recently was frequented by idea to leave the country. But when in winter 2013 Maidan started – thought how to make so that there was no repeat of 2004”.

We went on pro-Ukrainian meetings in Donetsk. We were in the minority, and against us came out “titushki”. At the meeting on 13 March was the first death – Dmitry Cherniavsky. Then we began combining together a local self-defense in one “fist”. Kyiv volunteers helped us with helmets, armor vests.
When I wrote post about creating a battalion of territorial defense “Donbass”, I had about 70 subscribers. During the day 600 people signed up as volunteers. My impulse coincided with a public request.
We could not deploy in Donetsk any more. We went to Dnipropetrovsk then there were about hundred of us. I began actively write in Facebook, collect money on the card. There we had two problems: weapons and training. We settled in the hotel opposite Dnipropetrovsk RSA, and there were first meetings.
In RSA I met Gennady Korban, Yuri Filatov and Yuri Bereza. We were offered to take a base in the village Novopidgorodne on the border of Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk regions. The battalion “Donbass” we formed just three weeks.
At that time nobody thought about the war – we were sure that we would return in Donetsk, clean the city, change cops. And then the ATO came, the fights, the capture of cities, killed, wounded.
We became soldiers, because our state was unable to protect civilians – and we took this responsibility. Our political demands have not gone away. One of the main, we want to live in country, in which we can realize ourselves by not having among relatives a prosecutor, judge or official. It is a common phrase, but is close to everyone. We must be owners of our land.
In Donetsk region, people don’t feel themselves as owners. That’s why 10-15 fighters easily captured big cities. And that’s why it is necessary to enter incentives for protection of our land. We need decentralization. We must help people to select our representatives, give the maximum of powers, including the disposal of finances. This should be done as soon as possible – in order to in case of further escalation, the people will hold on to their land.

In July there were such circumstances, when I thought that we wouldn’t live to see tomorrow. But in August, we thought for the first time, that we need to form our own political party. We discussed this at the level of volunteers, activists, commanders. The idea was simple: in order to prevent the “regionals” to power, we should run ourselves. Half of that list, which we had formed in the battalion – killed.
When I’m being criticized, because I write a lot in Facebook, they forget that last month I had to collect aid for wounded at 1.200.000grn. If to get help for battalion I have to waste 15 minutes, then this is the right way of wasting time.
Often, instead of communicating with children, I write posts. Because I know that if I don’t write, there will be no money on ammunition and gasoline.
I received offers from different forces. I have chosen “Samopomich”; it had start rating of 0.9%. Now I think we will get no less than 9%, maybe more.

The order can be restored very quickly, because it’s obviously where and what schemes are. It only requires political will. Our priorities are: to reform the army and the introduction of a system of personal responsibility. Now no one of the officials is responsible for their decisions.
Still need to create a municipal police. It must be elected police, which will report before people, and not depend on the Minister. This will greatly change the situation in the country.
I went out far beyond the comfort zone during these six months. What do I see? Partially restores State’s “muscle memory” – the old patterns are reproduced in the same form in which they were before.
There is no state yet, but there is a country. Now there is a huge shortage of people who take responsibility.
Nothing has been decided yet, and everything depends on us. From me, including, a lot of things depend. If I give up now and escape – maybe someone else will come to my place or perhaps not. I can’t imagine Ukraine in a year, the situation is multivariate. Full-scale military actions may begin at any time.

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