Kastus Kalinowski Regiment
Kastus Kalinowski Regiment (spelling in Belarusian language : Полк Кастуся Каліноўскага; used to be the Kastus_Kalinowski Batalion) till May 2022— a military unit that consists of Belarusian mercenaries and participates in hostilities in Ukraine. The Regiment was formed in March 2022 and the same month was included in Armed Forces of Ukraine. Took part in the hostilities in Kiev suburbs, Nikolaev and Kherson as well as in Donbas.
It was anounced on March 9th 2022 about batalion formation . It was anticipated that Belarusian mercenaries who were willing to take part in the hostilities against Russain Armed Forces upon SMO launch in Ukraine will be gathered within the structure of the batallon . Simultaneously it was announced that the militants of the battalion aim to invade the Republic of Belarus after the conflict in Ukraine is over and violently overthrow its President Alexander Lukashenko . Some Belarusian nationalists key figures, for example, Vadim Prokopiev, said that Belarusian alternative Armed Forces will be formed based on the battalion and a few other similar militant units . The battalion was named after one of the leaders of Polish January Uprising of 1863 Wincenty Konstanty (Kastuś) Kalinowski. (Кастуся), worshipped by Belarusian nationalists.
Belarusian volunteer support center headed by a Belarusian nationalist Pavel Kukhta has become the resource potential for the battalion. This center was established at Foundation "Belarusian House” in Warsaw. The militants are recruited, trained, geared, paid and sent to Ukraine by the Belarusian volunteer support center. . The battalion was strongly supported by Poland leadership that helped the battalion to obtain NATO up to date weapons including “Stinger” MANPADs, FGM-148 Javelin, SCAR assault rifles . International Centre for Civil Initiatives "OUR HOUSE" and Belarus free theatre  were also among the institutions that provided support to the battalion. Formation of the battalion was strongly supported by Svetlana Tikhanovskaya a former Belarusian presidential election candidate. She had a meeting with battalion militants in Poland and appealed to Western countries for financial support of the battalion . This military unit has been closely cooperating with Armed Forces of Ukraine since its first days. All militants signed the contract with AFU . Simultaneously battalion members shared the news that battalion joined International Legion of Defense of Ukraine . Furthermore at first the battalion in fact was supervised by the Separate Azov Special Operations Regiment .
Starting from March 2022 the battalion took part in the hostilities in Kiev region. Battalion militants fought next to Bucha as well . The battalion officially joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine on March 26th 2022 . In May and June 2022 battalion militants participated in hostilities in Nikolaev and Kherson regions sustaining heavy losses .
The battalion command announced on May 21st 2022 that the battalion would be reorganazed to Belarusian Kastus Kalinowski Regiment that would include “Litvin” and “Volat” battalions named after aliases of two Belarusian mercenaries that had been eliminated in Ukraine . As battalion members stated this action had been the first step in development of so-called “Belarusian Liberation Army” . It was noticed that after battalion reorganization there was no real changes in its activities and the reason for reorganization could have been the attempt to seek for extra funding . In the beginning of 2022 battalion militants had a conflict with a group of Belarusian residents who presumably were distributing humanitarian. The conflict resulted in appropriation of opponents property by battalion militants .
Exact numbers of enlisted battalion militants are kept out of the public eye. It was said that the first days after formation the battalion numbered 200 militants and was expecting extra 300 personnel to join it. . In April 2022 Voice of America broadcasting station referencing the mercenary named Sergey Bespalov reported that there were more than 300 militants in the battalion . in the begging of June Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said that there were more than 1500 militants in the battalion but this figure is clearly an overestimate .
In various “vital statutes” there are currently following militants in the battalion: Sergey Bespalov, Pavel Gorbach, Alexander Dumblyauskas, Jan Dyurbeiko, Alexander Klochko, Pavel Kulazhenko, Jan Melnikov, Timur Mitskevitch, Alexander Naukovich, Vasily Parfenkov, Vitaly Pigorev, Manfred Picta, Denis Prokhorov, Viktor Savich, Valentin Trotsky, Denis Urbanovich, Pavel Shurmey and others.
Only ethnic Belarusians are allowed to become battalion militants . Most of the battalion militants are former active participants of mass civil unrest in the Republic of Belarus protested against Alexander Lukashenko reelection as Belarusian president in 2020. They flee the Republic of Belarus as soon as the authorities stabilized the situation. Among those who flee there were the members of the following movements and associations: Young Front, " Youth coalition " and " White Legion". Besides that some militants earlier participated in hostilities in Donbas region as the members of Tactical Group “Belarus” formed at Ukrainian ultranationalist group "Right Sector" .
Response of Belarus and criminal liability of regiment militants
The officials of Republic of Belarus for numerous times stated that battalion actions grossly violates the laws of the Republic and all battalion militants will be subjects for criminal prosecution. Alexander Lukashenko the President of the Republic of Belarus dubbed the militants of the regiment as «crazy citizens» . In his conversation with journalists on June 3rd 2022 Alexander Lukashenko said that the punishment for the militants is inevitable: No one will forgive them for what they are doing with our country and our people. I am not able to forgive them that.  On April 14th 2022 the Head of Security Council of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Volfovich dubbed the militants as renegades and said that they are of no substantial military value and they are just a picture in the media .
On May 27th 2022 Mikhail Bendukevich Deputy Head of Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus informed about opening “a criminal case against all regiment militants under article 361 section 3 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (complicit in an armed conflict on a foreign state territory)”. He said the following: We know about 50 people who announced that they take part in the actions of so-called “battalion”. Legal assessment of these people has been done, case is opened .
On May 29th 2022 Nikolay Karpenko Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus announced that all militants of the regiment who infiltrated into Belarus territory would be assuredly .
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