Andrii Yevheniiovych Biletskyi was born in Kharkiv on September 5, 1979. In 2001, he earned a history degree from Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University.
Biletskyi has been involved in radical-nationalist and xenophobic groups and parties since the late 1990s. According to his official biography, he headed the Kharkiv branch of the All-Ukrainian Stepan Bandera Trident organization in 2002, though there is no more additional information available about this period of his life. In the mid-2000s, he was a member of the Ukrainian Conservative Party (UCP), which was established by leaders from the Interregional Academy of Personnel Management (IAPM) to spread anti-Semitic propagandaFrom 2002–2007, the IAPM produced the vast majority of anti-Semitic literature in the country. On the IAPM and the UCP's anti-Semitic campaign, see: "Проявления антисемитизма в Украине: итоги 2007 г." [Manifestations of anti-Semitism in Ukraine: 2007 results], Jews Eurasia, last modified January 1, 2008, http://jewseurasia.org/page18/news11996.html. and its platform maintained an anti-Zionist stance."ПРОГРАМА УКРАЇНСЬКОЇ КОНСЕРВАТИВНОЇ ПАРТІЇ Затверджена установчим з'їздом УКП 22 грудня 2004 року" [PROGRAM OF THE UKRAINIAN CONSERVATIVE PARTY Approved by the Constituent Congress of the UCP on December 22, 2014], Personal, № 5 (2005), http://www.personal.in.ua/article.php?ida=38. In 2006, Biletskyi ran for a seat in the Verkhovna Rada as a UCP candidate.“ЗРОБІТЬ СВІЙ УКРАЇНСЬКИЙ ВИБІР!” [Make your Ukrainian choice!”], Personal Plus, January 18–24, 2006, http://www.personal-plus.net/154/328.html. At the time of the election, he was working for the IAPM in Kharkiv as the Deputy Director for National and Patriotic Education.
From to 2003 to 2004, Biletskyi was a member of the Social National Party of Ukraine (SNPU). He left the SNPU in 2004 following the leadership’s attempt to rehabilitate its image, changing its name to the All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda and renouncing neo-Nazi symbols.Until 2004, the SNPU used the "wolf hook" or "Wolfsangel" as its official emblem, a popular symbol among post-war neo-Nazi movements, see: "Wolfsangel," ADL, https://www.adl.org/education/references/hate-symbols/wolfsangel; "Aryan Nations," ADL, https://www.adl.org/education/references/hate-symbols/aryan-nations; "Wolfsangel as a Nazi symbol," Wikipedia, last updated September 26, 2020, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfsangel#As_a_Nazi_symbol. For polemic purposes, radical Ukrainian nationalists claim that the symbol was created by superimposing the Latin letters "I" and "N" from the phrase "Idea of the Nation" (see: "Ідея Nації — наш символ" [Idea of the Nation — Our Symbol], Patriot of Ukraine, last updated February 4, 2010, https://web.archive.org/web/20100204102055/http://www.patriotukr.org.ua/index.php?rub=stat&id=345) and that the Patriot of Ukraine symbol depicts stylized versions of the letters "U" and "P" (in Ukrainian, «У» and «П»). However, the fact that this symbol is widely used by neo-Nazi groups around the world is indicative of the secondary nature of such an interpretation. The SNPU’s youth military and sports organization, called Patriot of Ukraine, was dissolved as well. In 2006, Biletskyi created and headed an organization based on the remnants of several regional groups, also named Patriot of Ukraine.
In 2008, Biletskyi’s Patriot of Ukraine, which positioned itself as a paramilitary organization, launched the Social National Assembly (SNA), also headed by Biletskyi. A few small, regional, right-wing radical groups joined the SNA, but it did not function as a real coalition and was not officially registered as a political party as its leaders had planned. By and large, the SNA served as the political brand of Patriot of Ukraine.
The ideology and propaganda of Patriot of Ukraine and the SNA were openly racist.In 2014, information about previous years was removed from the SNA and Patriot of Ukraine websites, but archived versions of these webpages have been preserved and are cited below. The political manifestos of bothPatriot of Ukraine, last updated February 17, 2011, https://web.archive.org/web/20110217201916/http://www.patriotukr.org.ua/index.php?rub=doc. organizations"ПРОГРАМА" [Programme], Social National Assembly, last updated April 24, 2011, https://web.archive.org/web/20110424121359/http://sna.in.ua/archives/248. promoted a monoracial society as an ideal. According to their manifestos, "there is a well-planned war against the White Race [sic] on physical, spiritual, cultural, and civilizational levels." SNA’s manifesto, titled The Right of the Nation, proclaimed, among other things, that "A nation as a closed genetic population has the right to dispose of non-White impurity on its territory by deporting its bearers to the historical territory of their residence.""ПРАВО NАЦІЇ" [The Right of the Nation], Social National Assembly, Sept 17, 2006, https://web.archive.org/web/20111016134226/http://sna.in.ua/archives/308. Some of the organizations’ propaganda materials were based on posters from the Third Reich.For example, see: "На Варті Нації" [On Guard for the Nation], Social National Assembly, last updated December 13, 2011, https://web.archive.org/web/20111213080416/http://sna.in.ua/wp-content/gallery/stikery/cb_na_varti_naii.jpg; "Вступай до лав" [Join the Ranks], Social National Assembly, last updated December 13, 2011, https://web.archive.org/web/20111213073309/http://sna.in.ua/wp-content/gallery/stikery/vstupay_do_lav.jpg.
In an article on SNA’s website, titled “Ukrainian Social Nationalism,” Biletskyi wrote the following:
All of our nationalism is nothing - a castle in the sand - without the foundation of blood, the foundation of Race [sic]. […] Accordingly, to heal our National body, we must begin with the racial cleansing of the Nation. And then in a racially healthy body, a healthy National Spirit will be reborn, and with it, culture, language, and everything else. Aside from the question of purity, we must also pay attention to questions of the usefulness of Race. Ukrainians are part (and one of the largest and highest quality) of the European White Race. They are a Racial-Creator of a great civilization of the highest human achievements. The historical mission of our Nation in this crucial century is to head and lead all the White Peoples of the whole world in the last crusade of its existence. A campaign against Semitic-led inhumanity.Andrii Biletskyi, "УКРАЇНСЬКИЙ СОЦІАЛ-НАЦІОНАЛІЗМ" [Ukrainian Social Nationalism], Social National Assembly, last updated October 16, 2011, https://web.archive.org/web/20111016133326/http://sna.in.ua/archives/281.
At the Patriot of Ukraine general meeting on February 13, 2009, Biletskyi stated:
“In order to emerge victorious, you need to know your enemy - who to fight. How can we describe our enemy?! The authorities and the oligarchs. Do they have anything in common? Yes, they have one thing in common — they are Jews, or behind them are their real masters - Jews. Of the 100 richest people in Ukraine, 92 are Jews.”Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, Расизм і ксенофобія в Україні: реальність та вигадки [Racism and xenophobia in Ukraine: reality and fiction], (Kharkiv: Human Rights, 2009), 83, http://library.khpg.org/files/docs/1242226191.pdf.
In another article, titled “Language and Race: The Priority of the Issue,”Andrii Biletskyi, "Мова і Раса - первинність питання" [Language and Race - The Primacy of the Question], Patriot of Ukraine, last updated August 4, 2009, https://web.archive.org/web/20090804201043/http://www.patriotukr.org.ua/index.php?rub=stat&id=315; This article was also published in the collection Word of the White Leader in 2013 (Andrii Biletskyi, "Мова і Раса – первинність питання," in Слово Білого вождя [Word of the White Leader], 28–31, https://web.archive.org/web/20140924041340/http://rid.org.ua/knigarnya/AB/slovo.pdf). Biletskyi decries "national liberals" who "neglect racial issues." In his opinion, their approach can lead to terrible consequences because they can easily "accept a person of another blood, mentality, culture into their family and the Nation, mixing their genes with the genes of another breed of people.” Meanwhile, "Ukrainian social nationalism considers the Ukrainian Nation a blood-race community." He states further, "Race is everything for nation-building - Race is the basis on which the superstructure grows, in the form of national culture, which again comes from the racial nature of the people, not from language, religion, economy, etc." He also promised to resolve the issue of “insufficient patriotism” among Russian-speaking residents of Ukraine: "If we’re talking about the Russian-speaking East Ukraine or the Ukrainian territories within Russia, we must first awaken their racial consciousness, after which they will automatically become linguistic nationalists." At the same time, Biletskyi argued that "geopolitically, racially, we understand that separation from Russia, division, is idiocy."Olena Lukash, "билецкий рф" [Biletskyi RF], YouTube video, July 16, 2019, https://youtu.be/LqGG_Vr9cjU.
Patriot of Ukraine, the SNA, and its leader have actively promoted anti-migrant views. In an interview, Biletskyi underscored the centrality of the “migrant issue” by stating: "Our credo is to destroy everything that destroys our people…[Y]ou can restore almost everything: the economy, order in the streets, birth rates, a strong army and navy, nuclear weapons, but the only thing that cannot be restored is the purity of blood.”"Інтерв'ю з Андрієм Білецьким" [Interview with Andrii Biletskyi], I.UA, January 25, 2011, http://blog.i.ua/community/662/625182. Patriot of Ukraine’s supporters repeatedly attacked foreigners on the streets.In particular, on September 13, 2008, January 1, 2009 and March 31, 2009. Hate crime monitoring data from the Congress of National Communities of Ukraine. The SNA website proudly reported on acts of violence committed against foreigners: “Some members of the Vietnamese diaspora had to be forcefully put in their place, some of them were taken to the hospital by ambulance…The injured illegals are licking their wounds, patriots at large are celebrating another victory over foreigners.""Права людини в Україні 2009–2010. XII. Захист від дискримінації, расизму та ксенофобії" [Human Rights in Ukraine 2009–2010. XII. Protection against discrimnation, racism, xenophobia], Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, February 22, 2011, http://khpg.org/index.php?id=1298355452.
On December 21, 2011, Biletskyi was arrested for his alleged involvement in an assassination attempt. On August 23, 2011, a fight involving weapons occurred at the Patriot of Ukraine office in Kharkiv. The dispute emerged over ideology and left Serhii Kolesnyk, who himself wielded a less-lethal “traumatic” pistol during the fight, with stab wounds and a head injury. Although Biletskyi was not involved in the fight itself, the official investigation asserted that he had incited members of the organization to kill Kolesnyk and promised to help resolve any proceeding issues with law enforcement agencies. Vitalii Knyazheskii, one of two Patriot of Ukraine members accused of trying to kill Kolesnyk, testified to this effect."В целях безопасности Главного командира «Патриота Украины» перевели в колонию подальше от соратников в СИЗО." [Patriot of Ukraine chief commander transferred to prison away from his associates in pre-trial detention for safety reasons], Advokat Konsalting, February 15, 2011, http://advocat-cons.info/index.php?newsid=20679#.X2zpemgzbIU. Media reports claimed that Knyazheskii’s testimony is why Biletskyi attacked him as he was escorted from the pre-trial detention center to the court hearing."Аваков покрывает убийц? «Азов» и резонансные убийства в Украине: совпадений слишком много" [Is Avakov covering up killers? Azov and high-profile murders in Ukraine: too many coincidences], Argument, December 25, 2017, http://argumentua.com/stati/avakov-pokryvaet-ubiits-azov-i-rezonansnye-ubiistva-v-ukraine-sovpadenii-slishkom-mnogo. The former rivals later reconciled. From 2014 to 2015, Knyazheskii was a prominent figure in the Azov Regiment. According to official accounts, he shot himself with a shotgun in the forest on the outskirts Kharkiv in 2017."Смерть основателя «Азова»: никто не верит в самоубийство" [Death of Azov founder: no one believes it was suicide], Politeka, October 18, 2017, https://politeka.net/news/521433-smert-osnovatelya-azova-nikto-ne-verit-v-samoubijstvo.
A collection of Biletskyi’s articles, entitled The Word of the White Leader, was published in 2013.Andrii Biletskyi, Слово Білого вождя [The Word of the White Leader], https://web.archive.org/web/20140924041340/http://rid.org.ua/knigarnya/AB/slovo.pdf. The preface stated, among other things: “We are lucky. We have a real Leader. Our Leader has character, will, talent and luck. We got a feel for him, accepted him and followed him." Later, Biletskyi claimed that only journalists called him the “White Leader” and that it was a bad joke."Андрій Білецький: «Парламент треба перезавантажувати. Якнайшвидше»" [Andrii Biletskyi: "Parliament needs to be reset. As soon as possible], LB.ua, February 21, 2018, https://lb.ua/news/2018/02/21/390730_andriy_biletskiy_parlament_treba.html.
While Biletskyi was in prison from 2011 to 2014, his supporters worked hard to present him as a political prisoner.For context, see: Vyacheslav Likhachev, "Водоворот радикализма" [The Maelstrom of Radicalism], Jews Eurasia, April 6, 2013, http://jewseurasia.org/page18/news37543.html. On February 24, 2014, after former President Yanukovych had fled the country, Biletskyi and his accomplices, as well as other members of Patriot of Ukraine, the SNA, and other far-right groups, some of whom had already been convicted on various charges,For example, see: Vyacheslav Likhachev, "Темная сторона свободы" [The Dark Side of Freedom], Hadashot, March 2014, http://archive.hadashot.kiev.ua/content/temnaya-storona-svobody. were released following a resolution from the Ukrainian parliament."On the release of political prisoners," Verkhovna Rada Ukrainy, March 13, 2014, https://zakon.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/786-18#Text.
After his release from pre-trial detention on February 25, 2014, Biletskyi headed a group of Kharkiv Euromaidan activists. Some came from Patriot of Ukraine or similar-minded groups and held right-wing or openly neo-Nazi views, while others were formerly apolitical or moderate protesters who considered it necessary to proactively and physically stand up to pro-Russian groups. During the evening of February 28, 2014, at his initiative, Biletskyi’s supporters seized the premises of Oplot (a power base of the anti-Maidan movement). On March 12, 2014, he was appointed head of the "security wing" of Right Sector (East). On March 14, 2014, Biletskyi's group clashed with supporters of pro-Russian movements in central Kharkiv. In the end, two of the pro-Russian supporters were shot and killed. Notably, these were the first pro-Russian casualties during the large-scale clashes seen in late February and early March of that year. Anti-Ukrainian propaganda took advantage of the radical Ukrainian nationalist position of the assailants further mobilizing those with pro-Russian beliefs.
In the spring of 2014, Biletskyi founded the Azov Battalion, a volunteer militia under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, created with the support of Interior Minister Arsen Avakov (it was later incorporated as a regiment in the Ukrainian National Guard). The battalion not only “inherited” the SNA’s Wolfsangel, but it also began to use another popular neo-Nazi symbol — the Black Sun (in German: Schwarze Sonne)."Black Sun (symbol), Wikipedia, last updated October 22, 2020, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Sun_(symbol); “Sonnenrad," ADL, https://www.adl.org/education/references/hate-symbols/sonnenrad. One of the battalion’s significant achievements was its involvement in the liberation of Mariupol on June 13, 2014. On August 2, 2014, Biletskyi was awarded the Order for Courage, Third Class by then President Poroshenko. On August 15, 2014, he received an early promotion to lieutenant colonel of police.
Biletskyi and his supporters withdrew from the Right Sector during the spring of 2014. At the beginning of the summer, they began cooperating with Oleh Liashko's Radical Party, but by the fall, Biletskyi had spilt from Liashko too.In fact, Liashko has repeatedly claimed that he supported and participated in the founding of Azov. See: "Ляшко: я освободил Билецкого из тюрьмы и я помог создать 'Азов' 22.02.17" [Liashko: I freed Biletskyi from prison and helped found 'Azov' 22.02.17], Newsone, Youtube video, February 22, 2017, https://youtu.be/mUnAaz7ozos. Biletskyi later denied that the Radical Party leader was involved with the battalion. See: "Командир 'Азова' Андрей Белецкий рассказал об АТО и политике в конференции на ТСН.ua" ['Azov' commander Andrei Biletskyi spoke about the ATO and politics at TSN.ua conference], TSN, September 23, 2019, https://tsn.ua/ru/ukrayina/komandir-azova-andrey-beleckiy-rasskazhet-ob-ato-i-politike-v-onlayn-konferencii-na-tsn-ua-387981.html. However, adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs Anton Gerashchenko, who oversaw the battalions at the Ministry, also noted Liashko’s significant contribution to the creation of Azov. See: "2 года «Азову», хроника и воспоминания: Антон Геращенко" [2 years of 'Azov', timeline and memories: Anton Herashchenko], May 6, 2016, http://www.ukrpress.info/2016/05/06/2-goda-azovu-hronika-i-vospominaniya. Many facts point to his participation. For example, Liashko was present at the induction of the Azov Battalion members. See: "Олег Ляшко був присутній на присязі бійців батальйону 'Азов'" [Oleh Liashko was at induction of 'Azov' battalion fighters], Maidan PressCenter, Youtube video, June 23, 2014, https://youtu.be/s8PQ7bEKPOE. Of Biletskyi’s entourage, only former SNA officer, “Vasylkiv terrorist,” and Azov Battalion informal deputy commander for public relations, Ihor Mosiichuk, opted to join the Radical Party instead.
In September 2014, Biletskyi appeared at the congress of the People’s Front party, and was elected to the party’s military council. However, he was excluded from the party list after its leadership discovered his activities and statements prior to his imprisonment.Serhii Shebelist, "«Азов»-стайл: Нове обличчя українського націонал-радикалізму" [Azov-style: The New Face of Ukrainian nationalist radicalism], Zaxid.net, October 16, 2016, https://zaxid.net/azovstayl_n1406755; "Эксперты призвали Яценюка не выдвигать комбата "Азова" кандидатом в нардепы" [Experts urged Yatsenyuk not to nominate Azov commander as a parliamentary candidate], Obozrevatel, September 15, 2014, https://www.obozrevatel.com/politics/01652-ekspertyi-prizyivayut-yatsenyuka-ne-vyidvigat-kombata-azova-kandidatom-v-nardepyi.htm. Later, Biletskyi claimed that he was "offered a position among the top five" of the party’s electoral list and that no one had excluded him. He allegedly hesitated to run for parliament on the People's Front electoral list and eventually decided to register as an independent candidate.Evgeny Shvets, "Андрій Білецький: "Хунти не буде. Армія не здатна на переворот"" [There will be no junta. The army isn't capable of a coup], LB.ua, December 2, 2015, https://lb.ua/news/2015/12/02/322333_andrey_biletskiy_hunti_budet.html. Biletskyi's official election platform consisted of six words: Strong nation! Honest leaders! Powerful state!”Andrii Biletskyi, "ВИБОРЧА ПРОГРАМА" [Election Platform], Word Doc, https://www.cvk.gov.ua/pls/vnd2014/showdocpf7201=10201pd410f01=27.doc.
When asked shortly before the election whether his views had changed since Patriot of Ukraine, Biletskyi replied, “We have not changed. Azov’s heart is based on its right-wing ideology. It’s the legacy of Patriot of Ukraine.”"Округ 217: Як "воюють" мільйонер Столар і командир "Азову" Білецький" [District 217: How the millionaire Stolare and Azov commander Biletsky "battle"], Insider, October 21, 2014, http://www.theinsider.ua/politics/5445fb1670193. In another interview, Biletskyi claimed that his racist remarks were “invented by FSB officers.”Hromadske, "Якщо ми хотіли тишу, можна було не вбивати 5000 військових, а відразу віддати території — Білецький" [If we wanted silence, we wouldn't have killed 5,000 soldiers, but rather given up the territory immediately — Biletskyi], YouTube video, July 31, 2015, https://youtu.be/3LCG7p9MEyg.
In October 2014, Biletskyi was elected a member of parliament from the 217th electoral district in Kyiv’s Obolon neighborhood. According to the Committee of Voters of Ukraine, only one lawmaker, Dmytro Yarosh of the radical Right Sector party, missed more plenary sessions of the Parliament than Biletskyi."Ярош, Білецький, Добкін: топ-10 прогульників Ради за три роки" [Yarosh, Biletskiy, Dobkin: The Rada's top 10 skippers in three years], TSN, November 11, 2017 https://tsn.ua/politika/yarosh-bileckiy-dobkin-top-10-progulnikiv-radi-za-tri-roki-1036235.html.
Biletskyi has not made any public racist remarks since 2014, but he does invoke anti-LGBT+ rhetoric frequently.For example, see: "Список длинный, а выбирать не из кого: чего ждать ЛГБТ от президентских выборов?" [The list is long, but there is no one to choose from: What can LGBT people expect from the presidential elections?] Gay Alliance Ukraine, February 4, 2019, https://upogau.org/ru/blogs/spisok-dlinnyj-a-vybirat-ne-iz-kogo-chego-zhdat-lgbt-ot-prezidentskih-vyborov.html. In 2018, he stated that the LGBT+ rights defenders who attend the Equality March (KyivPride) were "trying to get themselves beaten up.""НАРДЕП НА «БАНДЕРШТАТІ» ПРО ЛГБТ" [Member of Parliament at the «Bandershtat» on LGBT], Volyn Online, August 4, 2018, https://volynonline.com/nardep-na-bandershtati-pro-lgbt-voni-tsim-paradom-dobivayutsya-togo-shhob-yih-tam-vidlupili.
In January 2015, despite Biletskyi only earning UAH 49,000 in 2014 according to his public income declaration, Biletskyi's wife, who did not have any income of her own according to the declaration, purchased an apartment in Kyiv valued at about UAH 3 million. The Azov Battalion’s press service claimed that the couple purchased the apartment using savings they had accumulated while Biletskyi was in prison."Сім'я командира «Азова» Білецького під час боїв за донецький аеропорт купила квартиру в столиці" [Family of Azov commander Biletskyi bought an apartment in the capital during the battle for the Donetsk Airport], Glavcom, May 23, 2016, https://glavcom.ua/news/simya-komandira-azova-bileckogo-pid-chas-bojiv-za-doneckiy-aeroport-kupila-kvartiru-v-stolici-352633.html.
In 2015, Biletskyi became the head of Civil Corps.
Members of Civil Corps attacked activists during a January 2016 anti-fascist demonstration in Kyiv in memory of Stanislav Markelov, a human rights lawyer, and Anastasia Baburova, a journalist. The two Russians were killed in Moscow in 2009 by a Russian neo-Nazi."19 січня: акція, контракція й 'охорона порядку'" [January 19: protest, counter-protest and 'protecting order'], Commons, January 22, 2018, https://commons.com.ua/uk/19-sichnya-akciya-kontrakciya-i-ohorona-poryadku. After the attack in Kyiv, Biletskyi, referring to the anti-fascist demonstration, said, "If such an abomination takes place…we will resist.""Білецький планує і надалі зривати правозахисні акції" [Biletskyi plans to continue disrupting human rights protests], Zmina, January 20, 2016, https://zmina.info/news/bileckij_planuje_i_nadali_zrivati_pravozahisni_akciji-2.
Since October 2016, Biletskyi has been the chairman of the National Corps party.
The National Manifesto
In March 2017, along with Svoboda party chairman Oleh Tiahnybok and Right Sector leader Andrii Tarasenko, Biletskyi signed the “National Manifesto,” which they positioned as a common political platform for radical nationalists. They agreed to nominate a single candidate for the presidential election and to participate in the parliamentary elections jointly. Biletskyi also insisted on the creation of "a single new nationalist structure with new symbols, names, etc.,""Андрій Білецький: 'Дедлайн для висунення єдиного кандидата від націоналістів – грудень 2018-го'" [Andrii Biletskyi: The deadline for nominating a united candidate from the nationalists is December 2018], National Corps, December 11, 2018, https://nationalcorps.org/andrj-bleckij-34dedlajn-dlja-visunennja-dinogo-kandidata-vd-naconalstv-gruden-2018go34. based on the Svoboda, Right Sector and National Corps parties built on terms that would primarily be beneficial to the latter.
In May 2018, Biletskyi agreed to support the Svoboda party candidate, Tiahnybok, in the presidential elections. At the same time, National Corps supporters claimed that an agreement had been reached on Biletskyi heading the new unified party of radical right-wing groups.Nataliia Shutka, "Юрій Михальчишин: Розкол ОУН на дві гілки у 1940-му мав би спам'ятати сучасних лідерів" [Yurii Mikhalchyshyn: Current OUN leaders should remember its split into two branches in 1940], ZIK, November 23, 2018, https://zik.ua/news/2018/11/23/yuriy_myhalchyshyn_rozkol_oun_na_dvi_gilky_u_1940mu_mav_by_spamyataty_1454439. When, in October 2018, Svoboda put forward Ruslan Koshulynskyi’s candidacy instead, Biletskyi refused to support him. He denounced Tiahnybok, Yarosh and Tarasenko, the three other leaders involved in the coalition, who supported Koshulynskyi’s nomination, as having “no real authority among millions of Ukrainian nationalists.”Mykhailo Glukhovskyi and Pavlo Vuyets, "Андрій Білецький: Влада зарейдила націоналістичні гасла" [Andrii Biletskyi: The authorities stole nationalist slogans], Glavcom, November 29, 2018, https://glavcom.ua/country/politics/andriy-bileckiy-vlada-zareydila-nacionalistichni-gasla--548797.html. Biletskyi’s supporters expected him to run for president. However, at the National Corps’ Third Congress in January 2019, he refused to participate in “this farce” and announced the party's plans as "victory in the parliamentary elections" and to obtain "its own powerful faction in the Ukrainian parliament."National Corps, "III Всеукраїнський з'їзд Національного Корпусу: як це було" [Third All-Ukrainian Congress of the National Corps: How it went], YouTube video, January 26, 2019, https://youtu.be/0PRs7cRK2lY.
In June 2019, Tiahnybok, Biletskyi, Yarosh, and Tarasenko agreed to join forces in the parliamentary elections.Svoboda Press Service, "Націоналісти разом ідуть у Верховну Раду за списком «Свободи»" [Nationalists go to the Verkhovna Rada together on the Svoboda party list], Svoboda, June 9, 2019 https://svoboda.org.ua/news/natsionalisty-razom-idut-u-verhovnu-radu-za-spyskom-svobody/260607. Once again, Biletskyi talked about creating a "single structure" based on all "nationalist organizations."112 Ukraine, "Андрей Билецкий на 112" [Andrii Biletskiy on 112], YouTube video, June 15, 2019, https://youtu.be/THQpAJjF9-E. Some media outlets reported that Biletskyi was set to “lead the group.""'Свобода,' 'Національний корпус' і 'Правий сектор' йдуть на вибори разом: названо першу двадцятку" [Svoboda, National Corps, and Right Sector Go to the Elections Together: First Twenty on the party list Named], Censor.net, June 9, 2019, https://censor.net/ua/news/3131399/svoboda_natsionalnyyi_korpus_i_pravyyi_sektor_yidut_na_vybory_razom_nazvano_pershu_dvadtsyatku.
During parliamentary elections held on July 21, 2019, candidates from all the right-wing radical organizations ran on the Svoboda party list. Biletskyi was second on the list. He even renounced his leadership of the National Corps for a few months, handing authority over to Mykola Kravchenko, in order to run in the elections under Svoboda."ПП 'НАЦІОНАЛЬНИЙ КОРПУС'" [PP National Corps], Opendatabot, last updated 2020, https://opendatabot.ua/c/40214321. However, Svoboda only gained 2.15 percent of the vote and did not overcome the five percent threshold needed to win seats in the Ukrainian Parliament.
In October 2019, Biletskyi criticized the agreement reached by the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine, which includes representatives from Ukraine, Russia, and the OSCE and is focused on pursuing a diplomatic resolution to the conflict. The Group had agreed that both Kyiv and the Russian-backed separatists would withdraw troops from a number of areas along the line of contact between government and non-government controlled areas."Білецький у Золотому обіцяє "захищати" його у разі відведення військ" [In Zolote Biletskyi promises to "protect" the town in case of troop withdrawal], Ukraiinska Pravda, October 6, 2019, https://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2019/10/6/7228270. Around the same time, Biletskyi also began to participate in the demonstrations and rallies being carried out by the “Movement Against Surrender”.
On May 8, 2020, Biletskyi was reportedly involved in assaulting former National Corps members, according to victims of the attack.Nazarii Kravchenko, "Serhii Filomonov and I were invited for a conversation with Andrii Biletskyi last night," Facebook, May 8, 2020, https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=243935403486136&id=100036090331985. Serhii Filimonov, "Про Азов, Білецького і Сергій Стерненко" [On Azov, Biletskyi, and Serhii Sternenko], Facebook, May 9, 2020, https://www.facebook.com/serhii.filimonov.98/posts/241237327085474. Though Biletskyi denied that anyone was beaten, he admitted that there was a “man-to-man conversation,” during which some people might have received a couple of “kicks.”Serhii Ivanov, "Андрій Білецький: "азовські" розборки, справа Стерненка, Аваков, об'єднання націоналістів | EASY" [Andrii Biletskyi: "Azov" showdowns, Sternenko's case, Avakov, association of nationalists | EASY ], YouTube video, May 8, 2020, https://youtu.be/rxAMCjtpUv0.
All-Ukrainian Stepan Bandera Trident Organization
Interregional Academy of Personnel Management
Ministry of Internal Affairs
Movement Against Surrender
Patriot of Ukraine
People’s Front party
Social National Assembly
Social National Party of Ukraine
Ukrainian Conservative Party