Semen Semenchenko

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Semen Semenchenko
Семен Семенченко
Semen Semenchenko with his balaclava removed.jpg
Semenchenko in September 2014
People's Deputy of Ukraine
8th convocation
Assumed office
November 27, 2014
Constituency Self Reliance, No.2[1]
Personal details
Born (1974-06-06) 6 June 1974 (age 43)
Sevastopol, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Citizenship Ukraine
Nationality Russian
Political party Samopomich
Spouse(s) Nataliya Moskovets
Children 3
Alma mater Sevastopol National Technical University
Occupation soldier, politician

Semen Ihorovych Semenchenko (Ukrainian: Семен Ігорович Семенченко) is a deputy to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and the commander-founder of the volunteer territorial defence battalion "Donbas", based in Donetsk.[2][3] He was elected to the Verkhovna Rada in 2014.

Personal life[edit]

Semenchenko was born as Konstantin Igorevich Grishyn (Russian: Константин Игоревич Гришин) on 6 June 1974 in Sevastopol.[4] He is ethnically Russian.[5][6] He moved to Donetsk at an early age. He has a degree in film-making.[7] He has three sons – Hryhoriy, Mykhailo, and Artem.[4]


According to Semenchenko, he and the other members of the Donbas Battalion gained combat experience in the Ukrainian army or Soviet Army.[7] He said he worked in "business activities in the field of security" before the war in Donbass.[3] Semenchenko, the founder of the Donbas Battalion, said in May 2014: "Our state needs defending, and we decided that if the army could not do it, we should do it ourselves."[3][7]

On 19 August 2014, Semenchenko was wounded by shrapnel when his forces were hit by mortar fire before entering the town of Ilovaysk, 18 kilometers east of Donetsk. He underwent an emergency surgery and recovered slowly.[5] He was later awarded the Order of Bohdan Khmelnytsky by the Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov.[8] During 2014 he was always photographed while wearing a balaklava. Removing it on 1 September 2014, he stated, "I was never afraid, I was worried about my family; they are now safe and I'm not afraid."[9][10]

Semenchenko made his entry into national politics prior to the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election. Appearing second on the party list of Samopomich, he was elected to the Verkhovna Rada.[11][12]

Semenchenko was the Samopomich candidate in the 27 March 2016 early mayoral election in Kryvyi Rih. With 10.92% of the vote he lost this election to Yuriy Vilkul (who won the re-election with 74.18%.[13]


  1. ^ "CEC registers 357 newly elected deputies of 422". National Radio Company of Ukraine. 25 November 2014. 
    "Parliament to form leadership and coalition on November 27". UNIAN. 26 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "Donbas battalion commander: "Our format is a compromise between state agencies and the voluntary movement. We want to change our country"". The Ukrainian Week. 11 June 2014. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Семен Семенченко: Донбасс накрыла преступная сеть регионалов, коммунистов и криминалитета [Semen Sementchenko: Donbas covered criminal network regionals, communists and criminals] (in Russian). Glavcom. 22 May 2014. Archived from the original on September 5, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Semen Semenchenko". Self Reliance. 
  5. ^ a b Snowiss, Mark (16 September 2014). "Ukraine's Donbas Battalion Commander Seeks US Support". Voice of America. 
  6. ^ Chalupa, Irena (5 June 2014). "In the Fight With Russia, Can Volunteer Battalions Save Ukraine?". Atlantic Council. 
  7. ^ a b c Walker, Shaun (15 May 2014). "Ukraine civil war fears mount as volunteer units take up arms". The Guardian. Archived from the original on July 1, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Семенченко представят к ордену Богдана Хмельницкого" [Semenchenko awarded Order of Bohdan Khmelnytsky] (in Russian). 19 August 2014. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Семенченко зняв балаклаву" [Semenchenko took off Balaclava]. Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian). 1 September 2014. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Яценюк привіз орден Семенченку в лікарню" [Yatsenyuk presented award to Semenchenko in hospital]. Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian). 1 September 2014. Archived from the original on September 5, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Ukraine Votes On Oct. 26 To Elect New Parliament". Kyiv Post. 24 October 2014. 
  12. ^ "Народний депутат України VIII скликання: Семенченко Семен Ігорович" [8th convocation members of the Verkhovna Rada: Semen Ihorovych Semenchenko] (in Ukrainian). Verkhovna Rada. 
  13. ^ (in Ukrainian) VILKUL oath mayor of Kryviy Rih, Ukrayinska Pravda (31 March 2016)

External links[edit]

Media related to Semen Semenchenko at Wikimedia Commons

External video
Semenchenko removing his Balaclava in an 1 September 2014 press conference