Yuliy Mamchur

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Yuliy Mamchur
People's Deputy of Ukraine
Assumed office
27 November 2014[1]
Personal details
Born Yuliy Mamchur
(1971-08-15) August 15, 1971 (age 45)
Uman, Cherkasy, Ukrainian SSR
Political party Petro Poroshenko Bloc
Spouse(s) Larysa[2]
Military service
Allegiance  Ukraine
Service/branch Ukrainian Air Force
Rank UA OF5-Col 2009.jpg Colonel
Commands 204th Tactical Aviation Brigade
62nd Fighter Aviation Regiment

Yuliy Valeriyovych Mamchur[a] (Ukrainian: Юлій Валерійович Мамчур) is a colonel in the Ukrainian Air Force who, since 4 March 2014, has refused to abandon his post in Belbek, Crimea amidst the Crimean crisis while surrounded and outnumbered by Russian forces.[3][4][5][6][7][8] Mamchur is also credited for restraining amiably and diplomatically both his soldiers and pro-Russian forces from escalating tensions further, asking both sides not to shoot each other while the situation defuses.

Mamchur became a national hero in Ukraine[9] and is considered a hero by Western media outlets. He is known to be calm, stoic and defiant.[10]

In the October 2014 Mamchur was elected into the Ukrainian parliament after being in the top 10 of the electoral list of Petro Poroshenko Bloc.[11]


Mamchur graduated in 1991 from the Chernihiv flight school. From then he served 9 years in Zhytomyr before being transferred to Uman.[12] Early 2013 he was appointed commander of the Sevastopol brigade of tactical aviation of the Air Command of the Southern Operational Command.[12]

2014 Crimean crisis[edit]

On 3 March 2014, Mamchur was given an ultimatum to surrender by pro-Russian forces. He instead chose to march to a pro-Russian checkpoint with his men unarmed while only carrying the flag of the 62nd Fighter Aviation Regiment. The event marked the first time that weapons were fired in the Crimean crisis as pro-Russian troops fired warning shots as Mamchur and his regiment approached. The regiment is well respected amongst pro-Russian troops[who?], including the historic events they went through in 1941.[citation needed][original research?] Mamchur and his regiment were stopped at a pro-Russian blockade where he directly confronted the pro-Russian troops by stating that, "It is our duty to safeguard the Constitution of Ukraine in keeping this base." The pro-Russian troops eventually withdrew, while Mamchur, for twenty additional days, maintained his post in Belbek.[4][13]

Under Col. Mamchur the Belbek base came to be known as a bastion of resistance.[14] Crimean separatists then cut the brakes in the family car, death threats he has received and in Sevastopol posters had been put up demanding his execution for treachery.[15] Mamchur wedded a military couple inside the base.[16] Mamchur has complained that he, and his fellow Ukrainian commanders had received no help from the Ukrainian government despite repeated requests.[15]

On 23 March, Mamchur's base Belbek was overrun by Russian regular troops, being the last Ukrainian base to fall. Mamchur was verbally abused by pro-Russian militia and cossacks, but he refused to be provoked, and ordered his men to resist non-violently and sing the Ukrainian national anthem.[17] Immediately he was then arrested.[18] He was released three days later.[19] According to Mamchur's aides he was being held in Sevastopol.[20] Mamchur has stated he was, during (t)his detention, under intense psychological pressure.[21][22] “They kept me in a single confinement cell for 3.5 days. On the first day unidentified Russian troops kept constantly talking to me – they tried to persuade me to commit treason, betray the oath to the people of Ukraine, go serve for in Russian army. Then there was just psychological pressure – they would not let me sleep, knocked on the door with gun butts. I feel well, the mood is fighting. What will I do next? First, I will take a shower, then I will be making decisions. Glory Ukraine!”.[23]

On 29 March Mamchur and his unit were stationed in Mykolaiv (their wives and children were also re-located in Mykolaiv).[24] In August 2014 Mamchur was "working to restore combat efficiency" of this unit and restaffing it.[9] The unit did receive from Russia about 150 aircraft back (according to Mamchur the ones "which they had discarded as useless").[9] According to Mamchur “Thirty-eight percent of my subdivision left Crimea, it is slightly more than 200 men".[9]

Political Career[edit]

In the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election Mamchur was elected into parliament after being in the top 10 of the electoral list of Petro Poroshenko Bloc.[11]

Family and personal life[edit]

Mamchur and his wife, Larysa,[2] lived in Sevastopol.[8] They have one daughter and a granddaughter.[8]


  1. ^ Given name may also be transliterated as Yuli, Yuly, or even incorrectly as Yuri, while the family may also be transliterated as Mamtchur or Mamchor.


  1. ^ CEC registers 357 newly elected deputies of 422 Archived December 4, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› , National Radio Company of Ukraine (25 November 2014)
    Parliament to form leadership and coalition on November 27, UNIAN (26 November 2014)
  2. ^ a b "Colonel Mamchur remains in captivity – wife : UNIAN news". unian.info. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  3. ^ Oliphant, Roland (5 Mar 2014). "Ukraine's hero colonel insists he was just doing his duty". Telegraph. 
  4. ^ a b "Russian Soldiers to Ukrainian Troops: 'We Have Orders to Shoot'". mashable.com. Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  5. ^ "The New York Times". nytimes.com. Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  6. ^ Walker, Shaun (4 March 2014). "Ukraine crisis: Russian warning shots could be as heated as this gets". The Guardian. 
  7. ^ Loiko, Sergei (March 13, 2014). "Ukrainian colonel threatens to fire on Russian forces in Crimea". Los Angeles Times. 
  8. ^ a b c Oliphant, Roland (Mar 7, 2014). "The colonel who challenged Ukraine's invaders". New Zealand Herald. 
  9. ^ a b c d “We knew it in Belbek: this would not be over in Crimea”, Den (newspaper) (5 August 2014)
  10. ^ "As Russia Takes Over, Base in Crimea Is a Lonely Island - ABC News". abcnews.go.com. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  11. ^ a b General official results of Rada election, Interfax-Ukraine (11 November 2014)
    Central Election Commission announces official results of Rada election on party tickets, Interfax-Ukraine (11 November 2014)
    Petro Poroshenko Bloc: Facts and Details, Sputnik News (25.10.2014)
    "War heroes and activists to shape new-look Ukraine parliament". Reuters. 
  12. ^ a b (Russian) Short bio, LB
  13. ^ "Russian troops fire warning shots at unarmed Ukrainian soldiers | Mail Online". dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  14. ^ "Ukraine crisis: Trapped forces are left with an impossible dilemma in Crimea as Russian endgame approaches - Europe - World - The Independent". independent.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  15. ^ a b "Ukraine crisis: Colonel captured during storming of Crimea's Belbek airbase set free - Europe - World - The Independent". independent.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  16. ^ "Ukrainian Soldiers Tie the Knot Just Before Crimean Airbase Stormed - ABC News". abcnews.go.com. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  17. ^ "Ukrainian Commander Arrested After Russian Forces Storm Crimean Airbase, Says His Wife - ABC News". abcnews.go.com. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  18. ^ "Ukraine crisis: the inevitable fall of Belbek - Telegraph". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  19. ^ "Russia frees Ukrainian officers 'illegally' held in Crimea | Reuters". reuters.com. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  20. ^ "NATO Concerned About Russian Military Buildup Near Ukraine Border". rferl.org. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  21. ^ "Ukraine finds new hero in besieged base commander - The Washington Post". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  22. ^ "Wife of freed Ukraine commander says he resisted pressure to switch sides | Reuters". reuters.com. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  23. ^ "Yuliy Mamchur: They kept me in single confinement cell, tried to convince to commit treason - Charter'97 :: News from Belarus - Belarusian News - Republic of Belarus - Minsk". charter97.org. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  24. ^ [1], Пpecтyпнocти.HET (29 March 2014)
    [2], Пpecтyпнocти.HET (29 March 2014)