Denis Berezovsky

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Denis Berezovsky
Denys Berezovskyi (01).jpg
Denis Berezovsky aboard USS Jason Dunham during Sea Breeze 2012
Native name
Денис Валентинович Березовський
Born (1974-07-15) 15 July 1974 (age 45)[1]
Kharkiv, Ukrainian SSR, USSR
Allegiance Ukraine (until March 2, 2014)
 Crimea (March 2–24, 2014)
 Russia (since March 24, 2014)
Service/branch Ukrainian Navy
 Russian Navy
RankRear Admiral
Commands heldCommander of the Ukrainian Navy
Deputy Commander of the Black Sea Fleet
Battles/warsCrimean crisis
AwardsMedal For irreproachable service 3rd Class Ukraine ribbon.PNG

Denis Valentinovich Berezovsky (Ukrainian: Денис Валентинович Березовський, Russian: Дени́с Валенти́нович Березо́вский; born 15 July 1974)[1] is a rear admiral and the Russian Black Sea Fleet deputy commander. He is also a former commander of the Ukrainian Navy. He was appointed commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Navy by Interim President Oleksandr Turchynov on March 1, 2014, serving for just one day before defecting to the self-declared pro-Russian separatist Crimean government during the 2014 Crimean crisis.[2][3] On March 24, 2014, the Defense Minister of Russia Sergei Shoigu appointed Berezovsky as the Russian Black Sea Fleet deputy commander.[4] On March 5, 2014, the Office of the General Prosecutor of Ukraine issued an order to detain Berezovsky on suspicion of treason.[5]

Military service[edit]

A graduate of the Nakhimov Higher Naval Institute (Sevastopol) in 1996, Berezovsky was the commander of the frigate Hetman Sahaydachniy from 2002-2005.[6] On December 6, 2012, he was promoted to the rank of rear admiral.[7] In 2012 and 2013, he led the joint exercises with Ukraine and the United States, Sea Breeze 2012[8] and Sea Breeze 2013.[9] Prior to March 1, 2014, he served as deputy commander for combat training - Head of the Ukrainian Navy combat training.[citation needed] On March 1, 2014, President Turchynov appointed Berezovsky as Commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine.[10][11] In the morning of March 2, 2014, Berezovsky was dismissed from the post of commander of the Ukrainian Navy after he issued orders to lay down arms.[12] After being dismissed, he appeared in media to announce he was defecting to the Russian-supported new Crimean authorities as "pledging allegiance to the Crimean people".[2]

On March 24, 2014, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu along with a group from the Defence Ministry visited Crimea where he appointed Rear Admiral Denis Berezovsky, as the new Russian Black Sea Fleet deputy commander.[13]


On March 2, 2014, Berezovsky defected to the new Russian-supported Crimean authorities and took an "oath of allegiance to the people of Crimea".[2][14][15] "Earlier in the morning of the same day" (as was announced later), he was removed from his position in the Ukrainian Navy "for failing to manage the Navy in extreme conditions" at the decision of the Defense Minister, Ihor Tenyukh.[16][17][18][19] Dmitry Tymchuk, the head of the Center of Military and Political Research, suggested at his Facebook page that Berezovsky pledged his allegiance when his family was kidnapped and held hostage.[20][21] His defection immediately resulted in Ukraine launching a treason case against him,[22] and the appointment of Serhiy Hayduk as his successor.[23]

On March 3, 2014, both Berezovsky and Hayduk addressed Ukrainian Navy officers.[2] The officers broke into applause when Hayduk read them the order that removed Berezovsky from his position and that Berezovsky was facing treason charges; this was followed by spontaneous singing of the Ukrainian national anthem.[2] Berezovsky then unsuccessfully tried to entice the officers over to the newly proclaimed Crimean fleet which he had been appointed head of — assuring them that they would retain their ranks and there would be no interruption of salary payments.[2] He (then) claimed that "Viktor Yanukovych is the legitimately elected president of Ukraine," and that thus it would be no breach of oath if they served Crimea since "the seizure of power in Kiev was orchestrated from abroad" (referring to the 2014 Ukrainian revolution).[2]


  • Medal "For Irreproachable Service", 3rd Class (27 June 2007) - for personal contribution to strengthening the defense of Ukraine, the exemplary performance of military duty, and on the Day of the Naval Forces of Ukraine.[24]
  • The memorial "230 years of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation" (the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy, 2013) - for active participation in the preparation and conduct of the joint Ukrainian-Russian exercises "Fairway of Peace 2013" shown a high level of theoretical training, sea, field and flight proficiency.[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b kraina.name (March 3, 2014). "Country dolzhna nobility svoyh "heroes." Berezovsky Denis V. - traitor oath and homeland own way". Retrieved March 7, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Ukraine navy officers reject plea to defect to Russian-backed Crimea, The Guardian (3 March 2014)
  3. ^ Denis Berezovsky appointed commander-in-chief of Ukrainian Navy, Kyiv Post, March 1, 2014
  4. ^ Shoigu appoints ex-Ukrainian Navy commander as Russian Black Sea Fleet deputy commander
  5. ^ The Office of the General Prosecutor instructed to detain former commander of Naval Forces of Ukraine. The Ukrainian Week. March 5, 2014
  6. ^ Black Sea News (May 18, 2012). "Exclusive BSNews: Press center of the Ukrainian Navy exercises gives details of the frigate "Hetman Sahaidachny" squadron and heterogeneous forces". Retrieved March 3, 2014.
  7. ^ Mil.gov.ua (December 6, 2012). "Defence Minister congratulated by assigning military ranks next group of officers commanding the Armed Forces of Ukraine". Retrieved March 3, 2014.
  8. ^ na.mil.gov.ua (July 20, 2012). "Marines hit counter piracy/"Sea Breeze 2012"". Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  9. ^ Flot.com (July 23, 2013). "Ukrainian-American exercises "Sea Breeze 2013" ended in Odessa". Retrieved March 3, 2014.
  10. ^ Pravda (March 1, 2014). "Turchynov appointed commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine Berezovsky". Retrieved March 3, 2014.
  11. ^ President.gov.ua (March 1, 2014). "DECREE OF THE PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE number 188/2014". Retrieved March 3, 2014.
  12. ^ Berezovsky was dismissed in the morning - for the order not to resist forces of Russia and to lay down arms. Ukrayinska Pravda. March 2, 2014
  13. ^ "PressTV - Russia defense minister pays visit to Crimea". Presstv.ir. 2014-03-24. Archived from the original on 2014-04-02. Retrieved 2014-05-01.
  14. ^ ITAR-TASS (March 2, 2013). "Kiev authorities appointed commander of the Ukrainian Navy, took the oath of allegiance to the people of Crimea". Retrieved March 3, 2014.
  15. ^ "BBC News - New head of Ukraine's navy 'defects' in Crimea". BBC. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  16. ^ kontrakty.ua (March 2, 2014). "Berezovsky removed from command of the Ukrainian Navy, he was replaced by Acting Commander Haiduk". Retrieved March 3, 2014.
  17. ^ Unian.net (March 2, 2014). "The former head of the Ukrainian Navy Berezovsky dismissed this morning - Syumar". Retrieved March 3, 2014.
  18. ^ Order of the President of Ukraine No.227/2014. About dismissal of D.Berezovskiy from the post of commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine Archived 2014-03-05 at the Wayback Machine. President of Ukraine. March 2, 2014
  19. ^ Berezovsky was dismissed and against him are filed charges Archived 2014-03-11 at the Wayback Machine. Ukrinform. March 2, 2014
  20. ^ "At gunpoint": They forced Berezovsky to betray Ukraine by taking his family hostage. Censor.net. March 2, 2014
  21. ^ "At gunpoint": They forced Berezovsky to betray Ukraine by taking his family hostage. Crimea.in. March 2, 2014
  22. ^ Thomson Reuters Foundation. "Ukraine launches treason case against Navy chief who surrendered". Trust.org. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  23. ^ "BBC News - Ukraine army on alert after Russia approves troops". BBC News Online. March 2, 2014. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  24. ^ "On rewarding with state awards of Ukraine military Naval Forces". Retrieved March 3, 2014.
  25. ^ ForPost Sevastopol News (June 26, 2013). "In Sevastopol, summed up the Russian-Ukrainian exercise "Fairway of Peace 2013"". Sevastopol.su. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
Military offices
Preceded by
Yuriy Ilyin
Naval Commander of Ukraine
Succeeded by
Serhiy Hayduk