The Azov Regiment (Ukrainian: Полк Азов) is a National Guard of Ukraine regiment. The unit is based in Mariupol in the Azov Sea coastal region. It saw its first combat experience recapturing Mariupol from pro-Russian separatists forces in June 2014. Initially a volunteer militia, formed as the Azov Battalion on 5 May 2014 during the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine, since 12 November 2014 Azov has been incorporated into the National Guard of Ukraine. All members of the unit are under contract of and serve as part of the National Guard of Ukraine.
More than half of the Battalion members are from eastern Ukraine and speak Russian, and some of its recruits come from the eastern cities of Donetsk and Luhansk. The regiment’s commander is Andriy Biletsky, leader of the Social-National Assembly. In its early days, Azov was the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ special police company, led by Volodymyr Shpara, the leader of the Vasylkiv, Kiev, branch of Patriot of Ukraine and Right Sector