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Russian invasion of Ukraine (2014/2022 – onwards)

Last modified: 2024-04-20 by martin karner
Keywords: ukraine | invasion |
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Commemorative flag related to current Russian invasion

Ukrainian version      Russian version images by Zachary Harden, 22 February 2023

(Notice: the following content may contain language deemed offensive and it is only mentioned in written form for vexillological reference purpose only.)

On February 24, 2022, the first day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian Navy attacked Snake Island, a Ukrainian island in the Black Sea, and captured it along with its entire garrison, beginning a military occupation of the island. The attack was widely publicized when an audio clip of Russian cruiser Moskva hailing the island's garrison over the radio demanding their surrender and being told "Russian warship, go fuck yourself!" (Russian: Русский военный корабль, иди на хуй!, tr. Russky voyenny korabl, idi na khuy, Ukrainian: рускій Ваєнний карабль нахуй!, romanized: russkij voennyj korabl idi na hj!) in response went viral, along with initial inaccurate reports of the garrison's deaths. The expression is attributed to Roman Valentinovych Hrybov (It is important to notice that due to online censorship, the written form of the phrase often varies from the original "иди нахуй" to "(иди) на хуй").
Later on, it emerged that a civilian search and rescue ship trying to evacuate the soldiers was also captured along with the garrison. The ship, its crew, and at least one soldier were subsequently freed in prisoner exchanges.

Following the island's capture, Ukraine launched a campaign against Russian forces on and around the island, deploying anti-ship missiles against Russian naval forces and air, artillery, and missile strikes against Russian positions on the island itself. Russia subsequently withdrew from the island on 30 June 2022, ending the 126-day military occupation of the island. Russian bombing against the island continued thereafter, reportedly causing casualties on the Ukrainian military; this has been denied by Ukraine. The cruiser Moskva itself was sunk on April 14, 2022.

The flag (pictures: Ukrainian, Russian) is a horizontal blue background featuring what seems to be three upward silhouettes with the middle having the shape of a bullet tip but also resembling the Trident in a gesture which very much represents extending the middle finger as an offensive hand gesture. Above, the inscription "РУССКИЙ ВОЕННЫЙ КОРАБЛЬ" and below it reads "НАХУЙ". (Sources: phrase, Snake Island, Moskva)

Esteban Rivera, 21 February 2023

There are a lot of variants of this flag in terms of style; 11 designs just from this website.
Zachary Harden, 22 February 2023

Music Battalion (non-government organization)


MusBat flag image by Pete Loeser, 30 July 2023


MusBat logo image located by Esteban Rivera, 21 February 2023

The public union "Creative Patriotic Association ‘Music Battalion’", MusBat (Ukrainian: Творче патріотичне об єднання "Музичний Батальйон", МузБат) was established in 2014. As they describe themselves, "(it) is an association of Ukrainian professional musicians and poets, which since 2014 has been supporting the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and volunteer battalions in the zone of the so-called ‘Anti-terrorist operation in the East of Ukraine’ with their songs and fiery words." MusBat is engaged in the popularization of modern Ukrainian song and Ukrainian culture among young people in such complex multicultural regions as the Danube region (southwest Odessa region), Transcarpathia and Donbass (source: They are complex for the strong influence exerted upon those local communities by Russian settlers. Notice: The ато (антитерористичної операції, Anti-terrorist operation), as it is officially called in Ukraine, is the Russian undeclared invasion of Ukraine, which lasted from 2014–2018, starting with the annexation of Crimea and the destabilization process in the East (War in Donbass and establishment of pro-Russian separatist republics, see here and here) and South (Pro Russian demonstrations in Odessa).

The flag is a blue horizontal flag with the logo in the middle, the logo being the Trident featuring a G musical note symbol, all in yellow letters. The logo includes the initials МУЗ БАТ in capitals inside. The flag also has the name of the organization below the logo, also in yellow capital letters.

Esteban Rivera, 21 February 2023

24th Mechanized Brigade Morale Flag

Morale flag image by Pete Loeser, 3 July 2023

The GIF flag image is based on this YouTube video, located by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg (still image from 19:33).

The text on the flag is "The glory is gaining thru battle".
Valentin Poposki, 19 March 2023

It is a morale flag of the 24th Mechanized Brigade, named after Daniel of Galicia. The unit was identified in an Instagram post by the YouTube creator. The flag can be seen also here.
Zachary Harden, 19 March 2023

See also:   24th Mechanized Brigade


   images by Zachary Harden

United24 was established in May 2022 by the Government of Ukraine to focus on three elements to support the country after Russia launched their invasion in February 2022.
The three areas are the following: defense and demining, humanitarian and medical assistance, and reconstruction of the country.
There have been unofficial flags made to raise awareness of United24, mostly consisting of their logo placed on their national flag. Two I could document so far was one used during
London Fashion Week in February 2023 by Ukrainian designers (, picture) and one used by British singer Ed Sheeran and the Ukrainian band Antytila during a concert in Warsaw (, picture).
Zachary Harden, 30 March 2023

As Zachary Harden mentioned, this is a government agency (source: which runs a cooperation program with multiple goodwill "ambassadors" (if you will) or supporters,
with the likes of former football players, film stars, etc. (source)
The name is derived from a 24-hour (permanent) donor drive worldwide. They have been very active especially in crowdfunding. Similar charities have been established as well, such as the Ukrainian Freedom Fund.
Esteban Rivera, 30 March 2023

Embrace Ukraine

image by Pete Loeser, 24 July 2023

Another charity organization, in this case a televised telethon, Embrace Ukraine (sources:,, which, combined with other media campaigns such as Be Brave Like Ukraine
in coordination with the Ukrainian government, has been established as well.
The flag is a horizontal blue background with a pumping heart with the colors of the country (blue and yellow) and inside, the country's map, also in blue and yellow (source, picture).
Esteban Rivera, 30 March 2023

Friendship flag Ukraine – USA

image by Pete Loeser, 30 July 2023

A flag honouring the friendship between Ukraine and the United States (Photo: Ukrainian tank with attached flag, probably 2022/2023, source:
The flag shows two hands in national colours with a friendly handshake in front of the flags of Ukraine and the U.S.
located by William Garrison, 8 May 2023

Looking at the photo of the flag on the tank, is it really likely that the wind direction is directly at right angles to the line of view? I would think it unlikely that the projection we see is the full aspect ratio: It could well be nearer 3:5 if you take that into account. I could not resolve the shape of the stars from the Stars-and-Stripes motif, which could provide a clue.
Simon Gardner, 31 July 2023

This one was a real puzzle. I first thought it was a square flag as many military banners are, then realized it wasn't after examining it more closely. It didn't appear long enough in the single picture we have found so far to be a standard size. The 3:4 ratio was my best guess, but I am hopeful a better picture will turn up so the image can be corrected, if necessary.
Pete Loeser, 31 July 2023

Russian Volunteer Corps

image by Tomislav Todorovic

That's the Russian Volunteer Corps. This group and the Freedom of Russia Legion (see below) both attack Russia from inside Ukraine. I'm not sure how much protection that border gives, but however it is,
they use it as their starting point to liberate Russia from the Kremlin. (photo, photo)
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 2 June 2023

The emblem on this flag is a sword superimposed on a shield charged with a chevron. This resembles the emblem of a Russian neo-Nazi emigrant organization named Russian Center, which was founded in Kyiv in 2015, whose emblem has the ring instead of the shield, a differently shaped sword and lacks a double border [1]. This, in turn, seems to have been derived from the emblem of an earlier emigrant organization named White Idea, which was active between two World Wars [1]. It is quite possible that the same people were involved in founding both the Russian Center and the Russian Volunteer Corps.

The photos available online reveal a very dark blue field [2, 3, 4] which, depending on the lighting conditions, may look almost indistinguishable from black [5, 6] or, on the contrary, rather light, especially if the source of light is behind the flag [7, 8, 9].

The GIF flag image is derived from the SVG image of the emblem from Wikimedia Commons.

[1] Russian Volunteer Corps at Wikipedia (in Russian)
[2] GOROD website
[3] 24 Kanal television station website (picture)
[4] website
[5] BBC Ukraine website
[6] Ukrinform news agency website
[7] Spektr website
[8] Zaborona website (picture)
[9] Znaj.UA website

Tomislav Todorovic, 2/3 July 2023

Additionally, the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC) (русский добровольческий корпус (РДК)) has been fighting alongside Ukraine since 2014 and is currently considered to be (operationally speaking) part of the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine (aka Ukrainian Foreign Legion).
The group was established on December 27, 2014, the same day as the Russian Liberation Army (ROA), only 72 years apart (ROA in 1942).
Esteban Rivera, 2 July 2023

Previous flag (1918–1922 / 2014–2022)

image by Tomislav Todorovic

The previous flag was a St. Andrews (Saltire) black background and white cross and was used between 2014–2022, when they were embedded as part of Azov Units (picture, picture / source).
They claim a lineage in the continuation of both the Russian Liberation Army as well as both, the Volunteer army (Добровольческая армия) and Markovtsy (Марковцы, derived from Serguéi Leonidovich Markov, a General), the latter two which were Russian military formations that took part on the "White movement" (1917–1922) side during the Russian Civil War (1918–1922), also known as White Russia or Russian White Army, later to be known officially as "Russian State" (Росси́йское госуда́рство) (1918–1922), itself a (failed) attempt at a continuation of the Russian Empire (<1917), which finally succumbed to the Bolsheviks and led to the establishment of the Soviet Union.

Sources in Russian:
Russian Volunteer Corps Website

Sources in English (located by Pete Loeser):
Wikipedia: White Movement
Wikipedia: Russian Civil War
Wikipedia: Russian Volunteer Army
Wikipedia: Russian state (1918–1920)

Esteban Rivera, 2 July 2023

On 2014-12-27, the Russian Company was formed within the Battalion North of the Azov Regiment. It used the black flag with a white saltire, which had originally been used by the Markovites (Марковцы, Markovtsy), a series of the White Movement units during the Russian Civil War which were named after General Sergei Leonidovich Markov (1878–1918). In late 2015, Russian volunteers from this and other units have formed the Military Association "Russian Volunteer" (Русский Доброволец), still within the Azov Regiment, which kept using the same flag. After the Russian Volunteer Corps was founded in August 2022, the Association transferred its flag to them in December of the same year.
The Markovite flag is derived from the Russian naval ensign. Its black and white colors symbolize the readiness to die for Russia and the "resurrection of the homeland", respectively.

Russian Volunteer Corps at Wikipedia (in Russian) website
Markovites at Wikipedia (in Russian)

Tomislav Todorovic, 7 July 2023

See also:   Russian Volunteers 1917–1920

Freedom of Russia Legion

    images by Tomislav Todorovic

That's the Freedom of Russia Legion [flag inscription: "Svoboda Rossii", Freedom of Russia]. This group and the Russian Volunteer Corps (see above) both attack Russia from inside Ukraine.
I'm not sure how much protection that border gives, but however it is, they use it as their starting point to liberate Russia from the Kremlin. (photo, photo, source: Nozomi Kariyasu's Facebook page)
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 2 June 2023

The source photos reported by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg actually display the flag variant with a much larger emblem (about 7/9 of the flag width) and a more oblong overall form (ratio about 3:5).
More photos of the flag: (picture) (picture) (picture) (picture)

Both GIF flag images are derived from the SVG image from Wikimedia Commons.

Tomislav Todorovic, 25 June 2023

See also:   Republic of Novgorod / Opposition to Vladimir Putin flag (Russia)

Freedom of Russia Legion on Ukrainian National Flag

image by Pete Loeser

This commercially sold variant defaces the Ukrainian National flag with the Freedom of Russia Legion Shield.
Pete Loeser, 2 July 2023 (not on mailing list)

"Stop Putin Stop War" flags

image located by Martin Karner


image located by William Garrison

William Garrison sent an image of a variant flag with the "Stop Putin Stop War" slogan. It's the Ukrainian national flag with this two-line slogan in inverted colours, added with a red (bloody) palm print in the lower half. The "Stop Putin Stop War" emblem exists in a plethora of different forms: flags, banners, placards, stickers, buttons, selfmade artwork etc. (see here)
Martin Karner, 7 August 2023

Humanitarian center of Kharkiv County (non-government organization)

image located by Esteban Rivera


image located by Esteban Rivera

The Humanitarian Center of Kharkiv region, formally BO Charitable Foundation "Humanitarian Center of Kharkiv Oblast" is a non-profit organization operating in Kharkiv County, established in early March 2022.


The flag is a horizontal flag with a middle white stripe sort of uniting the two (top and bottom) stripes (top in yellow and bottom in green) featuring the logo (with inscription in English) followed by the name in Ukrainian in green capitals.

Esteban Rivera, 12 September 2023

Ukrainian Food Banks Federation (non-government organization)

image located by Esteban Rivera


image located by Esteban Rivera

The Ukrainian Food Banks Federation, UFBF) is a non-profit organization, UFBF, founded on October 21, 2022 and on December 5, the Board of Directors decided to grant the temporary status (one year) of FEBA Associate Member replacing the Kyiv City Charity Foundation "Food Bank". It was set up with the support of the European Food Banks Federation (FEBA) (official website:, a non-profit organisation that brings together food banks in 30 European countries.
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, FEBA has responded immediately and launched the #AllTogether4Ukraine campaign to support Ukrainians, including helping to build a network of food banks in Ukraine."

Sources: (Video: Introducing UFBF)

The flag is a white horizontal background with the logo in the middle, with the organization's name on top in Ukrainian black capitals and on bottom in English blue capitals.

For additional information go to UA Food Bank (official website).

Esteban Rivera, 12 September 2023

Car for Hero (project by a non-government organization)

still image located by Esteban Rivera
(video source)


image located by Esteban Rivera

HeroCar (ГеройCar), more formally "Car for Hero" is a project started in 2023 by the Ruslan Shostak Foundation, also known as Ruslan Shostak Charitable Fund, that aims to provide troops fighting the Russian invasion in off-road conditions with 1000 reliable and durable road transportation (Ford F250, F350 and SsangYong Actyon cars and pick-up trucks), for which a single national platform has been created for accepting applications, fixing air transport needs, collecting funds and servicing wartime transport.
Cars are bought at auctions in the USA and delivered to Ukraine via Europe. Here, cars undergo technical inspection: mandatory replacement of batteries, oil, and filters. Cars are repainted in camouflage colors. Spare parts are purchased for the possibility of replacing parts directly at their locations of origin.
This initiative is part of the "Guardians of the sky" (Вартові неба) initiative in order to support the air defense (source).

Sources: (English) (Ukrainian) (Ukrainian)

The flag is a white horizontal background with the logo in the middle, the logo being the words "Герой" (hero) on top and "Car" on bottom, each word followed by a skid mark in the colors of the country's flag and below an unidentified inscription (picture of reverse, source).

For additional information go to Car for Hero (official website).

Esteban Rivera, 12 September 2023

Support Azov (foundation)

image by Zachary Harden, 29 December 2023

Flag of the "Support Azov" foundation (photo, source). It is an charitable foundation that meets the needs of the Third Separate Assault Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The foundation's volunteers are wounded fighters undergoing rehabilitation and experienced volunteer activists.
located by William Garrison, 29 December 2023