On the 13th of April, 2014 in Sloviansk, Serhiy Jurikov, nomme de guerre 'Romashka' (Chamomile) was in command of the separatist unit that engaged in one of the first fights with the Ukrainian forces in the Donbas. The captain of the ‘Alpha’ special forces unit of the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU), Gennady Bilichenko, was killed in that fight, according to an article written by Yuriy Butusov, a journalist of Ukrainian censor.net news portal.
Butusov states that Jurikov was a member of the Security Structures of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra and was also a "freelance sexton of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra."
According to the journalist, during the initial stages of the war, his role in the ‘Crimea’ unit of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) was of the same level of importance as the role of Igor Girkin.
"Jurikov, due to his professional training and his relationship with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate, facilitated Girkin’s actions in Ukraine. It's obvious that Jurikov was the one who brought Girkin into Sloviansk at the residence of the Archpriest Vitaliy. He was the commander of Girkin’s strike unit. It was him who lead the first attack on the Ukrainian special forces," Butusov notes.
In addition, according to Butusov, Jurikov also took part in the attack by Girkin’s fighers on the photogrammetric center of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Simferopol on the 18th of March, 2014. Then, as a result of the chaotic shooting started by the separatits the Russian mercenary, Ruslan Kazakov, was shot and killed. The first Ukrainian soldier to be killed in the war, Serhiy Kokurin, was killed during this attack.
According to the journalist, five of the 52 fighters from the Russian FSB ‘Crimea’ detachment, which seized Sloviansk on the 12th of April 2014, were Russian agents who had previously lived in Kiev.
"Serhiy Jurikov played a much more important role than Girkin himself. Jurikov was the leader of the attack on the SSU employees on the 13th of April. It was the first battle of the war in the Donbas, which killed the captain of the ‘Alpha’ detachment, Gennady Bilichenko,” Butusov wrote on Facebook.