About Volunteer Defence Forces of territorial communties (VDF)

VDF are paramilitary units formed by law and operating under the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who conduct territorial defence tasks in their communities.

The formation of a VDF unit is approved by a combined panel of the local government authority and the area Territorial Defence commander, ensuring accountability at the local level.

All Volunteers undergo a medical, psychological, professional and security check to ensure they are suitable to be members of the VDF, before undergoing basic training at a number of locations. Training then continues in their communities, with the option of learning advanced skills  in particular specialisms. Training uses NATO standards and methods, and encourages and empowers Volunteers to develop their initiative.


Volunteers take an oath of allegiance and, once operational, come under the command of their respective Territorial Defence Force battalions. When on duty, Volunteers are subject to military discipline and have statutory powers under the statutes of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Volunteer formations have the right to use arms while carrying out territorial defence tasks.

All Volunteers are required to adhere to a set of core values and behaviours to ensure their conduct is of a high standard at all times.



The Volunteer must be…

VIGILANT – alert, informed and knows what is going on in their area.

READY – prepared to be on duty at short notice.

ADAPTABLE – able to deal with the unexpected.

PROACTIVE – seeks solutions to problems and seizes the initiative.

SELF-MOTIVATED – always strives to do and be better.

HONEST – is fair, has integrity, and is trusted by their community.

RESPECTFUL – treats others as they would wish to be treated themselves.

SELFLESS – places the needs of the task and of other people before their own.

DISCIPLINED – has high standards and sets a good example to others.

LOYAL – is faithful to their team, their leader, and the Volunteer Forces.

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