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Berkut may refer to:

  • Golden eagle or berkut, a bird of prey
  • Berkut (special police force), the former special units of the Ukrainian police and current units of the Russian Crimean police
  • The Berkut, a 1987 novel by Joseph Heywood
  • S-25 Berkut, a Russian surface-to-air missile system known to NATO as the SA-1 Guild
  • Su-47 Berkut, a Russian experimental supersonic jet fighter developed by Sukhoi
  • Berkut 360, a US home-built aircraft
  • Berkut Air, an airline based in Almaty, Kazakhstan
  • Berkut rifle, a semi-automatic hunting rifle designed and manufactured in Russia
  • Berkut spacesuit, a Soviet space suit developed in 1964-1965
  • Kresta I class cruiser or Berkut, a surface warfare guided missile cruiser
  • Kresta II class cruiser or Berkut, an anti-submarine guided missile cruiser
  • Berkut Group, a fictional organization in Bionic Woman
  • Berkut, Russian oil platform in the Okhotsk Sea
  • , a Russian helicopter

Berkut (special police force)

The "Berkut" , eagle in English, specifically the Golden eagle, was the system of special police of the Ukrainian militsiya within the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Since late March 2014 its Crimean unit in the Republic of Crimea defected to the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs preserving its old name. Following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, when Berkut was held responsible by the new government for most of the nearly 100 civilian deaths, acting Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov signed a decree that dissolved the agency. As a result of the 2014 Crimean crisis and the referendum in Crimea the Russian Federation granted accession to the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol as federal subjects of Russia on 21 March 2014. Three days later Russia announced that the Crimean Berkut unit would preserve its name as part of its defection from the Ukrainian authority to the Russian Interior Ministry.

Berkut was Ukraine's successor to the Soviet OMON. It operated semi-autonomously and was governed at the local or regional level ( oblast, raion, city). Initially used to fight organized crime, it became used as the Police ( Militsiya) for Public Security. Its full name was "Berkut" Separate Special Assignment Unit(s) of Militsiya. There was a "Berkut" unit in every region (oblast) and every big city of the country. Among the several special police units in Ukraine, "Berkut" became a catchall name for all the others.

The main stated purpose (in Ukraine) of the national special force was crowd control; however, the Berkut have also been accused of taking part in racketeering, and of terrorizing, attacking, and torturing Ukrainian citizens, including in recent years voters who would elect non- Yanukovych candidates to local governments. and had a well-documented history of kidnapping, attack, and torture of protesters including during Euromaidan and to a lesser extent the Orange Revolution.