Last updated: October 13, 2014 20:07 UTC
Since August 2014 I have been reviewing information on the Russian military forces that are concentrated on the eastern border of Ukraine. So far we have identified approximately 50 different units deployed for the invasion. Many of these units have already crossed into the eastern Ukraine and have participated in combats against the Ukrainian Armed Forces. This article aims to summarize the available information as currently known. The article presents the information as per available sources, but obviously will not reflect the full picture of the Russian military intervention in Ukraine.
The military units listed below reflect units from the infantry, airborne forces, land troops of the navy, units of the GRU, artillery, air defense, and supply. Where the information is available the formation deployed is stated (for example: battalion tactic group, company tactic group, unit of mixed formation). We have identified units of the Southern (SMD), Western (WMD) and Central (CMD) Military District. The majority of units are from the SMD. Some of these units have been located in forward camps on the Ukrainian border, while for others information has been received of their direct participation in fights in Ukraine. Where reliable information has been received of casualties within the unit from combat in Ukraine, this has been highlighted.
Battalion Tactic Groups (BTG) and Company Tactic Groups (CTG) of the Southern Military District
- 1st Guards Missile Brigade (, ), Krasnodar
- 4th Military Base (, ), Samachablo region (occupied South Ossetia), Georgia (a company formed from the intelligence battalion and from the company of snipers of the mentioned military base).
- 7th Military Base (, , ), occupied Abkhazia, Georgia. Unit has combat losses.
- 8th Guards Independent (Mountain) Motor-Rifle Brigade (, ), Borzoy, Chechnya. Unit has combat losses.
- 17th Guards Independent Motor-Rifle Brigade (, , , , , ), Shali, Chechnya (presumably 2 BTGs). Unit has significant combat losses and then BTGs were converted to CTGs.
- 18th Guards Independent Motor-Rifle Brigade (, , , , ), Khankala and Kalininskaya, Chechnya.
- 19th Motorized Rifle Brigade (, , , , ), Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia/Stanitsa Troitskaya, Ingushetia (presumably 2 BTG, one of those based in occupied Crimea, close to Armyansk). Unit has combat losses.
- 33rd Independent (Mountain) Reconnaissance Brigade, Maykop, Adygea. Unit has combat losses.
- Mixed company from the 78th logistic brigade, Budyonnovsk, Stavropol Krai;
- 136th Motorized Rifle Brigade (, , ), Botlikh, Dagestan. Unit has combat losses.
- 205th Independent Motor-Rifle Brigade, Budyonnovsk, Stavropol Krai, Russia.
- 247th Air Assault Regiment of the 7th Guards Airborne Division, Novorossiysk (military unit 54801)
- Mixed howitzer and reactive divisions of the 291st Artillery Brigade, Stanitsa Troitskaya, Ingushetia. Formations of the unit are now in Crimea and also close to the Eastern border of Ukraine from where Ukrainian territory is being shelled.
- 439th Guards MLRS Brigade, Znamensk
- 630th Training Missile Battalion, Znamensk or Vladikavkaz
- Divisions of ‘Uragan’ MLRS, 943rd Multiple Rocket Launcher Regiment (, ), Adyhea, Krasnooktyabrskiy.
Besides the combat formations mentioned above, the following support units (management and supply) of the SMD are involved:
- 34th Brigade of Administration of 58th Army, Northern Ossetia, Vladikavkaz.
- 66th C3 Brigade, Stavropol.
- 78th Brigade of Material-Tech Supply of 58th Army, Stavropol, Budennovsk/Volgograd.
- 99th Brigade of Material-Tech Supply of 49th Army, Adyhea, Maykop.
- 175th (Communications Hub) Signal Brigade, Aksay, Rostov Region.
- 176th (Territorial) Signal Brigade, Rostov Region, Novocherkassk.
Although unconfirmed, it is believed a BTG or CTG from the 20th Motorized Rifle Brigade (Volgograd), and the 34th Mountain Motorized Rifle Brigade (Karachay-Cherkessia), are also present among the invasion group.
Battalion Tactic Groups (BTG) and Company Tactic Groups (CTG) of the Western Military District
- 6th Tank Brigade, Mulino. Unit has combat losses.
- 9th Motorized Rifle Group, Nizhniy Novgorod. Unit has combat losses.
- 25th Motorized Rifle Brigade from Vladimir;
- 27th Motorized Rifle Brigade from Vidnoe;
- Divisions of 275th Artillery Regiment of the 4th Guards Tank Division, Naro-Fominsk. Unit has combat losses.
- 1st Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 2nd Guards Motor Rifle Division from Naro-Fominsk;
- 12th (or 13th) regiment of the 4th Guards Tank Division from Naro-Fominsk;
- Division of ‘Uragan’ MLRS from 288th Artillery Unit, Nizhniy Novgorod, Mulino.
Battalion Tactic Groups (BTG) and Company Tactic Groups (CTG) of the Central Military District
- 7th Tank Brigade, Chebarkul (military unit 895447).
- 15th Separate Motorized Brigade (part of the so-called “Peacekeeping forces”), Roschinskyy (Samara). Unit has combat losses.
- 21th Motorized Brigade, Totskoye. Unit has combat losses.
- 23rd Motorized Brigade, Samara. Unit has combat losses.
- 28th Motorized Brigade, Ekaterinburg (military unit No. 61423). A BTG (or possibly a CTG) of the unit was identified in June 2014 in the area of Veseliy village, Rostov region, close to Ukrainian border.
- 32nd Motorized Brigade, Shilovo, Novosibirskaya region.
- 74th Motorized Brigade, Yurga, Novosibirsk (military unit 21005). Unit has combat losses.
- 61th Marine Brigade of the Northern Fleet, Sputnik village, Kolskiy peninsula.
- 200th Motorized Rifle Brigade of the Northern Fleet, Pechenega village, Murmansk region. Unit has combat losses.
- 810th Marine Brigade of the Black Sea Fleet, Sevastopol, occupied Crimea, and also from Temryuk, Rostov Region.
The indecent with the 200th brigade is documented in details by the Tweeter user @Askai in his twit: “The Russian convoy belonging 03.09.14 near Luhansk — the 200th separate motorized rifle brigade (military unit no. 08275, Murmanks).“
- 7th Guards Airborne Division – 247th Regiment, Novorossiysk/Stavropol. Unit has combat losses.
- 31th Guards Airborne Brigade (“Peacekeeping forces”), Ulyanovsk. Unit has major combat losses.
- 45th Guards Spetsnaz Regiment (, ), Kubinka. Unit has combat losses.
- 56th Guards Air Assault Brigade, Volgograd.
- 76th Guards Air Assault Division (, ) — 234th Air Assault Regiment, Pskov. Unit has major combat losses.
- 98th Guards Airborne Division – 331st Guards Airborne Regiment, Ivanovo/Kostroma. Unit has combat losses.
- 106th Guards Airborne Division – 51st and 137th Airborne Regiments, Tula. Unit has combat losses.
- 247th regiment of the 7th division – Novorossiysk (Krasnodar Krai).
Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation
This includes Diversionary Reconnaissance Groups (DRG) and SIGINT units:
- 10th Separate Spetsnaz Brigade (Diversionary Reconnaissance Group), Molkino, Krasnodar region.
- 14th Separate Spetsnaz Brigade, Ussuriysk, Primorsky Krai (Eastern Military District, military unit 74854)
- 22nd Separate Guards Spetsnaz Brigade (Diversionary Reconnaissance Group), Aksay, Rostov region — , , .
- 346th Separate Spetsnaz Brigade (Diversionary Reconnaissance Group), Prohladniy, Kabardino-Balkaria — , , , .
- Electronic unit and squadron of unmanned aerial vehicles of the 100th Experimental Reconnaissance Brigade, Mozdok, Northern Ossetia.
- Units of the 154th Electronic Brigade of Special Forces, Stavropol Krai, Moskovskoye Izobilnensky District.
- Airborne Intelligence Group, 2nd Separate Spetsnaz Brigade (, , ), Pskov.
- Airborne Intelligence Group, 3rd Guards Spetsnaz Brigade, Ulyanovsk.
- Airborne Intelligence Group, 16th Separate Spetsnaz Brigade, Tambov. Unit has combat losses.
- Airborne Intelligence Group, 24th Separate Spetsnaz Brigade, Berdsk.
- It is also believed that formations from the 25th Spetsnaz Regiment from Stavropol are operating in Ukraine as well as other units of signal intelligence that have been transferred from other military districts.
Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation
- Special groups from military unit No. 35690, Center of Special Forces, Codename of the base: ‘Sputnik’, Balashyha, Moscow region. Unit has combat losses.
Russian Air Forces
- 393rd Air Force Base, Korenovsk, Southern Military District
Although numbers change from month to month due to various circumstances, as a very general estimate, and counting the support units, the Russian invasion forces on the Ukrainian east border is close to 20 000 troops. Parts of these forces are in Ukraine, or have been in Ukraine. This estimate of troop numbers is not taking into account the Russian forces on the southern border of Ukraine (in occupied Crimea), or the forces along the north-eastern border of Ukraine.
The identification of the Russian military units is mostly based on my research utilizing the press, social networks, and other individual sources. There are in the list only those military units that I have managed to identify and check. Data about Russian army loses gathered from the various website records reporting deaths (‘cargo 200’) of the Russian military forces in Ukraine.
Any additions or constructive comments will be appreciated.
Author: Irakli Komakhidze.
Records about Russian invasion forces published before are available on these links:
- Armed Forces of Russian Federation Spotted along the Ukrainian Border and in Donbas
- Updated Information Regarding Russian Army Troops Directly Observed in the Eastern Regions of Ukraine
- Russian Military Assessment