Ukrainian Armed Forces

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T-64 Bulat tanks near Lugansk, abandoned by the Ukrainian 1st Armoured Brigade after a Novorossiyan rocket artillery strike.
This historical article records the status of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on September 19, 2014.

This article catalogs the status of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU, ВСУ) at the time of the Minsk ceasefire on September 19th, 2014. This information may be useful in estimating Ukraine war casualties. On July 10, 2014, a week before Ukraine's first decisive defeat in the Southern Cauldron Business Insider ranked the Ukrainian Armed Forces as the 21st most powerful military in the world.[1]

Destroyed units

Loss of armor by month according to the Lost Armour database.
The 79th, 24th, and 92nd Brigades encircled in Southern Cauldron 1.0

24th Mechanized Brigade

Yavoriv, Lviv oblast

One battalion destroyed in Southern Cauldron 1.0. The other two battalions destroyed 12-14 August in battles in Saur Mogila. The remnants of the brigade have been declared "deserters," and are waiting judgment in Melitopol.

30th Mechanized Brigade

Novohrad-Volynskyi, Zhytomyr oblast

1st and 3rd battalions were beaten in Southern Cauldron 2.0 in Krasny Luts region in the first half of August. 2nd battalion was destroyed in Stepanovka outside the cauldron between August 12th and 14th.[2] Out of 4000 soldiers only 83 survive. (Some 500 non-combat troops remain.)[2][3][4] Other units withdrew from the "ATO" territory on August 27.[5]

51st Mechanized Brigade

Vladimir-Volyn in Volyn region

Partially destroyed in Southern Cauldron 1.0 at the beginning of August. Third battalion destroyed in Ilovaisk in late August.[6] Remnants of the unit, some 500 men teamed up with the 92nd Brigade, but were destroyed in the Amvrosievka pocket by August 30th.[7][8] Evidently the whole unit was disbanded later in 2014, parts of it becoming the new 14th Mechanized Brigade.[9][10]

72nd Mechanized Brigade

Bila Tserkva, Kyiv region

Destroyed completely in Southern Cauldron 1.0 near Zelenopole at the beginning of August.[11] Approximately 400 men remaining have been declared "deserters" and the fugitive placed in different locations. Some parts were destroyed in the Amvrosievka pocket at the end of August.[12]

79th Airmobile Brigade

Nikolayev and Bolgrad, Odessa region

Destroyed in Southern Cauldron 1.0 at the beginning of August.[13] The remaining 400 men have been returned to their base.

92nd Mechanized Brigade

Klugie-Maskirovka, Kharkov region

At the Lugansk front. One battalion in the area of Kharkov. Same issue with ideological attitude (pre-team).

A supply convoy on the way to ATO was ambushed by partisans on August 29, destroying several vehicles and killing two soldiers.[14]

A tactical group of 2,500 men, 16 tanks, self-propelled artillery, armored personnel carriers and trucks - about a hundred pieces of equipment in total was sent to the Ilovaisk front on August 23rd. All were destroyed in the Amvrosievka pocket by August 30th.[7][15]

Units with heavy losses

The following units have suffered large losses in recent battles:

1st Armoured Brigade

Some 50 T-64 Bulat tanks and other armored vehicles cooking off at the intersection of the Lugansk ring road and the airport road in the evening of July 13, 2014. (note the two separate strings of fireballs)

Honcharivske, Chernihiv Raion

The only Ukrainian unit to host the modernized T-64BM "Bulat" variant. (76 units as of October 2011). The unit made a breakthrough to the encircled Lugansk airport in July 13th. the first column of 40 T-64 Bulat tanks and 10 other armored vehicles was destroyed, most likely at the intersection of the Lugansk ring road and the airport road west and south of the intersection. From a second column of 30 tanks some 5 tanks were destroyed.[16][17][18][19][20] The rest of the unit was destroyed at the end of August in Novosvetlovka and when the airport was finally stormed at the start of September.

One battalion served on the Russian border in Kharkov region, but was evidently moved to the northern Lugansk front in August. The blogger novy chitatel on August 30th listed this battalion as the only battleworthy Ukrainian unit.[21][22] Suffered heavy losses in personnel when the army group headquarters in Popeda, some 50 km north of the Lugansk front was destroyed in a BM-30 Smersh attack on September 3rd and 4th.

25th Airborne Brigade

Gvardeiskoya village in Dnepropetrovsk region

Can be seen in Dobropolie, Donetsk region, deploying towards Donetsk in this Apr 9, 2014 video

Tried to enter Kramatorsk in April. Six BMD tanks with crew deserted to Slavyansk. Whole unit was "disbanded" on orders of acting president Oleksandr Turchynov. IL-76 was shot down above Lugansk airport, resulting in 49 KIA. One battalion destroyed in Shakhtersk battles in the beginning of August. Another battalion destroyed a few days ago in Marinovka-Koževni area.

95th Airmobile Brigade


Participated in the battles against the operation from the beginning, and suffered a loss all the time. This brigade is currently all the most experienced and efficient on the Ukrainian ground forces unit. One of the battalion took part in the breakthrough Krasny Luts direction and was able to retreat experiencing significant losses. Other battalions are fighting at the moment Debaltsevo Donetsk region, forming the main infantry attack fist.

Trapped in Amvrosievka pocket on August 24th.

17th Tank Brigade

Kryvyi Rih

Enbedded with other units. Large number of tanks destroyed or captured. Some units eliminated in Ilovaisk [23]

128th Mechanized Brigade

Mukachevo, Zakarpattia region (mountain infantry)

Served at the Lugansk front. Lost all its equipment in the Southern Cauldron. One battalion was transferred back to Transcarpathia to quell the uprising there. More dead than alive.[21]

26th Berdichev Artillery Brigade

In March 2015 the unit is said to have only four Msta-S howitzers left. About one thousand soldiers were demobilized.[24]

Encircled units

As of September 4th these encirclement have been defeated. The units no longer exist.

28th Mechanized Brigade

Chernomorskoe, Odessa region

Still relatively fresh. Though she was considered a "backup". How she is now capable technical question. Given the fact that mobilization part was completed by the Odessa ideological motivation of the units in question (maybe because of this kept in reserve).

Trapped in Amvrosievka pocket on August 24th. Completely destroyed near Ilovaisk on August 26th.[25]

80th Airmobile Brigade

Lviv, Chernivtsi;

Boxed in in the cauldron at Lutugino-Lugansk airport.

93rd Mechanized Brigade

Cherkasy Dnipropetrovsk region

Suffered significant losses in Slavyansk and during the fighting on the outskirts of Donetsk. Now the backbone of the group junta on the Northern and Western FAS Donetsk front. The combat in consequence of the losses incurred partially reduced.

Encircled in Kuteynikova in the Amvrosievka pocket on August 24th. Of one group of 150 soldiers who tried to break out of the pocket only 17 survived.[26]


The commander of the brigade, colonel Oleg Mikats was captured in a failed Ukrainian counterattack to retake the Donetsk Airport.[27] At the time of his capture he was leading an attack force of two tanks and 16 riflemen.[28]

This is not Oleg Mikats, according to (1) Petrovskii (2) Alexander Kots @sashkakots , and found at 20:32 on Cassad ) (3) visual comparison--e.g. look at ears . Oleg Mikats is in top ten of the Right Sector and 93 brigade commander. His other photo is here

Battleworthy units

As of September 5th there are no known battleworthy units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Donbass 6-10 Sept.jpg

Map by Kot Ivanov showing the Ukrainian units as of September 10th. Note, that the only units of the regular Ukrainian Army on the map and not encircled in cauldrons is one battalion of the 1st Armored Brigade and parts of the 80th Brigade north of Lugansk.

Territorial battalions and National Guard

Ukraine volunteer battalions.jpg

In Ukraine, there are four kinds of volunteer military units formed mainly of volunteers: territorial defense battalions; special battalion of the Ministry of Internal Affairs; reserve battalions of the National Guard; Right Sector volunteer corps.[29]

The Wikipedia articles fail to explain the different between the National Guard and the newer Territorial battalions (the articles do not even link to each other). The National Guard does not operate as individual units except for the Praviy Sector Nazi battallions.

Regional battalions


As of August 27 the Territorial battalions are fleeing: The 5th Territorial Battalion from Ivano-Frankivsk left ATO on August 27 with 400 men and went home. No one in Ukraine could stop them on the way. The sources are not clear on what happened. The battalion stationed at Amvrosievka, but decided to leave. One article suggest they went through Russia, but that would be impossible with their weapons. I suggest NAF simply let them out on a promise they would pack up and drive home. NAF could not take their weapons because without them the junta would have arrested them half-way.[30][31][32][33][34] The battalion commander was later arrested on charges of desertion.[35]

The 40th Territorial Defence Battalion Krivbass from Krivoy Rog left the ATO territory on or prior to August 29, refusing to "carry out mindless orders".[5]

On September 9th the 14th Territorial Battalion from Cherkasy deserted and left Volnovakha with 450 men.[36][37][38][39] On October 6th, Novorossiyan sources claimed that the battalion, still stationed in Volnovakha, had "broken free" of nationalist battalions blocking them and defected to the side of the Novorossiyan militia.[40][41][42]

On October 10, Kiev-2 battalion was said the said to have deserted.[43]

Rumors claim some battalions are planing to side with Novorossiya against "oligarchs" and Kiev.[44][45][46]

Praviy Sector Volunteer Battalions

Main article: Aidar Battalion

Controlled by Praviy Sector and Kolomoisky from same Dnepropetrovsk office. Officially part of "Territorial battalions".

  • Azov
  • Donbass
  • Aidar
  • Dniper-1
  • Dniper-2
  • Shahtersk
  • Crimea

As of August 25, forces of all of these are trapped in pockets.[47][48]

On August 29th 200-300 members of the 1st and 2nd company of Donbass battalion surrendered after retreating from Ilovaisk.[49][50][51] Life News however reports that of the original 300-350 men only 108 survived to be taken prisoner.[52][53]

The Crimea Battalion informs on Facebook that the "ATO" lost 500 men in total in the battle for Ilovaisk.[54][55]

According to information from an Azov Battalion leader and others emerging out of Mariupol, in the late days of August Kolomoiski has withdrawn Dnipr-1, aka his "private army", from the loosely surrounded city.[56]

According to Amnesty International briefing, abuses and war crimes by the Aidar Volunteer Battalion took place in the north Luhansk region [57]

According to Yarosh statement made in January 2015, Right Sector has about 10 thousand people, spread all over Ukraine. Nobody knows exact amounts of weapons they have. [58]

Euromaidan Battalions

Today, 100 Battalion "Sich" took the oath on Instytutska street in Kiev, then went into a zone of ATU, reports of "Svoboda" on its website. Soldiers who have served in the East, have been studying for more than two months. The ranks of the battalion came all volunteers. The vast majority of "Sich" - members of "Svoboda", the press service of the party.[59]

National Guard

1st Operational Brigade trained in urban combat was sent to Mariupol.[60] May have suffered heavy casualties in the battle for the Donetsk Airport at the beginning of October.[61][62]

Special MoI Battalions

Special MoI Battalions: according to Russian FM, created by Avakov (referring to his Facebook posting dated 13 April 2014). privately funded, and said to be not under Government regulations. Another source ( refers to MoI order dated 14 April.

  • "Vostok" ("East"). Mentioned on May 3 in relation to Odessa events, little further information.
  • "Storm" (mentioned in Russian FM 'white book' as participating in May 2 events (such reference was made on May 3). Also on May 3, it was announced that it is being 'formed' from volunteers, under control by Lutsiuk (MoI regional chief). (more on talk page).
  • "Dnepr"
  • "Saint Nicholas"
  • "Kharkiv"
  • "Sloboda"

Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN)

Foreign Fighters

Belorussian rebel group, likely "Pagonya"
Slovakian flag and Ukrainian Wolfsangel, probably Azov Natsbat

Dudaev battalion

Dudaev battalion was announced 03.03.14. It consists of pro-Kiev/anti-'Russian' volunteers from Chechnya and the outside world, and said to have over 500 volunteers in the linked publication by Isa Munaev, the battalion commander. Battalion was mentioned on this Ukrainian web site on 27.04.14

Eastern Europe

  • Belorussian and Slovak fighters -Source, 15 October 2016

Air force

Some 60 to 70 airplanes and helicopters destroyed.[63][64]

Equipment (according to wikipedia):

  • planes
attack plane/'hedge-hopper' SU 25 (on the books 31, including 14 modernized), 5 shot down, 2 damaged.
fighter aircraft/interceptor Mig 29 (124 planes on paper, several dozens may fly, 2 shot down (?)); SU 27 (24 planes)
bomber SU-24М (21, 1 shot down, 1 damaged), SU-24MR ('scouting') (12)
  • anti-aircraft
Buk M1 (60)
С-300 PC (30)


10.11.2014 Opolchenie captured (rusvesna) several modern Ukrainian tanks "Bulat". They are now repairing them. "Bulat" (Т-64БМ) is a deep modernization of T 64, and includes additional active and passive defense (extra 3.5 tons of it), automatic firefighting system, modern night vision, targeting, stabilization, guided missile launch capability.

Before ATO, estimate was 680 tanks on the books, around 200 actually working. Estimated 150 tanks may be produced per year (2-3 times that many if just repaired). Novorossia reports around 200 tanks destroyed in total.

6.12.2014 Poroshenko conveys equipment and armament to the Armed Forces, video Judging by what can be seen on photos, 20 or 30 new tanks (older T64 based Bulat in front, T72 based Oplot in the back) + ten 2S1 "Gvozdika" self-propelled artillery, + some number of BTR; 20 BTR4 Ladya are seen. The numbers seem close to an estimate of what they can refit in 1-2 month or so. Also, a few helicopters were delivered (most likely repaired), 3+2=5 are seen on the video. Total number of pieces given is said to be a 100, so then slightly over a half of the total is seen on the video. Tanks in sufficient quantities can be used to break through front line defenses.

8.01.2015 According to MoD chief Stepan Poltorak 450 pieces of equipment are given to UAF in 1 month (no details of types provided). A 'charitable aid' of 390 mln Hryvna received.


As of September 3, officers are said to be leaving their units.[65][66]

3rd and 4th round of mobilizations

According to MoD chief Stepan Poltorak, and SNBO decisions, in January-April 2015, 50 thousands will be drafted. By the end of the year, "if needed", another 54 thousands. Another January 2015 report claimed 200 thousands to be drafted.


It appears that the 24th, 28th, 30th, 51st, 72nd, 92nd, 93rd mechanized brigade and the 128th mountain infantry brigade are actually destroyed, or at least do not exist as fighting units. The same can be said about the four airmobile brigades. What remains of the 17th Tank Brigade is faulty equipment stored at the base. So far the only battleworthy unit is the 1st Tank Brigade, which had at the beginning of the so-called "ATO" about 80 tanks and is currently stationed in the former Lugansk region.
Territorial Battalions
National Guard
Right Sector
November 2014
September 2015


  1. The 35 Most Powerful Militaries In The World - Business Insider, July 10, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 Как гибла 30-я бригада: рассказ выжившего бердичевлянина (Pro-Ukrainian source)
  3. 83 out of 4'700: Fighters ask, why they were sent «into certain death» – ENG SUBS, Youtube Video uploaded by SLAVIANGRAD BLOG, August 20, 2014
  4. Ukraine’s Lower Class Military - Andrey Manchuk, CounterPunch, January 21, 2015
  5. 5.0 5.1 Krivbass Battalion Soldiers Leave Zone of Operations After Heavy Losses, Voices from Russia Blog, August 29, 2014
  6. 51-я бригада украинских десантников разгромлена под Иловайском (Ukrainian 51th Paratrooper Brigade defeated in Ilovaisk) – TV Zvezda, August 27, 2014
  7. 7.0 7.1 Выход из окружения из-под Иловайска - рассказ участника (Out of encirclement in Ilovaysk - survivor tells his story) – Sobitie, Sept 2, 2014
  8. AJSB ‏@A_J_S_B on Twitter: Of the 500 elements from #ukraine 51st brigade that were encircled only 16 escaped. The others? KIA, MIA or POW.
  9. The "Heroes of Ukraine" 51st Brigade Disbanded Due to Desertion – January 6, 2015
  10. 51st Mechanized Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Battles in Donbass - Colonel Cassad, October 6, 2017
  11. Разбитые позиции "геройской" 72-бригады ВСУ под Свердловском, Луганская область (Broken position of the "heroic" 72th Brigade AFU near Sverdlovsk, Luhansk region) – "Alexander", August 12, 2014
  12. Амвросиевский разгром 72 омбр (18+) (Amvrosievska defeat of the 72th Brigade) – September 26, 2014
  13. 79th Airmobile Brigade in the Battle of Donbass - Colonel Cassad, June 18, 2017 (more)
  14. Partizans in Kharkov Oblast Ambushed Column of 92 Mechanised Brigade, Voices from Russia blog, August 29, 2014
  15. Украинский солдат рассказал подробности разгрома своей части под Иловайском (Ukrainian soldier gave details of the defeat near Ilovaisk) – Vzglyad, September 4, 2014
  16. Numbers as reported by Novorossiya sources at the time + sightings of destroyed tanks at site of attack on second column
  17. Some serious devastation going on near Lugansk airport – Ukraine@war, July 13, 2014
  18. Разгром под Луганском: "клещи" нацгвардии попали в "тиски" (The defeat at the Lugansk "ticks" the National Guard were in the "vise") –, July 14, 2014
  19. Командир бахнул из гранатомета — ополченец рассказал о разгроме военной колонны под Роскошным (видео 18+) – RusVesna, 15 July 2014
  20. Fascist Ammo Transport Ambushed near Luhansk | English Subtitles – Anti-Maidan, Jul 14, 2014 (video)
  21. 21.0 21.1 Краткий обзор нынешнего состояния бригад ВСУ (An overview of the current state of the UAF units) – novy chitatel, August 30th, 2014
  22. Броня хлипка (Flimsy armor) – Vzglyad, September 4, 2014
  23. AJSB on Twitter – August 20, 2014
  24. The High Mysteries of Ukrainian Mobilization and Demobilization - Yurasumy, 3/18/2015
  25. Попала в окружение и была уничтожена 28-я механизированная бригада ВСУ (The 28th Mechanized Brigade of UAF was encircled and destroyed)
  26. Украинский военный: из 150 бойцов в окружении выжили 17 – LifeNEWS, Aug 29, 2014
  27. В аэропорту захвачен командир 93-й бригады Микац (translation)
  28. UAF attack group taken captive by NAF at the Donetsk airport 20/01/15
  29. Власти решили вывести из зоны АТО все добровольческие батальоны - источник (The authorities decided to withdraw from the ATO area all volunteer battalions) – Glavcom, 23.09.2014
  30. Carpathian 5th territorial defense battalion deserted (No, this is not Transcarpathia, but Ivano-Frankivsk in core Banderastan)]
  31. 5th Battalion territorial defense Carpathian traveled Kirovograd (PHOTOS)
  32. Through the checkpoint in Kiev tried to drive 400 armed soldiers who left the position in the area of ​​ATO
  33. From the front, fled 400 Ukrainian soldiers with weapons. What's next?
  34. Western Ukrainian fighters leave war, cite poor support – Lily Hyde, Kyiv Post, Aug. 28, 2014
  35. Командир батальона «Прикарпатье» арестован по обвинению в дезертирстве (The battalion commander "Carpathian" arrested on charges of desertion) – RT, Sept 4, 2014
  36. Безоружный батальон "Черкассы" в составе 450 человек отказался идти на передовую (Unarmed Battalion "Cherkasy" consisting of 450 people refused to go to the front) – ZN,UA, September 9, 2014
  37. Батальон «Черкассы» практически всем составом отказался воевать (Battalion "Cherkasy" almost all the staff refused to fight) – TV channel "Ukraine", September 10, 2014
  38. Батальон украинской армии «Черкассы» дезертировал в полном составе (Ukrainian army battalion "Cherkasy" deserted in full) – TV Zvezda, September 10, 2014
  39. Бойцы батальона "Черкассы" отказались воевать. (Battalion "Cherkasy" refused to fight. Behind them came from the prosecutor's office) – TV Zvezda, September 10, 2014
  40. VK
  41. Батальон «Черкассы» прорвался к ополченцам и перешёл на их сторону (Battalion "Cherkasy" broke the militia and passed on their side) –, 6 Oct 2014
  42. В интернете появились сообщения о переходе батальона «Черкассы» на сторону ополченцев – October 6, 2014
  43. Militiamen from Sumy and Poltava threw companions and deserted from fighting positions on the Luhansk region – 10 October 2014 (more)
  44. Revolt in territorial battalions, panic in Kiev – Victor Zubritsky via Fort Russ,October 30, 2014
  45. Something very, very interesting has happened in Novorussia – The Saker, October 29, 2014
  46. Ukraine soldiers to government: we're coming for you next –  Sebastian Smith, AFP, 31 Oct 2014
  47. ‏@BradCabana 11 Pockets, approx 15-19,000 UKR troops trapped.
  48. A little panic anyone? – Colonel Cassad, Aug 27, 2014 – Semen Semenchenko, commander of the Donbas: "In Ilovaysk the detachments of battalions "Donbass", "Dnieper", "Svityaz", "Kherson", and "Volunteer" are in the encirclement for the 5-th day."
  49. Окруженные под Червоносельским бойцы "Донбасса" сдаются в плен (Surrounded by Chervonoselskim fighters "Donbass" surrendering)
  50. Батальон "Донбасс" под Амвросиевкой сдается в плен (Battalion "Donbass" surrenders near Amvrosievka) – Aug 29, 2014
  51. Video
  52. Ополчение задержало под Иловайском 108 бойцов «Донбасса» (Militia detained 108 fighters of "Donbass" near Ilovaisk) – Life News, August 31, 2014
  53. Captured from batalion Donbass sentenced to civil work – Anti-Maidan, Oct 18, 2014 –– Has details of the surrender after the Ilovaisk battle:
    Near Krasnoselsk we went out... We had got a green channel. And we went out with the wounded people... It happenend so that we were fired. Our column was fired by tanks... So we had tho surrender to captivity after that...
    – And what was the process of surrender? White flags? And how did you find the militia?
    Oh yas, we were going out with red flag... Because that's the Red Cross... We has 80 wounded people... So we were passing through the green channel. The column reached the middle... The first shot got into the Red Cross, and we stopped... We were told: "Surrender or we will shoot you". Our commanders decided it's better to surrender than lose more people...
    – How many people have surrendered together with you there at?
    112 people.
    – At a go?
    Yes... We laid down our arms. We were told to lay down our arms and tanks... So we laid down our arms and surrendered.
    – And what unit are you from?
  54. Steiner ‏@Steiner1776 on Twitter: Will mark it as unconfirmed but #Ukraine "#Crimea" battalion says in total #ATO lost 500 men in #Ilovaisk battle
  55. Volunteer battalion "Crimea" on Facebook: К сожалению , около 500 ребят из различных подразделений погибли при прорыве колонны. Раненых, россияне добивали уже на поле. Сегодня "скорые" туда не пропустили, что бы общественность не узнала о том какие горы трупов остались на поле
  56. Зам. командира батальона «Азов»: Коломойский сдаёт Мариуполь,, August 31, 2014
  57. Abuses and war crimes by the Aidar Volunteer Battalion in the north Luhansk region, Amnesty International Briefing, 8 September 2014.
  58. Right Sector Leader Yarosh: National Guard is "UAF mob" ("ВэВэшный сброд") Rusvesna, 08.01.2015
  59. В зону АТО отправился батальон особого назначения "Сечь" (Special purpose battalion "Sich" transferred to ATO area) – August 26, 2014
  60. Mariupol direction – M.V. Litvinov, September 1, 2014
  61. The war in South-East Online 05/10/2014 Chronicle
  62. Truth about situation in Ukraine on Facebook – Translated by Kristina
  63. August 26th combat SITREP by Juan – Quote: The entire Uke force of airworthy air assets has now been shot down one and a half times.
  64. Ополченцы сбили четыре украинских штурмовика Су-25 (Militias shot down four Ukrainian Su-25) – 08/29/2014
  65. Командование покинуло одно из подразделений АТО - источник ВВС (Command left a division of ATO - Air Force source) – BBC Ukraine, September 3, 2014
  66. Командиры 12-го батальона теробороны бросили своих бойцов в зоне АТО (The commanders of the 12th Territorial Battalion abandoned their fighters in the ATO area) – Darius Gorski, «ФАКТЫ», 09/08/2014