Company commander of 47th Mechanized Brigade speaks about the unit and combat in the south.

Mykola Melnyk is an officer of Ukrainian Armed Forces, owner of Bohdan Khmelnytsky Order. In 2022, he joined 47th Mechanized Brigade (back then a battalion) and became company commander. He recently gave an interview to Ukrainian Front 18 channel, where he speaks about the brigade and the offensive in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

About formation of the brigade

We tried to rely on highly motivated people. We started as an intelligence battalion, then expanded to an assault regiment and later to a mechanized brigade. We learned how to storm enemy buildings, then they gave us MaxxPro MRAPs, and we had to start from scratch as mechanized units. Then, they took everything away from us, gave us M2 Bradleys and send us abroad. The preparation was too long, many guys burned out. It was hard to understand that while others are fighting, we continued to train and prepare.

About training on Bradleys

It was a completely different approach. In Ukraine, they show you BMP, but you cannot touch anything because it might fall apart. Here, we drove a dozen of kilometers, did live fire exercises and everything was explained to us.

It later became clear we are part of the counter-offensive, and our training was adjusted to that. US soldiers played Russians, it was great experience, and I was proud of my guys. We talked, bothered our instructors till late night. We wanted to know everything, be ready for anything. I sadly cannot say this about some other companies in the brigade.

About the preparations of offensive

We were deployed to Zaporizhzhia Oblast in mid-May 2023, our Corps was already planning the offensive at that time. They nicknamed all key positions after football teams. There was Benfica, Real, Shakhtar, Dynamo and so on. We knew what awaits us, and practiced every night. Although we were one of the better equipped brigade of Ukrainian Army, we still didn’t have enough night vision devices and had to rely on fundraisers.

About the offensive

The whole plan of our big counter-offensive was based on a simple thing – Russians see Bradleys, Leopards and they run away. They didn’t, they were well-prepared for us.

We were supposed to follow 3rd battalion, but due to failures in planning, we were three hours late and couldn’t help them. We managed to capture Russian positions on June 9, 2023, and repelled all attacks. My unit accomplished the task with minimal casualties. Other companies were not so lucky.

Robotyne was our objective for the first day, and you know how it went. The enemy knew our routes of advance, all their artillery were zeroed on us. It was a chaos. Some of our companies were finished in 15 minutes, some in 30. Other brigades demonstrated sad records. Another example of chaos – I got a tank under my command to support us with storming enemy positions. The tank was reassigned to a different unit shortly prior to our assault, and we got guys I never saw before. They were clearly not happy to be here, and had no idea what’s going on.

There were cases when we requested artillery support to suppress enemy positions, but were denied because of M109 Paladin’s expensive shells. People died because of this. We also found out that our tankers never fired from Leopards before. They trained on T-72s the whole time and were sent to the south with different tanks.

Mykola Melnyk was seriously wounded during one of the assaults during the Ukrainian counter-offensive in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. A Russian large-caliber gun hit him when he was trying to navigate a Bradley through a minefield and lost his leg. During an attempt to get to the nearest Ukrainian positions, he stepped on anti-personnel mine and fell on another one. Mykola is now slowly recovering, and just recently was able to stand up.

Interview with Mykola Melnyk was published on Ukrainian channel Front 18. We provide a short summary of the interview in English. You can watch the full interview on their YouTube channel, or read it on Ukrainian censor.net.

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danylo

So many investigation and mistakes that should be corrected and the understanding that this war wont end in fancy rapid manouvers, but above all the pressure that media made for the offensive was stupid and should never happen again

Max Beckhaus

The part about the Leopard crew is so mindboogling, that it is hard to believe. How can anyone ever think, that this is a good idea…?

Last edited 6 months ago by Max Beckhaus
kindasilly

aww, you didn’t translate the part about the man’s background! his callsign is “fritz” btw.

Oh… I was first call Fritz by a friend from Galicia in 2016. And it’s your root. I have never hadden that I am half German. You know, I have a family of “anti-Soviets”: some Were in the Hitler Youth, other in the UPA.

Noelle

reality is shitfest.
Sad to read again about some kind of military arseholiness which will never change.

//it was the same when I was conscripted and I saw the same kind of lee-f*ck-my-arse-way attitude in many modern units (and worse: commanders) not only from my country, that including the US, theNG was the worst. Though we had the luxury of not being really shoot at.

Andrew

Yup. I was an enlisted soldier in the US Army once upon a time. Never deployed abroad, but experiencing one JRTC rotation in Louisiana… yikes. That brigade from 1st Cav later got messed up pretty bad in Baghdad.

So much can go wrong it’s a miracle anything works at all. What the 47th experienced was, unfortunately, classic. UAF will learn – has learned. US did too after Kassereine… mostly.

Stoimen

My father was deployed in Iraq with other Bulgarian forces as part of NATO in 2003. He was shocked from the American and British army men. He thought they are the top of the ice-cream, but in reality he said they are paid cowards that have no idea what they are doing.

Kay

The Americans, our flagship army. I did basic military service in the GER Bundeswehr, where we were also told not to model ourselves on US soldiers. The soldiers rarely act according to classical teachings and rely only on their technology. The Bundeswehr is not particularly progressive, but the training of soldiers is one of the best in NATO.

Zhorik Vartanov

I only now read your reply to me from few days back – sorry – and now it saddens me to discover that the cold, brilliant and ruthless intellectual – who could penetrate to the core, connect all the dots and bring together military incompetence, Putin, morality and cultural issues – is gone and now the analysis boils down to ‘shitfest and neverending arseholiness’. I demand the old Noelle back!

Max Beckhaus

Hahaha, good one! 😂

Noelle

poor thing, what can I do for you?
It’s all ‘cuz I have never spoken with anyone higher in command than a lt. colonel (though, he was mostly barking at us, small potatoes (I am very diplomatic now), and that one-sided conversation was hardly any conversation at all). Let alone the general or marshall. I am definitely lacking the higher perspective.

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