Ukrainian top officials responded to Russian aggression in Crimea and Donbas.

The situation in Crimea and the areas bordering with Ukraine deteriorated beyond a line of what the Ukrainian government was able to ignore. Russian forces occupied Crimea and blocked Ukrainian troops stationed there, pro-Russian forces attempted to seize governmental buildings in Donetsk, Luhansk, Mariupol, Kharkiv, Kherson and Dnipro, and Russian army accumulated large amount of forces near the Ukrainian border. On March 8, 2014, Ukrainian Army were raised on alarm.

Deployment map

List of Ukrainian Units in 2014

1st Tank Brigade

Today: 1st Tank Brigade

The unit was raised on alarm, and advanced towards the border in Chernihiv Oblast to block a Russian advance from the north. The brigade relied on mobilized personnel, which later affected the combat effectiveness.

3rd Regiment of Special Purpose

Today: Special Operations Center East

Deployed to Kharkiv Oblast to collect information and monitor movement of Russian troops across the border.

8th Regiment of Special Purpose

Today: Special Operations Center West

Deployed to Sumy Oblast to monitor movement of Russian troops across the border, and also responsible for evacuation of top secret material from Kharkiv.

15th Rocket Artillery Regiment

Today: 15th Artillery Recon Brigade

Raised on alarm and deployed to the east.

17th Tank Brigade

Today: 17th Tank Brigade

The brigade was in the process of being disbanded, and couldn’t assemble even a company tactical group for two months.

19th Rocket Brigade

Today: 19th Rocket Brigade

Unit raised on alarm.

24th Mechanized Brigade

Today: 24th Mechanized Brigade

The unit was raised on alarm, but only the 1st Battalion was combat capable. They received an order to block and prevent any promotion of Russian troops in Sumy and Chernihiv Oblast.

25th Airborne Brigade

Today: 25th Airborne Brigade

Raised on alarm, the 1st Airborne Battalion deployed to Donetsk Oblast, battalion tactical group formed on the basis of 2nd Airborne battalion.

25th Airborne Brigade at training ground, March 2014
30th Mechanized Brigade near Crimea, March 2014

26th Artillery Brigade

Today: 26th Artillery Brigade

Raised on alarm. The staff was used to reinforce already existing brigades.

27th Rocket Artillery Regiment

Today: 27th Rocket Artillery Brigade

The brigade, stationed in Sumy, was withdrawn to Myrhorod due to its proximity to Russian border.

28th Mechanized Brigade

Today: 28th Mechanized Brigade

The unit was raised on alarm, but could assemble only one battalion tactical group. The element lost 24 BMP-2s due to improper handling during a training, and couldn’t reinforce Ukrainian defense until July.

30th Mechanized Brigade

Today: 30th Mechanized Brigade

Raised on alarm, the brigade was almost fully combat capable. The 1st and 3rd Battalion marched towards Crimea, while 2nd Battalion towards Luhansk Oblast.

36th Coastal Defense Brigade

Today: disbanded

On March 21, about 60% of the brigade, including the commander, betrayed the Ukrainian nation and sided with Russian forces. The remaining elements left for Ukrainian mainland.

51st Mechanized Brigade

Today: disbanded

Only a skeletal crew was present. In March-April, the brigade was filled with mobilized soldiers and three tactical battalion group elements were formed on its basis.

51st Mechanized Brigade at training ground, March 2014
79th Airmobile Brigade in Kherson Oblast, March 2014

55th Artillery Brigade

Today: 55th Artillery Brigade

The unit was raised on alarm, but was able to field only two batteries.

72nd Mechanized Brigade

Today: 72nd Mechanized Brigade

Raised on alarm, and two battalion tactical group elements were formed on its basis. It was the third-largest brigade of Ukrainian forces.

79th Airmobile Brigade

Today: 79th Air Assault Brigade

Raised on alarm, there was a plan to deploy the brigade to Crimea and reinforce Ukrainian marines, but later cancelled. By March 20, two battalions were ready and protected Kherson Oblast.

80th Airmobile Brigade

Today: 80th Air Assault Brigade

Raised on alarm, and had combat capable 1st and 3rd Battalion. They were sent to Sumy and Poltava Oblast.

92nd Mechanized Brigade

Today: 92nd Mechanized Brigade

The unit was raised on alarm, but couldn’t form a combat ready unit. A small element was deployed to the border in Kharkiv Oblast.

93rd Mechanized Brigade

Today: 93rd Mechanized Brigade

Raised on alarm, one of the best brigades Ukrainian Army had available. Part of the brigade was deployed to Kharkiv Oblast, part to Luhansk Oblast.

72nd Mechanized Brigade raised on alarm, March 2014
128th Mountain Brigade in Sumy Oblast, March 2014

95th Airmobile Brigade

Today: 95th Air Assault Brigade

Raised on alarm, one of the best units of Ukrainian Army. The 1st and 13th Battalion were dispatched immediately towards Crimea, and later to Donbas.

107th Rocket Artillery Regiment

Today: 107th Rocket Brigade

Raised on alarm, and reinforced units stationed near Crimea.

128th Mountain Infantry Brigade

Today: 128th Mountain Assault Brigade

The unit was raised on alarm, but due to the ongoing process of reformation, only 15th Mountain Battalion and mechanized battalion were present and would be deployed to Sumy Oblast.

As you can read above, Ukrainian Army was in a bad shape, and Ukrainian Air Force was even in worse state. The only capable units were stationed in western Ukraine – 7th Tactical Aviation Brigade and 16th Army Aviation Brigade. Kherson’s 11th Army Aviation Brigade was able to dust off a few helicopters as well.

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