25th Airborne Brigade (Ukraine)

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25th Airborne Brigade
25 ОПДБр.png
Sleeve patch for the 25 Airborne Brigade
Active 5 June 1993 – Present[1]
Country  Ukraine
Branch Ukrainian Air Assault Forces
Role Airborne Infantry
Mechanized Infantry
Garrison/HQ А1126 Hvardiiske, Novomoskovsk Raion, Ukraine
Motto(s) "Nobody but us"
Engagements War in Donbass
Colonel Yuriy Sodol'[2]

The 25th Separate Dnipropetrovsk Airborne Brigade (Ukrainian: 25 окрема Дніпропетровська повітряно-десантна бригада Cухопутних військ Збройних Сил України, translit. 25 okrema Dnipropetrovs’ka povitryano-desantna bryhada Sukhoputnykh viys’k Zbroynykh Syl Ukrayiny[3]) is a airborne formation of the Ukrainian Air Assault Forces. After elements surrendered 6 vehicles to pro-Russian separatists in the 2014 Sloviansk standoff,[4] Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov announced the brigade would be disbanded. But this decision was canceled later on. Despite this the Brigade has taken an active role in the fighting in Eastern Ukraine.[5]

It is the only airborne unit of Ukrainian Air Assault Forces which has BMD-1[6][7] and BMD-2[8][9][10] airborne infantry fighting vehicles in its inventory. In addition, it is the only unit which can be dropped anywhere by parachute, together with their armored vehicles, from Il-76MD and An-70 aircraft.[11]


Between June 25 and August 11, 1969, the 217th Guards Airborne Regiment (Base #11389 [Military Unit No.11389?]) of the 98th Guards Airborne Division of the Soviet Airborne Troops was relocated to Bolhrad (Bolgrad), Odessa Oblast.[12]

After the dissolution of the USSR, the 98th Guards Airborne Division was split between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. In the spring of 1993, the 217th Guards Airborne Regiment was relocated to Ivanovo in Russia. The regiment's Battle Flag, Order of Kutuzov, and 55% of the supplies were also relocated.[12][13]

Current unit[edit]

By the order of Minister of Defence of Ukraine the new Ukrainian airmobile brigade based on the elements of the Soviet 217th Guards Airborne Regiment was formed in Bolgrad in May 1993. By December 1, 1993, the brigade was finally formed as one of the units of the 1st Airmobile Division.[12]

From October 1995 until December 1999, 800 paratroopers from the brigade served as part of the 240th Special Battalion in former Yugoslavia. Later they served as peacekeepers in Kosovo.[13]

Between May and June 2002, the Brigade was relocated to the urban-type settlement Hvardiyske, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. The brigade was given the honorable designation "Dnipropetrovsk", for their battle achievements and high level of professionalism. On July 16, 2002, Leonid Kuchma awarded the unit with its new Battle Flag.[12]

By the order of the Minister of Defence the Brigade was transferred from the 1st Airmobile Division to the 6th Army Corps on November 8, 2002.[12]

A company of the brigade was deployed to Crimea during the 2014 Crimean crisis. It became one of the few, if not the only, Ukrainian unit to leave Crimea as a unit, still bearing their arms.[14]

Two of its IFVs(Infantry Fighting Vehicle(s)) were captured by rebels during the War in Donbass. One of the vehicles was a BMD 1 and the other a BMD 2. Both are now used by the separatists. A 2S9 Nona-S was also captured by rebel forces.[15]

Transport plane shot down[edit]

On June 13, 2014, an IL-76 Transport was shot down killing forty 25th Airborne Brigade troopers near Luhansk, Ukraine. “On the night of June 13–14, firing from an anti-aircraft gun and a large-caliber machine gun, anti-regime forces cynically and treacherously shot down a Ukraine armed forces transport plane IL-76 which was bringing personnel for rotation,” said in a statement posted on the Defense Ministry's official website.[16]

Current Structure[edit]

As of 2017 the brigade's structure is as follows:

  • 25th Airborne Brigade, Hvardiiske
    • Headquarters & Headquarters Company
    • 1st Paratrooper Battalion
    • 2nd Paratrooper Battalion
    • 3rd Paratrooper Battalion
    • Brigade Artillery Group
      • Headquarters & Target Acquisition Battery
      • Self-propelled Artillery Battalion (2S9 Nona)
      • Howitzer Artillery Battalion (2A18 D-30)
      • Rocket Artillery Battalion (BM-21 Grad)
    • Anti-Aircraft Missile Artillery Battalion
    • Anti-tank Company
    • Reconnaissance Company
    • Engineer Company
    • Landing Support Compant
    • Maintenance Company
    • Logistic Company
    • Signal Company
    • CBRN-defense Company
    • Medical Company
    • Sniper Platoon

Past commanders[edit]

  • Colonel Ivan Volodumurovuch Aleshchenko 1993 - 1996
  • Colonel Oleksandr Mukolaiovuch Zashchutnikov 1996 - 1998
  • Lieutenant Colonel Yuriy Anatoliovuch Garbus 1998 - 1999
  • Colonel Andriy Ivanovuch Maksumenko 1999 - 2001
  • Colonel Ihor Vasiliovuch Lunev 2001 - 2003
  • Colonel Ihor Yaroslavovuch Stelmah 2003 - 2004
  • Lieutenant Colonel Volodumyr Vasiliovuch Kolchik 2004 - 2006
  • Colonel Oleh Volodumurovuch Svystak 2006 - 2007
  • Colonel Yuriy Ivanovuch Sodol' 2007–present


  1. ^ From 8 of November 2002 — 25th Separate Airborne Brigade
  2. ^ (in Ukrainian) First Jump for 200 new paratroopers
  3. ^ President.Gov.Ua
  4. ^ "Украинские Новости". Archived from the original on 17 April 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  5. ^ Mstyslav Chernov. Peter Leonard. "Eastern Ukraine tense after outbreak of fighting" Archived 2015-06-05 at the Wayback Machine.. Associated Press, 4 June 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015
  6. ^ Новини Управління Прес-служби МО
  7. ^ Боевая машина десантная БМД-1
  8. ^ Новини Управління Прес-служби МО
  9. ^ Новини Управління Прес-служби МО
  10. ^ Новини Управління Прес-служби МО
  11. ^ Міністерство оборони України - Новини
  12. ^ a b c d e (in Russian) "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-03. Retrieved 2014-12-03. 
  13. ^ a b С момента формирования личный состав 25 овдбр принимал участие в многочисленных учениях, в том числе и международного масштаба, выполнял различные задачи командования
  14. ^ Російські окупанти випустили з Криму дніпропетровських десантників зі зброєю [Russian occupiers released commandos from Dnipropetrovsk with their weapons]. Ukrainska Pravda (in Ukrainian). March 25, 2014. 
  15. ^ List of captured armored vehicles in the Ukrainian civil war. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  16. ^ "49 die as pro-Russia rebels down Ukraine army plane". latimes.com. 14 June 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 

External links[edit]