79th Air Assault Brigade (Ukraine)

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79th Air Assault Brigade

79th Airmobile Brigade

79th Airmobile Regiment

40th Airmobile Brigade

40th Air Assault Brigade
Ukrainian: 79-та окрема десантно-штурмова бригада
79 OAeMBr ZSU.png
79th Air Assault Brigade shoulder sleeve patch
Active 1979–present
Country  Soviet Union
Branch Ukrainian Air Assault Forces
Role Airmobile
Size Brigade
Part of Ukrainian Air Assault Forces
Garrison/HQ Solyanu[1] Mykolaiv Oblast[2]
MUN А0224
Motto(s) "In Unity is Power"
"В єднанні - сила!"
Engagements War in Donbass
Colonel Oleksiy Shandr
Aircraft flown
Attack helicopter Mi-24
Transport Mi-8

The 79th Air Assault Brigade is a formation of the Ukrainian Air Assault Forces. Brigade is located in Mykolaiv.

Soldiers from the Brigade have served as peacekeepers in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Kosovo, Sierra Leone.[3][4]

In 2014 the Brigade took part in suppressing the 2014 insurgency in Donbass during the 2014 pro-Russian conflict in Ukraine.[5] The brigade fought in the Second Battle of Donetsk Airport, where it and other Ukrainian military units became known as the "Cyborgs" due to their stubborn defense of the Donetsk Airport.


The Brigade's history began as 40th Air Assault Brigade in the fall of 1979, formed from elements of the 97th Guards Airborne Regiment of the 7th Guards Airborne Division. Later it was reorganized into the 40th Airborne Brigade between 6 December 1989 and 1 August 1990[6] (1 June 1990 according to Holm).[7] That redesignation marked the transfer of the brigade from the Odessa Military District to the Soviet Airborne Troops. In September 1993 the Brigade was renamed 40th Separate Airmobile Brigade.[8]

The 40th Brigade was reorganized and reduced into the 79th Airmobile Regiment.

On July 1, 2007 the Brigade was formed by combining the 79th Airmobile Regiment with 11th Army Aviation Regiment.[2][9]

In 2014 the Brigade took part in the fighting of the 2014 insurgency in Donbass during the 2014 pro-Russian conflict in Ukraine.[10][11] 54 persons called up for mobilization (and thus serving in the Brigade) deserted.[12]

Crimean Crisis and War in Donbass[edit]

Pro-Russian protesters blocked the unit's base in Voznesensk on 1 March 2014 and a platoon of soldiers was sent to reinforce and secure the military equipment located at the facility from looting. The protest was resolved without violent clashes.[13] Other then Spetsnaz forces of Ukraine the unit was one of the first to be mobilized during the Crimean Crisis and the War in Donbass by being deployed to the Crimean-Kherson border in order to prevent Russian forces from a possible advance into mainland Kherson Oblast on 13 March 2014. On March 26 Ukrainian forces secured the Russian Mars-75 naval navigation station located in Kherson Oblast.[14][15]

The unit was deployed to Donbass in May 2014 and fought in the Battle in Shakhtarsk Raion where it held the objective of securing both the Russian border and the strategic Savur-Mohyla hill. The unit, along with the 72nd Guards Mechanized Brigade became trapped in southern Luhansk oblast as pro-Russian forces cut their supply lines from the bulk of Ukrainian force in July. Ukrainian forces attempted to keep the units resupplied delivering 15 tons of supplies through enemy lines to the unit. The 79th Airmobile Brigade was able to break through enemy lines on 7 August 2014 along with much of their equipment, however it was reported that the unit was severely short on ammunition and would likely not be able to continue holding its positions if it did not break through the encirclement.[16][17][18] Due to spending a month surrounded by enemy forces the unit was sent back to its home station in order to regroup.[19]

The unit was redeployed after a month of R/R to hold the southern Donetsk Oblast in the Mariupol and Donetsk regions. In September the unit joined the 3rd Separate Spetsnaz Regiment along with National Guard units in the defense of Donetsk Airport.[20][21] Due to their stubborn resistance during the defense of Donetsk Airport they were referred to as Cyborgs.[22]

In 2016, after brigade received a company of T-80 tanks,[23][24] the 79th Airmobile Brigade became 79th Air Assault Brigade.[25]


Soldiers of the 79th Airmobile Brigade (during the KFOR-mission)

Until summer of 2007 the Brigade was a Regiment. In 2008 the Brigade is being manned by contract soldiers.[26]

Regiment 1992-2007[edit]

  • 1st Battalion
  • 2nd Battalion

Current Structure[edit]

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

  • 79th Air Assault Brigade, Mykolaiv
    • Headquarters & Headquarters Company
    • 1st Air Assault Battalion
    • 2nd Air Assault Battalion
    • 3rd Air Assault Battalion
    • Brigade Artillery Group
      • Headquarters & Target Acquisition Battery
      • Self-propelled Artillery Battalion (2S1 Gvozdika)
      • Howitzer Artillery Battalion (2A18 D-30)
      • Rocket Artillery Battalion (BM-21 Grad)
    • Anti-Aircraft Missile Artillery Battalion
    • 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]


  1. ^ (in Ukrainian) View from the window unto an army base
  2. ^ a b (in Ukrainian) 15th Anniversary of Ukrainian Airmobile Forces
  3. ^ (in Ukrainian) Commander for 9th rotation of the 56th Helicopter Detachment
  4. ^ Ukraine, NATO start military drills in Poland
  5. ^ "Кроме нас им никто не поможет, - волонтеры собирают материальную помощь николаевским десантникам, находящимся в зоне АТО". NEWS.PN. Retrieved 2016-05-25. 
  6. ^ Feskov et al 2013, pp. 244-245
  7. ^ Holm, Michael. "40th independent Landing-Assault Brigade". www.ww2.dk. Retrieved 2016-03-29. 
  8. ^ (in Russian)History of Airmobile Forces
  9. ^ Ukrainian Armed Forces 2007 White Book p.38 Archived 2008-09-10 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ "Варваровский мост в Николаеве по-прежнему перекрыт - пикетчицы открыто пропагандируют дезертирство". NEWS.PN. Retrieved 2016-05-25. 
  11. ^ ""We anywhere won't pass", - the Nikolaev paratroopers aren't going to lift "white flag" and wait help". NEWS.PN. Retrieved 2016-05-25. 
  12. ^ "Since March of this year the arrangement 79-й the Nikolaev airmobile crew self-willedally was left by 54 soldiers". NEWS.PN. Retrieved 2016-05-25. 
  13. ^ "Антимайдановцы ночью блокировали николаевскую аэромобильную бригаду". 0512ua. 
  14. ^ "Николаевские десантники 79-й бригады укрепили блокпост у дороги на Крым". niknews. 
  15. ^ "Ukrainian militaries take control of Mars-75 navigation station". www.ukrinform.ua. Retrieved 2016-03-29. 
  16. ^ "Ситуация вокруг 79-ой аэромобильной бригады не критическая, - Селезнев Больше читайте здесь". 112.ua. 
  17. ^ "Министр обороны заверил, что николаевские десантники получили еду и боеприпасы в зоне АТО Больше читайте здесь". 112.ua. 
  18. ^ ""Когда куски тел собираешь на лопату - это страшно", - боец 79-ой николаевской аэромобильной бригады". 0512ua. 
  19. ^ "Десантники 79-й бригады вернулись в Николаев". army.unian. 
  20. ^ "На Николаевщине объявлен трехдневный траур по погибшим вчера воинам 79-й бригады". niknews. 
  21. ^ "Один из 'киборгов' опубликовал видео обороны Донецкого аэропорта". news.liga.net. 21 October 2014. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  22. ^ cyborgs.uatoday.tv
  23. ^ "ВДВ: гартування війною. Еліта ЗСУ в боях проти російських окупантів - Народна армія". Retrieved 2016-08-30. 
  24. ^ "При николаевской 79-й аэромобильной бригаде планируют создать танковое подразделение". Retrieved 2016-08-30. 
  25. ^ "Структура ВДВ" [Ukrainian Airmobile Forces structure]. 
  26. ^ (in Ukrainian) Preparing for the Army
  27. ^ ""Ніхто, крім нас!" — Президент України на зустрічі з десантниками 79 бригади". Ukrainian Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 21 August 2014.