Ukrainian Naval Infantry

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Naval Infantry
Морська пiхота
Ukr kokarda 01.jpg
Cap badge (cockade) of the Ukrainian Naval Infantry
Active May 23, 1918 -
Country  Ukraine
Branch  Ukrainian Navy
Type Coast guard / Marines
Role Amphibious warfare
Size 200 soldiers (2 battalions, before 2014)
Part of 36th separate brigade of coastal defense
Always faithful
Anniversaries November 16[1]
Engagements Ukrainian War of Independence
2014 Crimean crisis
War in Donbass
Lt. Col. Dmytro Delyatytskyy (1st Bn.);
Temporary Acting Bt. Cmdr. Lt. Col. Roman Malanchuk (501st Bn.)
Tactical recognition flash Marines ukraine5.jpg

The Naval Infantry (Ukrainian: Морська піхота) is part of coastal defense troops of the Ukrainian Navy. It is used as a component part of amphibious, airborne and amphibious-airborne operations, alone or in accordance with formations and units of the Army in order to capture parts of the seashore, islands, ports, fleet bases, coast airfields and other coast objects of the enemy. It can also be used to defend naval bases, vital areas of the shore, separate islands and coast objects, security of hostile areas.[2]


The Naval Infantry's missions are to:

  • Act independently during attacks on enemy's naval installations, ports, islands and coastal areas
  • Clear the enemy's coastal areas & provide security during the landing of the main force.[3]

Its motto is "Always Faithful" .



A Ukrainian Naval Infantry BTR-80 takes part in Exercise Sea Breeze 2010.

Former Russian Imperial army general Pavlo Skoropadskyi understood the importance of naval infantry in providing security to the country. Being the commander-in-chief of land and naval forces, Skoropadskyi brought attention to creating the naval infantry during his first month in power. On May 23, 1918 he ordered the Department of Navy to Begin forming a Brigade of naval infantry consisting of three regiments.[4]

The mission of the Naval Infantry was protecting the coastal areas, serving as a garrison force for forts and conducting landing operations. According to the order the Brigade was divided into three regiments. First regiment was responsible for the areas between the western border until the village of Suchavka, near Odesa. Second regiment was responsible for territory between Suchavka and Stanislavov. Third regiment protected the areas from Stanislavov until Perekop. Brigade was also put in charge of guarding the property of the Navy Department.[4]

Each of the three regiments consisted of three kurins. Each kurin consisted of three Sotnia and a machine gun unit. Commandant of the first regiment was Ilarion Isaievych.[4]

On August 31, 1918 each unit was given the permanent headquarters. First regiment's HQ was located in Odesa, second's HQ in Mykolaiv and third's HQ in Kherson. Also at this time 3 squadrons of cavalry were formed. First was stationed in Odesa, second in Ochakiv and third in Perekop.[4]

In October 1918 new recruits born in 1899, would have joined the ranks of the naval infantry, however due to the political situation of that autumn the recruits had to wait until a better time.[4]

Not long after, Pavlo Skoropadskyi was removed from power in an uprising led by Symon Petliura. The Naval Infantry continued to faithfully serve their nation under the banner of the Ukrainian People's Republic. Many of them have died for freedom and independence.[4]

Modern history[edit]

A Ukrainian naval infantryman armed with a Dragunov sniper rifle takes part in Exercise Northern Light '03 on the west coast of Scotland.

On February 22, 1993, the 880th Separate Naval Infantry Battalion of the Black Sea Fleet commanded by Major Vitaliy G. Rozhmanov pledged their allegiance to Ukraine.[3][5]

After the Naval Forces were created on July 1, 1993, the first battalion of the Naval Infantry was formed in the city of Sevastopol.[3][6] The first naval infantrymen were transferred from the airmobile units. On September 1, 1993, the 41st Separate Naval Infantry Battalion was formed. By September 20, 1994, the 4th Naval Infantry Brigade was stationed in the Tylove village of Crimea.[6] From May 1996 until 1998, the Brigade was a part of the Ukrainian National Guard.[6] In 1998, it was transferred to the Navy and re-designated the 1st Separate Naval Infantry Brigade.[6] In 1999, the Brigade consisted of two battalions numbering 1,500 marines.[7] During 2003–04, the The Ukrainian armed forces underwent a program to reduce the number of brigades, and the Naval Infantry Brigade was reduced to a Battalion.[6]

Ukraine marines and naval corpsmen simulating casualty extraction using a Mi-8 during the multinational Sea Breeze exercise in 2011.

The command of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine made a decision to form a new naval infantry battalion by force of a mechanised battalion located in Kerch. In December 2013 the militaries of the new 501st Separate Naval Infantry Battalion have taken the Naval Infantry Oath.[8]

The 1st Separate Naval Infantry Battalion was under the jurisdiction of the 36th Separate Coastal Defence Brigade,[3] and it was stationed in Feodosiya and there was also another one battalion (501st Bn.) which was stationed in Kerch; both were in the Crimea until late March 2014. After the Russian annexation of the Crimea the battalions were deployed to another location out of the peninsula. After the annexation of Crimea Ukraine's marine forces composed of only about 200 active duty personnel.[9]

Special reconnaissance units of the marine corps were deployed against insurgents during the 2014 War in Donbass. Oleksandr Zinchenko of the 73rd marine spetsnaz detachment was the first Ukrainian Marine killed during the War in Donbass.[10] The Ukrainian Marine Corps was particularly hard hit by the Crimea Crisis as all of their forces except for the 73rd spetsnaz detachment were stationed on the peninsula, due to this the unit had to undergo extensive reorganization before being able to be deployed to the war in the Donbass.[11][12][13][14] In September 2014 Ministry of Defense announced that the marine corps were reforming from the Crimea Crisis and the remaining members of the 1st Marine Battalion which was stationed in Feodosya would take an active part in the War in Donbass.[15] On 29 October 2014 Ukraine's Marine Corps conventional forces, recently recovered from the Crimea Crisis suffered their first casualty near Mariupol, the Marine was a Major and was killed when his unit's position came under Russian artillery fire.[16]

On 8 November 2014 Ukrainian marines returned to their permanent place of deployment in Mykolaiv as part of a regular rotation of Ukrainian forces during the War in Donbass.[17]


The ideal goal in the reform of the Naval Infantry Corps is to form a unit which would be similar to the units sent to Iraq. It is planned that there will be no more conscripts in the Naval Infantry, only professional naval infantrymen.[18]

Armed Forces of Ukraine
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Main branches
Emblem of the Ukrainian Ground Forces.svg Ground Forces
Emblem of the Ukrainian Air Force.svg Air Force
Emblem of the Ukrainian Navy.svg Navy
Emblem of Airmobile troops of Ukraine.svg Airmobile Forces
Special Operations Forces of Ukraine.svg Special Operations Forces
Other Corps
Емблема морської піхоти (2007).png Naval Infantry
Related Services
Emblem of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.svg Ministry of Defence
General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.svg General Staff
Геральдичний знак - емблема МВС України.svg Ministry of Internal Affairs
NSAU Logo1.svg National Space Agency
Security Service of Ukraine Emblem.svg Security Service
Емблема СЗРУ.png Foreign Intelligence Service
Emblem of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine.svg Military Intelligence Service
History of the Ukrainian Military
History of Ukraine
History of Ukraine during WWII
History of Ukraine during WWI


1918 structure[edit]

  • 1st Regiment - Odesa
    • 1st Kurin
      • 1st Sotnia
      • 2nd Sotnia
      • 3rd Sotnia
      • machine gun unit
    • 2nd Kurin
    • 3rd Kurin
  • 2nd Regiment - Mykolaiv
  • 3rd Regiment - Kherson
  • 1st Cavalry Squadron - Odesa
  • 2nd Cavalry Squadron - Ochakiv
  • 3rd Cavalry Squadron - Perekop

1998 structure[edit]

  • Separate Air Assault Battalion "Lion"
  • Separate Air Assault Battalion "Berkut"
  • Separate Air Assault Reconnaissance Battalion "Sword"
  • Separate Combat Engineer Battalion "Crab"
  • Separate Signal Company
  • Anti-Tank Battalion
  • Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion
  • Artillery Battalion
  • Artillery Battalion

Current structure[edit]

Ukrainian marines practicing urban warfare during the Rapid Trident 2014 exercise on 23 September 2014.

Today, Ukrainian the naval infantry are organized into 2 battalions - 1st and 501st[8] Independent Marine Battalions, until 2015 they were part of the 36th Coastal Defense Brigade (Independent).[3][6] The brigade also includes the recently raised 801st and 137th Marine Battalions, thus the Corps is organized into a brigade - the Mykolaiv-based 36th Marine Brigade which was organized in the winter of 2014-15.

Until 2015 the battalions were organized in the following manner:

  • Battalion HQ
  • 1st Marine Company
  • 2nd Marine Company
  • 3rd Marine Air Assault Company[19]
  • Mortar Battery
  • Reconnaissance Platoon

The Brigade is organized into:

  • Brigade HQ
  • 1st Marine Battalion
  • 501st Marine Battalion
  • 701st Marine Battalion
  • 801st Marine Battalion (Air Assault)
  • Brigade Marine Tank Battalion
  • Brigade Marine Artillery Battalion
  • Brigade Marine Artillery Battery (MRL)
  • Brigade Marine Air Defense Artillery Battery (Mobile)
  • Force Reconnaissance Company
  • Combat Engineers Company
  • Logistics Battalion
  • Special Troops Battalion

The 137th Independent Marine Battalion, based in Odessa Oblast, raised in 2015, is the youngest and newest Marine Battalion to be raised.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Турчинов оголосив 16 листопада Днем морської піхоти (in Ukrainian). 3/41/2014. Retrieved 2014-06-23.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ Structure of Ukrainian Armed Forces
  3. ^ a b c d e "Військо України"
  4. ^ a b c d e f Морська Держава :: Головна сторiнка - Анонси
  5. ^ Тенюх Ігор Йосипович
  6. ^ a b c d e f Морская пехота - состав и дислокация ч2
  7. ^ Microsoft Word - Neutrality-UA_m.doc
  8. ^ a b Воїни керченського батальйону склали клятву морського піхотинця (in Ukrainian). Уніан. 2013-12-27. Retrieved 2014-06-23. 
  9. ^ "Корреспонден На маленьком флоту. На что сейчас способны остатки украинского флота". Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "Під Донецьком героїчно загинув командир очаківських морських піхотинців". ТСН.ua. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  11. ^ "Новости Одессы. В Одессе, Николаеве и Киеве собирают помощь для морских пехотинцев, отправляющихся в АТО". Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  12. ^ "Викна-Одесса. В Одессе, Николаеве и Киеве собирают помощь для морских пехотинцев, отправляющихся в АТО". Викна-Одесса: Художественная интернет-галерея. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  13. ^ "Одесская жизнь. Стало известно, кого из военных моряков отправляют в зону АТО". Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  14. ^ " Остатки морской пехоты отправят на Донбасс (видео)". Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  15. ^ [ "� Одессе, Николаеве и Киеве собирают помощь для морских пехотинцев, отправляющихся в АТО  : Новости : Викна-Одесса"]. Викна-Одесса: Художественная интернет-галерея. Retrieved 30 October 2014.  replacement character in |title= at position 1 (help)
  16. ^ "Українські морпіхи зазнали перших втрат в АТО". UA Press. 
  17. ^ "На первую ротацию вернулась из Донбасса легендарные крымские морские пехотинцы". TSN. 
  18. ^ Міністерство оборони України - Новини
  19. ^ (in Ukrainian) Marine paratroopers received German jump wings