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Armed Forces of Russian Federation spotted along the Ukrainian border and in Donbas

Armed Forces of Russian Federation spotted along the Ukrainian border and in Donbas
By Irakliy Komakhidze

The data presented is on the so-called Russian “Peacekeeping Forces”, deployed ot the Ukrainian border, as well as the subdivisions identified within Ukraine, in the Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts.This data is based on my observations, as well as sourced from information in the media and social networking sites.

Mainly these are the [military] units from Russian Southern Military District, based at the field camps located in the Rostov on Don Oblast, stretching from Millerovo to Taganrog, and bordering Ukraine. These types of field camps are set up in the Kamensk-Shakhtinsky, Novocherkassk, and Olkhovka regions, and to a lesser extent other areas. Moreover, various subdivisions of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation including GRU special forces and logistic units are stationed there as well.

Generally, these are one or two BTG/RTG (battalions/companies of tactical groups) from each unit (Airborne Forces – divisions/regiments, Ground forces – brigades), that are strengthened by artillery units, air defense forces and other security units, consisting of 300 to 500 servicemen each. I’m not claiming that the list below is 100% complete or accurate, hence I welcome any well-founded remarks and objective additional information.

Russian captives from the 98th Airborne Forces division
Russian captives from the 98th Airborne Forces division

From Southern Military District (Russia), ground forces and artillery:

  • BTG (Brigade Tactical Group) from the 18th motor rifle brigade – Chechnya, Khankala/Kalinovskaya (the so called “Chechen battalion”);
  • BTG from the 17th motor rifle brigade – Chechnya, Shali;
  • BTG from the 136th motor rifle brigade – Botlikh, Dagestan;
  • BTG from the 205th motor rifle brigade – Budyonnovks, Stavropol Krai (Russia);
  • BTG from the 19th motor rifle brigade – Vladikavkaz, Republic of North Ossetia-Alania;
  • BTG from the 7th military base in the occupied Abkhazia, Georgia;
  • BTG from the 33rd mountain motor rifle brigade – Maykop, Republic of Adygea (Russia);
  • Mixed division from the 291st artillery brigade – Troitskaya, Ingushetia;
  • Mixed company from the 78th logistic brigade, Budyonnovsk, Stavropol Krai;


From Airborne Forces:

  • BTG from 76th division – Pskov;
  • BTG from 98th division – Ivanovo (Russia);
  • BTG from 45th Detached Reconnaissance Regiment – Kubinka (Moscow Oblast);
  • BTG from 247th regiment of the 7th division – Novorossiysk (Krasnodar Krai, Russia);

Presumably, the following [armed forces] are located in the direct vicinity of the Ukrainian border (confirmation on some divisions is still needed):

  • BTG/RTG (Reconnaissance Technical Group) and divisions of ground forces and artillery units of the Southern Military District from the 20th motor rifle brigade – Volgograd (Russia);
  • From the 34th mountain motor rifle brigade – Karachay-Cherkessia Republic;
  • Division from the 943rd artillery regiment (BM-27 Uragan) – Krasnooktyabrsk settlement, Adygea;
  • Division from the 1st missile brigade (OTR-21 Tochka, 9K720 Iskander) – Krasnodar;


From other military regions of the Russian Federation:

  • From the 23rd motor rifle brigade – Samara;
  • BTG/RTG of Airborne Forces  – from the 56th Guards Air Assault Brigade – Volgograd;
  • From the 106th division – Tula;


RTG/DRG (Sabotage and Reconnaissance groups) of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) units, located in the South of Russia:

  • 10th special forces brigade – Molkino, Krasnodar Krai;
  • 22nd special forces brigade – Aksay, Rostov Oblast;
  • 100th experimental reconnaissance brigade – Mozdok, Republic of North Ossetia-Alania;
  • 346th special forces brigade – Prokhladny, Kabardino-Balkar Republic;
  • 25th special forces regiment – Stavropol;


RTG/DRG GRU units from other military regions of the Russian Federation:

  • 2nd special forces brigade – Pskov;
  • 16th special forces brigade – Tambov;
  • 3rd special forces brigade – Ulyanovsk.

To sum up, according to the rough estimates, and taking into account the logistic subdivisions, the strength of the Russian alignment (which they themselves cynically refer to as “peacekeeping”) amounts to 12000-15000  military personnel on the South-Eastern border of Ukraine.

If necessary, this alignment could be doubled in strengthened within a short space of time. Moreover, major alignments of the Russian forces are massed in occupied Crimea and on the North-Eastern border of Ukraine.

[hr]Source:, translated by Dasha Darchuk, edited by Larry Field


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