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Ukrainian intelligence: Russian air defence brigade in Donbas harbinger of offensive campaign

The rare TOR-M2U short-range surface air defense missile system has been spotted in Ukraine – Ukraine’s military intelligence
Ukrainian intelligence: Russian air defence brigade in Donbas harbinger of offensive campaign

Russia has deployed to Ukraine’s Donbas an air defence division of the 60th detached motorised rifle brigade that is capable of taking down aircraft, including civilian ones, the Ukrainian Defence Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate (MID) has said in its report.

Ukrainian military intelligence interprets the redeployment of an air defence division of the 60th detached motorised rifle brigade as an increased threat.

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Snapshot from report

Taking into consideration the countermeasures of Ukrainian fighters, bombers and ground-attack aircraft, Russian command structures have been deploying respective air defence systems in operational depth on occupied territories in advance, the MID informed.

It views the TOR-M2U short-range air defence missile systems, deployed by Russian forces on occupied territories in Donbas, as a preparation for offensive attacks supported by strike aircraft forces far into the territory of Ukraine. It is also possible, that more powerful systems of C-300 (SA-10 / SA-12) and C-400 (SA-21 Growler) types could be deployed there, similar to the situation in Crimea.

Therefore, threats of repeated incidents, similar to the MH17 which was shot down on 17 July 2014 by a standard missile from air defence missile system BUK-1M (SA-11 Gadfly) of the 53th Anti-Aircraft Rocket Brigade (Kursk), 20th Guards Army Western Military District of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are increasing significantly.
Snapshot from the report
Snapshot from the report

Ukrainian military intelligence has established that the air defence division of the 60th detached motorised rifle brigade (Monastyrishche-2, Maritime Territory) of the 5th combined-arms army (Ussuriysk) of the Eastern Military District of the Russian Armed Forces includes 168 people, 21 items of military hardware and 30 cars.

Its personnel includes officers and contract servicemen alone, including those transferred from other brigades of the 5th army. The commander of the division is Russian Armed Forces Maj Yuriy Vladimirovich Korchinskiy. The chief of air defence and head of the air defence unit of the 60th detached motorised rifle brigade, Russian Armed Forces Lt-Col Sergey Aleksandrovich Tupichenko, oversees this unit’s use in combat.

Snapshot from report
Snapshot from report

Before its deployment to Ukraine, the air defence division is known to have had additional training near Novocherkassk, Rostov Region where the Territorial Troops Centre of the Russian Armed Forces’ Southern Military District is located.

The Ukrainian intelligence said that for the purposes of military deception the division personnel was issued with cover-up documents and provided with relevant legends.

“The Russian Federation has used this practice since the beginning of the armed aggression against Ukraine,” the Ukrainian intelligence said.

The Ukrainian Defence Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate has published the full list of the personnel of the mentioned division, indicating their names, personal information and posts.

 

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