June 1, 2015
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
It’s already second time in a month that the UAF airborne units are rehearsing a river crossing. Biryukov wrote about an exercise in April with the participation of three brigades:
“400 pieces of equipment and 3000 personnel took part on the Shirokiy Lan training ground. Participating units included the 25th, 79th, and 95th Airmobile Brigades, army aviation, combat engineers. They trained river crossings using various methods (we do have big ferries, like PMM and PTS!), artillery support, air support. Nobody observed the raid by the 25th and 79th Brigades, they did not participate in the public firing exercise. They started at midnight, forced the Southern Bug, drove 50km, destroyed a lot of targets, broke 4 BTRs and 2 trucks, carried out their task and returned home.”
Here’s Biryukov’s post on Southern Bug crossing during May exercises.
“Ukraine’s airborne forces participated in the largest training exercise of their entire history. They included 4000 personnel and over 450 pieces of equipment. Other units participating included attack and transport aviation, army aviation, engineer forces, naval infantry and coastal artillery units of Ukraine’s navy. They used bridging and ferry equipment to get non-amphibious vehicles across, including heavy equipment of up to 42.5 tons. BTRs, BMDs, and 2S9 Nona mortars crossed the river using their amphibious capabilities.
As I recall, our regiment was not training for city fighting but Don river crossing in the summer of 1999 [presumably a reference to the Second Chechen War in which the blogger served], but maybe the Ukrainian paratroops are preparing for a crossing they’ll be performing in the future? For example, through the Severskiy Donets river on the Lugansk sector?
J.Hawk’s Comment: As a side note, the Shustrov interview I posted earlier also suggested a possibility of a Severskiy Donets crossing. The other possibility is an amphibious landing on the coast of the Sea of Azov, although it would require the vehicles to swim several kilometers to make it worthwhile.