Ukrainian's Elite 82nd Brigade Has ‘Serious Weakness’ in Military Hardware
The 82nd Brigade is said to be among “the last major units” available to the Ukrainian command that is desperately trying to do something about Kiev’s botched counteroffensive.
The Ukrainian Army’s elite 82nd Air Assault Brigade has “a serious weakness pertaining to its lightweight mine-clearing vehicles,” a US magazine has reported.
The media outlet referred to the M1132 Engineer Squad Vehicles, equipped with “a set of hull-mounted mine-rollers that can detonate buried mines before the vehicle triggers them.” This piece of US-made military hardware is one of the versions of the Stryker infantry fighting vehicle (IFV).
According to the magazine, right after the 82nd brigade was thrown into action, “it immediately began losing” the M1132s.
“It’s unclear what struck the M1132s and whether the crews survived. It’s possible the vehicle were victims of the same mines their crews were trying to clear. It’s also possible they got caught in artillery barrages or were hunted down by drones. In any event, the 82nd already has lost 10 percent of its mine-clearing Strykers,” the news outlet pointed out.
It seems that the 82nd brigade’s troubles don’t boil down to the loss of the M1132s only. A video recently shared on social networks showed the brigade’s German-made Marder IFV being “helplessly” stuck in “what appears to be a Russian trench”, as the US magazine put it.
The magazine suggested that the 31-ton Marder “rolled a bit too close to the trench” as 82nd Brigade soldiers unsuccessfully tried to break through Russian defensive lines.
The developments unfolded after US media reported last week that the 82nd brigade, dubbed the “most powerful unit” in the Ukrainian Army, had been thrown into battle against Russian forces.
The Russian military, in turn, confirmed at the time that their forces near Rabotino in the Zaporozhye region had repelled three attacks by assault units from the 82nd brigade, with about 200 Ukrainian troops reportedly killed and five enemy tanks destroyed. This came amid Kiev’s botched counteroffensive, which Russian President Vladimir Putin said had brought no results and resulted in huge losses in men and materiel.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry's estimates, Ukraine has lost about 43,000 troops and 4,900 units of military equipment since the beginning of the counteroffensive on June 4.