Ukraine's offensive guard: why and for what tasks the Interior Ministry is forming paramilitary brigades
The Interior Ministry of Ukraine has almost completely formed assault brigades for offensive operations. Learn more about why these units are being created and what tasks they will perform
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine has created the Offensive Guard, which includes nine assault brigades. The reasons why the Ministry of Internal Affairs formed the paramilitary brigades and what tasks they will perform are described below.
In early February 2023, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine announced the creation of the Offensive Guard, which includes 8 brigades with one task: the liberation of the occupied territories from russian troops. Volunteers can join the units of the Guard.
What brigades does the Offensive Guard consist of?
As of the end of May 2023, the Guard consists of nine units that are subordinated to the National Guard, the National Police and the State Border Guard Service, namely
- National Guard Brigade "Rubizh".
- National Guard Brigade "Azov".
- National Guard Brigade "Spartan".
- National Guard Brigade "Chervona Kalyna".
- National Guard Brigade "Kara-Dag".
- National Guard Brigade "Bureviy".
- National Guard Brigade "Charter".
- National Police Brigade "Rage".
- State Border Guard Service Brigade "Steel Border".
It should be noted that the Offensive Guard is already fully formed and ready for orders. However, the Ministry of Internal Affairs is currently forming a separate volunteer brigade, the Charter.
The Ministry also plans to create several more units.
What is the Offensive Guard armed with?
It is worth noting that out of the nine brigades that are being formed within the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the majority, namely 7, belong to the National Guard.
The Commander of the National Guard of Ukraine, General Yuriy Lebed, noted that the Guard units had long needed to be strengthened in terms of both quantity and quality.
"We have analyzed our combat experience over the past 9 years. And we saw that we need to create more powerful, more serious units. They will include artillery units, tank, engineer and sapper units, anti-aircraft missile units", - the BBC quoted the general as saying.
According to him, previously the NGU brigades were armed with light armored vehicles, small arms and anti-tank weapons. However, now the units have tanks, and these are Western-style vehicles.
The Guard also uses extended training periods for soldiers and a staff structure based on NATO standards.
As explained by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the brigades will consist of experienced soldiers who have been through the ATO and the war.
What tasks will the Offensive Guard units perform?
The Ministry of Internal Affairs does not disclose the number of members of the Offensive Guard or information about who is enrolled. Only the names of the brigade commanders are known.
However, in terms of numbers, the number of soldiers in army brigades can usually be 2-4 thousand. That is, the Offensive Guard may have approximately 20-30 thousand personnel, according to the BBC.
At the same time, the only figure given by Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko is about 40,000 applications from those wishing to join the Guard. Not all of them have been reviewed yet, he said.
According to him, the Offensive Guard soldiers are trained at training grounds to handle heavy army equipment, not instructed on how to break up demonstrations and mass protests.
"These units will not only perform assault operations, they will fight sabotage groups, they will also participate in stabilization activities in the de-occupied territories in the future."
How to apply for the Offensive Guard and what the conditions of service in these units are, we previously described here.
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