Some of the most experienced fighters in the world: what the AFU SDF is and what operations they carry out
The SDF of Ukraine is an elite paramilitary unit of the AFU that performs the toughest and most secret tasks. Learn more about who the Steel Wolves are and why they can be considered some of the most experienced fighters in the world
On July 29, the Special Operations Forces (SOF) of the Armed Forces of Ukraine celebrated their professional holiday. The Special Operations Forces are an elite unit that usually performs some of the most difficult and secretive tasks. Here's what you need to know about the new generation of Ukrainian Special Forces, which has become one of the most experienced paramilitary units in the world.
The Special Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were created on July 28, 2016, to perform the most difficult tasks. Over the 7 years of its existence, the Special Forces have conducted numerous combat and special operations both at the front and behind enemy lines.
The world saw the true power of the unit during russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
What is the Armed Forces of Ukraine?
The Special Forces unit was created as a separate branch of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. According to the law, the Special Operations Forces may be involved in the implementation of martial law and state of emergency, information and psychological operations, the fight against terrorism and piracy, measures to protect the life and health of citizens and state facilities, as well as a number of other tasks.
It is worth noting that the unit was created with the support of NATO member states and is equipped with the best weapons available in Ukraine.
The soldiers of the unit call themselves "steel", and the SSO website states that they are "the military elite of the state".
The SSO units are composed of well-trained and motivated soldiers who perform tasks of increased complexity on land and water, in the temporarily occupied territories, sabotage behind enemy lines, and conduct aerial reconnaissance.
To join the elite unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, soldiers undergo an extremely difficult training course, and only 10% of candidates complete it. Therefore, only highly motivated, experienced, and stress-resistant soldiers can join the Special Forces.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, while congratulating the soldiers, described their tasks as "the most difficult and risky."
Interesting facts about the symbols of the Special Operations Forces
The symbol of the Special Operations Forces is a wolf-werewolf with a cheres (a leather belt that is common in the mountainous regions of the Carpathians and is considered an integral attribute of folk costumes of the Carpathian peoples).
The image of the wolf as the emblem of the Special Forces was chosen, in particular, on the basis of Ukrainian legends and traditions about Cossack characters who could transform into animals (including wolves).
The symbols of the unit also include the motto "I'm coming to you!". These were the words spoken by the great commander, Prince Sviatoslav Ihorovych (the Brave), when declaring war on his enemies, as well as when issuing an ultimatum to declare war.
Operations of the SSO
Despite the fact that the unit has been in existence for only 7 years, the Armed Forces of Ukraine's Special Forces is an experienced structure that has been involved in various operations during the war in Ukraine.
It is worth noting that most of the operations conducted by the Special Forces are classified and are labeled as "state secrets," as is information about the soldiers who are part of the elite unit. However, some operations are still known to the public.
Operation to defend the airfield in Gostomel
Immediately after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the russian occupiers attempted to seize the strategic airfield in Hostomel (not far from Kyiv).
The soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were among the first to take the enemy's attack. During the operation, the russians tried to land at the airport, but Ukrainian troops successfully destroyed several units of russian aviation and eliminated the manpower that had managed to land at the facility.
Thus, the military repelled the first waves of the occupiers' attacks and gained time for our forces to approach Gostomel.
It should be noted that, according to many military experts, if russia had been able to land at the Gostomel airport, Kyiv would probably have fallen.
Liberation of Zmeinyi Island
The Special Operations Forces were one of several units that participated in the operation to liberate the island.
As you know, Zmeinyi Island had been liberated from the invaders for several months. During the operation, the Ukrainian military launched numerous strikes against the enemy, forcing them to flee the island.
On the night of July 7, when the military learned of the invaders' escape, soldiers of the 73rd Marine Center of the Ukrainian Special Forces approached the island. As part of the operation, they cleared the area and sent a signal to other groups.
Mykolaiv airport defense
At the beginning of the full-scale war, russian troops tried to capture the main airfields and airports not only near Kyiv but also in the south of the country. One of the enemy's targets was the airport in Mykolaiv.
Soldiers of the Special Forces, territorial defense and the National Police of Ukraine stood up to defend the facility. Our military not only held the airport, but also managed to push back the russian terrorists, inflicting significant damage on them.
At first, the SSO fighters cleared the premises, occupied the tower and the roof of the airport building. The enemy took up positions to attack our infantry. At this time, the Special Forces maneuvered and went to the rear of the occupiers, which was a surprise for them.
The operation lasted no more than a day. After some time, the SSO unit showed how the fighting went.
The SSO has many merits to its credit, including the battles of Moshchun, Bakhmut, and the blitzkrieg in the Kharkiv region.
Ukraine's elite unit, like the rest of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, risk their lives every day to protect Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.
The Visit Ukraine team sincerely congratulates the Armed Forces of Ukraine on their professional holiday and wishes them success in their future operations, and that every soldier returns home to their families safe and sound as soon as possible!
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29 Jul. 2023More details
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