Russian Pacific Fleet deployed Marine Corps tanks to Ukraine

Recently, news emerged that an active-duty marine tank unit from the Russian Pacific Fleet was deployed in Ukraine. These details surfaced following an official report from the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Defense, which provided specific details about the active combat units. The Kremlin maintains that this unit was crucial in seizing the Novomykhailivka village, located in Ukraine’s Donetsk region. 

Russian Pacific fleet deployed Marine Corp tankers to Ukraine
Photo credit: Russian MoD

A source intimately involved with the combat activities revealed to the Russian Ministry of Defense that “T-80BVK tank crews often spearheaded engagements, paving the way for assault units. They precisely and effectively hit their targets from both direct and indirect fire positions, regardless of the time. Usually, tanks equipped with anti-mine trawls were positioned at the battlefront to traverse the battlefield, absorbing the initial enemy fire.” 

The combatant also asserted that the main threat to his team emerged from Ukraine’s attack drones. “In response, our tanks were reinforced with electronic warfare systems, improvised dynamic protections, and anti-drone nets,” he explained. He emphasized that the Pacific Fleet’s T-80 tanks exhibited exceptional performance in the Northern Military District.

Russian Pacific fleet deployed Marine Corp tankers to Ukraine
Photo credit: TASS

Wartime role

The diverse responsibilities of a Russian marine tank unit are central to any battlefield operation, notably providing immediate fire support to infantry during amphibious assaults. These squads, known for their crushing firepower, serve as front-line forces, engaging and dismantling enemy defenses during a beachhead onslaught. 

Identified as swift reaction units, they are frequently involved in situations that require immediate, assertive action. Russian marine tank units are also tasked with territory control and fortification following an attack. Once a strategic location, such as a beachhead, is secured, they face the colossal task of retaining the terrain against potential enemy counterattacks. Their durable armor and powerful firepower are the primary tools in this protective role. 

In addition to these responsibilities, these units often function as reconnaissance forces. Equipped with advanced sensor technology and communication tools, they are uniquely positioned to gather valuable data regarding enemy forces and relay these crucial insights back to headquarters.

Battles for Novomykhailivka

Our discussion with a crucial representative from the Russian side during the Novomihailovka conflict was anything but coincidental. Amid the heat of the Russian incursion into Ukraine, this specific village came under the spotlight in late fall of 2023. Approximately 30,000 Russian soldiers, a force made up of around 10 brigades and a regiment, were specifically directed toward this area. 

Fast-forwarding to April of the current year, Ukrainian paratroopers proudly documented their victories and claimed to have decimated hundreds of Russian battle units in and around Novomykhaylovka. According to the 79th Independent Airborne Assault Brigade in cooperation with other Defense Forces units, they have eradicated over 300 pieces of enemy equipment. 

It seems that the directive for the Russian units posted in this vicinity was to acquire control over the village. This was revealed by a Ukrainian source actively involved in the warfare. As per his account, Russia initiated an onslaught of tank assaults and infantry deployments in a ceaseless daily rhythm. “We’ve demolished 314 units of enemy gear,” a Ukrainian serviceman claimed openly.

Why was this transfer?

Russian army expands T-80BVM v.23 tank fleet: numbers rising
Photo credit: Twitter

If Russia were to deploy a tank brigade not specifically designed to protect the nation’s terrestrial borders with Ukraine and Europe, a plethora of interpretations could arise, depending on the wartime circumstances. It’s suggested that such an action might be due to a shortage of fighting equipment in these regions. By reassigning a specific Marine Corps unit from another military district, they could effectively manage the issue until necessary personnel and resources are replenished. 

Through the lens of Western experts, the strategic location of this particular tank division could also be attributed to its remarkable skill set. Poised for a wide range of warfare situations, this division boasts state-of-the-art weaponry, endowing it with high adaptability. It’s noteworthy that the Pacific Fleet Marine Corps maintains a reputation as one of Russia’s elite troops, thereby making it a prime candidate for high-risk operations.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

Russia began equipping T-80BVM tanks with a laser target designator
Photo credit: Yandex

On February 21, 2022, Russia stated that its border facility was attacked by Ukrainian forces, resulting in the deaths of five Ukrainian fighters. However, Ukraine quickly dismissed these allegations, labeling them as ‘false flags’.

In a notable move on the same day, Russia announced it officially recognized the self-proclaimed areas of DPR and LPR. Interestingly, according to Russian President Putin, this recognition covered all the Ukrainian regions. Following this declaration, Putin sent a battalion of Russia’s military forces, tanks included, into these areas.

Fast forward to February 24, 2022, global headlines were dominated by a significant incident. Putin commanded a forceful military assault on Ukraine. Led by Russia’s impressive Armed Forces positioned at the Ukrainian border, this assault wasn’t spontaneous but a premeditated action. Despite the circumstances resembling a war, the Russian government refrains from using this term. They’d rather refer to it as a “special military operation”.

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