The commander of airborne forces of VSU the General-
Lieutenant, Hero of Ukraine Mikhail Zabrodsky in a radio interview, “Army FM” has told about the RAID of the 95th and 30th brigades behind enemy lines in 2014, about the importance of the parade on the independence Day, and how to become a paratrooper
Three years ago today continued one of the most ambitious operations of the Ukrainian army “RAID”. You commanded this operation and put a lot of effort to ensure that the world community has recognized the operation as the longest RAID in the military history of the world. Now remember those events?
Even remember not necessary, because nothing is forgotten. And for most of the participants of those events all happened like yesterday.
It involves a lot of people. Preparing for the airwaves, the Internet has met such the name of the operation as “zabrodska RAID” or “RAID 95 brigade.” As planned this operation and what is a “RAID”? As I understand one need to draw? And understand whether at that time, with whom you will have to face?
It is in any case not “RAID Zabrodska”. Certain tactical actions that were carried out by an officers personnel 95 OAMBR and 30 OMBRE. Speaking about the RAID, how about the form of tactical actions, it is not new, it was used in world practice, almost 300 years ago. Her main point — the rapid advancement in the territory controlled by the enemy or behind enemy lines, and consistent decommissioning of its facilities or out of a certain threshold. Planning was done in quick time, setting goals, and then acted according to the circumstances.
For anybody not a secret that as of 2014 the army was not in very good condition. Next was the people that you expected and that you were sure?
With regard to personnel 95 OAMBR — that was the soldiers that took part in the battles, particularly in the area of Slavyansk, so the question of confidence, not even standing. It was the people, checked by the war, and we clearly understand what we expect. With staff of 30 OMRB we first met and now I am very pleased that we were not mistaken.
Here’s how to evaluate a RAID by the American military expert Phillip Karber, “Michael Zabrodskii and his 95th brigade in early August became part of military history. They broke through the defense line of separatists marched to Mariupol, returned along the border, destroyed several Russian artillery battalions that were already on the Ukrainian side of the border, took away their weapons and equipment. Russian tanks drove right up to the Lugansk and returned to Slavyansk. This is the longest RAID of armed group in the military history of the world.” If all was?
I’m not going to argue with an expert. There are various indicators and on the duration and length, and depth. The history of the world has long RAID action.
What helped this RAID in the course of the fighting, which later turned?
Even now it is difficult to assess the impact on the operational situation, which then happened. This is a question perhaps not to us but to the management of the ATO. Because they more fully understood the situation, and we were just doing our job.
I think this is a convoy with people and you perform certain tasks, right?
No, the column is used when you need to move quickly. As soon as the approaching object, the unit unfolds pereboeva.
What the success of such operations?
The basic is the suddenness and secrecy. While you are the master of information while only you know where you’re going, until the chances of success increase significantly.
How many people knew about the RAID?
And personnel you have something to explain?
Only in very General terms. What’s going on, knew everything. Another thing is that the war is not mandatory that everyone knew what, where and when.
In 2014, these days were 1-2 waves of mobilization. That is, in the RAID combined staff officers with those people, who had no combat experience. How was this combination?
By that time it was a two-month experience of fighting and action at different scales. No difference between the mobilized soldiers and contractors in terms of morale and level of motivation at that time was not. On the contrary, it was very positive that our war machine joined the people who at that time had a more fresh perspective on certain situations and ideas.
When you returned to Slavyansk, who you first met? What were your feelings? You knew that you did it?
Not, then such high emotions was not. The main feeling was: is it really all over!? A brigade commander usually runs a command group, which is constantly moving with the commander.
At the time you is probably one of the first who met the Russian army. Have you before had the understanding that you are at war with Russia?
We had an understanding that we are at war.
I know that invite you in USA and you share your experience.
We have a group of officers visited us military facilities where our actions cause a keen interest. Ask very professional questions and felt that people interested in certain features of our actions.
5 years ago I thought Michael Zabrodsky that he will lecture to the us military?
Even in my dreams could not imagine. If we consider the concept of military experience, the experience is something special. There is a list of questions that need to analyze and change something immediately. If to speak about more serious scale, this takes time: for analysts, for analysis. The lion’s share of this time on the collection of information. And only then can draw conclusions. An example of this — the Second world war, including the events on the territory of our state. How many countries have fought, how much time has passed, but serious analysis of those events began to appear only in the early 50-ies.
Are the commander of airborne troops weekend? And if you doing this weekend?
There are. Usually on weekends, I lie on the couch and watch TV.
At what stage of the operation the enemy realized that it was a RAID and managed to avoid leaks?
This is a limited circle of people who knew about the problem in full. That is, if a soldier because of some personal qualities could be something to report by mobile phone, he did not have complete information. Besides the staff knew what price you can pay for the leak of any information. There was some education and guidance on the limitations and use of mobile communication. In addition, was a purely technical problem: the deeper we came to the territory that is under enemy control, the worse mobile phones were working.
With regard to the nature of the opposition, which was by the enemy, I would have carried on the second half of the RAID, that is after about 10-12 days of our actions in the territory, which was controlled by the enemy.
You were the settlements were cities. Or you had some contact with the locals?
Contacts with the population was, the relations were different. Moreover, there were even those settlements that firmly believed that this is the army “DND” and welcomed accordingly. No they are not convinced of the opposite.
Marines always talking about how he was trying to build normal relations with the locals. At least to help, and tried to show that Ukrainian army is first and foremost defenders. Did you use these principles?
At that time, no. Based on my own observations, any relationship can only occur if the unit or part for a long period of time is in that place or locality. Therefore, any contact with the local were sporadic and had different content: someone was openly ignoring someone hated, someone congratulated.
Over the past month there have been a lot of training raids on the territory of Ukraine. Accounted for now in this learning process the experience you got then?
He not only counts, but is at the core. RAID as a form of fighting — promising and requires further development and improvements.
I noticed that you, if possible, take the exams of students who graduate with the landing of the faculty. So you need to do, or was it your own initiative?
So you need to do, but in military service is rarely what you need matches with what I want to do. Very interesting to hear and see what students learn during four years. There are certain features, which have their effect, refers to the experience of previous service. It can be noted that thanks to the efforts of our staff, command of the military Academy in Odessa, from year to year the level of knowledge of graduates is increasing. To communicate becomes all the more enjoyable. The particular hope we have for a release next year.
This is the first release of the soldiers, who in 2014 fought and then joined the Academy. It will be the first officers in wartime. Those who made their choices consciously, when in the East of the country the conflict began.
What are your requirements for those who serve with you?
First of all, the level of motivation and desire to master his military specialty. Sorry, we can’t put a pretty high frame state of health and state of physical fitness, although logic dictates it, but from the reality of our time not going anywhere. Knowledge, as we know, don’t give — they take. If you want to take them, then have those 4 years at the military school will hold a benefit for themselves.
Involved whether you have an international instructor for the training of existing troops?
199-m airborne training center on a regular basis is training a group of instructors in several countries: UK, Canada, USA.
Differs their training system from ours?
The system is different. Have their own experience, there are national peculiarities and traditions of military training. As for the content — it’s all close, of course. Even the recognition of professionals who perform their tasks in the training center as they teach us the same and learn for yourself.
You do not feel great man?
At all. This is not an attempt to portray sverhsekretnoj person or something. Just clearly understand that even with proper command, the large organizational effort any task is performed by the hands of soldiers and officers. Without dedication the performers themselves nothing is ever impossible to achieve. No Zabrodska, which creates a miracle. It creates personnel: soldiers, officers of the airborne troops.
Than today live airborne? Who is your personnel? New types of troops, for example, 36 brigade recently celebrated its anniversary. You don’t feel like competing?
This is not a competition, but rather the spirit of competition, complementary. I mean some kind of troops. They have not appeared, they have always been. Another thing is that certain events in the East of the state gave a new impetus to their development and entirely new content. And it is very good when in the state, and APU in particular, there is a whole set of forces and means that can perform a variety of tasks.
Given the fact that normal units should have 2 States: either it performs a task, or preparing for it, today we are preparing for the execution of tasks. I mean the events of military training. Including large-scale, including with the use of a large number of weapons and military equipment, moving long distance and attract a large number of personnel. We use this a pause before the next rotation in a certain area in order to increase their skills and raise the level of training.
Soon we have the parade. If you remember 2014, what you commanded the parade, just returned from a RAID. I will never forget your words when in an interview you said that finally our society realized that we need an army not only in order to go to the parade. How do you feel about the parade? In your opinion, is it necessary?
I am convinced that at least once a year, civilians should be able to see their Armed forces not only on television but also live.
When people applaud during a parade as a big motivation for the army?
It’s an extraordinary feeling of national unity between the army and the people.
What you need to become a paratrooper? What are your requirements and where to go?
You need to contact the recruitment office at the place of residence. After that, future soldiers heading to the 199th training center and then distributed to the military units for further service. We need people who have taken an informed decision. People who clearly understand where they are going, clearly understand that it will not be easy, especially in the beginning. Those who clearly know their purpose and what they want from their service.
August 2 — the Day of airborne troops. Are you preparing for it?
According to the tradition that has developed during the last years we celebrate this day in one of the units. This year it will be 25th OPDBR, which will be attended by delegations of all teams. We have planned some celebrations, cultural, demonstration programs, visit of the dignitaries.
Full audio interview: listen HERE