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128th Mountain Assault Brigade (Ukraine)

128th Mountain Assault Brigade

128th Mountain Brigade

128th Guards Mountain Brigade

128th Guards Mechanized Brigade

128th Guards Mechanized Division

128th Guards Motor Rifle Division

128th Guards Mountain Rifle Division

83rd Mountain Rifle Division

1st Turkmenistan Rifle Division
Ukrainian: 128-ма окрема гвардійська гірсько-штурмова Закарпатська бригада
128th Mountain Brigade shoulder sleeve patch
Active12 July 1922 – present
Country Soviet Union
(Jul 1922 – Jan 1992)
(Jan 1992 – present)
Branch Ukrainian Ground Forces
TypeMechanized infantry
RoleMountain Warfare
Part ofOperational Command West
MUN А1778
Motto(s)"For Ukraine, for her freedom."
AnniversariesJuly 12
DecorationsOrder of the Red Banner Order of the Red Banner (2) (removed)
For Courage and Bravery
Battle honoursGuards (removed)
Turkestan (removed)
Colonel Dmytro Lysyuk[11]
Serhiy Tumoshkov (1st Commander)
Banner of the Brigade (before 2013)

The 128th Mountain Assault Brigade is a formation of the Ukrainian Ground Forces.

The full title of the brigade is 128th Mountain Assault Brigade "Zakarpattia", (Ukrainian: 128-ма окрема гірсько-штурмова Закарпатська бригада).[12] It is the second oldest serving formation of the UGF, being raised in 1922. It participated in the invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia by Soviet troops.


Red Army

The 128th Mechanized Division was first formed within the then USSR's Red Army as the 1st Turkmenistan Rifle Division on 12 July 1922 in the city of Poltoratsk (now Ashgabat, Turkmenistan). (Other sources give the original name as the 1st Turkmenistan Mountain Division).[13] It was a Turkmen national formation. Serhiy Tumoshkov became the division's first commander. The division was renamed 83rd Mountain Rifle Division on 1 July 1935.[14] On 22 June 1941 the 83rd Mountain Rifle Division was part of the 58th Rifle Corps, Central Asia Military District.[15] Between 1 September and 1 October 1941, the division was assigned to the 53rd Army, still located within the Central Asia Military District.[16] By January 1942 the division, still with 58th Rifle Corps, had been dispatched to Iran as part of the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran.

From 1 January 1943 the division fought near the area of Krasnodar where it was assigned to the 56th Army. After successfully liberating the region of Kuban and the Taman Peninsula, the division was awarded the Guards designation on 8 October 1943 and renamed the 128th Guards Turkmenistan Rifle Division.[1]

On 24 April 1944, for participation in the battles for Crimea, the division was awarded its first Order of the Red Banner. During the month of August, the division participated in battles for the Carpathian Mountains. The division captured Northeast Hungary, what later became Zakarpattya in the Soviet Union, and on 12 October 1944 crossed the border with Czechoslovakia. Units of the division occupied Ostrava, Olomouc and other cities.[1]

Postwar, the division was stationed in Mukacheve and became part of the 38th Army. During October and November 1956, it took part in Operation Whirlwind, the crushing of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. The division captured Debrecen and Szolnok and Jászberény. Advancing westward, it participated in the storming of Budapest. On 15 December 1956, the division became the 128th Guards Motor Rifle Division at Esztergom. In July 1958, the division was moved back to Mukacheve. In 1968, the division participated in Operation Danube, the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. During the operation, eleven soldiers of the division were killed.[17] In May 1976, it was given the title "named for Marshal of the Soviet Union Andriy Hrechko". In December 1979, its 149th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment was transferred to the 201st Motor Rifle Division and replaced by the newly activated 487th Motor Rifle Regiment. On 8 May 1985 the division was awarded its second Order of the Red Banner in honour of the 40th anniversary of Victory Day.[18]

Independent Ukraine

In January 1992, the division was taken over by Ukraine.[19] On 31 December 1992, in Decree 642/92, the President of Ukraine promoted the commander of the 128th Guards Motor Rifle Division of the Carpathian Military District, Colonel Vyacheslav Zabolotny [uk], to Major-General.[20]

In accordance with a decree of 23 August 1998, Colonel Oleksandr Maslenchuk – commander of the 128th Mechanised Division of the 38th Army Corps of the Operational Command West; was promoted to major-general.[21]

On 27 May 2000 the Minister of Defense, General of the Army Oleksandr Kuzmuk presented the division its new Battle Colours, and read the Order of the President of Ukraine awarding the division the honorable name "Zakarpattia".[18]

Until 2002, the division was under the command of the 38th Army Corps.[22] After the 38th Army Corps was disbanded, the division became part of the 13th Corps.

On 18 June 2004 the 128th Guards Motor Rifle Division was reorganized into a brigade by the order of the Minister of Defense.[18]

In 2013, the brigade became the 128th Mountain Brigade.

In 2014–15 the brigade fought in the war in Donbas, taking part in the Battle of Debaltseve. For his leadership in the Battle of Debaltseve, brigade commander Colonel Serhiy Shaptala was awarded the title Hero of Ukraine.

The brigade has a training ground near the city of Vynohradiv.

On 18 November 2015, the brigade's honorifics "Turkestan twice Red Banner" were removed as part of an Armed Forces-wide removal of Soviet awards and honorifics.[23] The "Zakarpattia" battle honor, awarded for the liberation of the area in 1945, remained. On 22 August 2016, its Guards title was also removed.[24]

Russian invasion of Ukraine

A base belonging to the 128th Brigade was bombarded as part of the initial Russian strikes on military targets on 24 February 2022. The brigade abandoned its base and was deployed to the vicinity of Melitopol. It was eventually pushed 70 miles to the north, where it took up positions to prevent Russian forces from reaching the city of Zaporizhzhia, as of April 2022.[25]

A battalion tactical group of the 128th Brigade under Col. Denys Chaiuk [uk] was at training grounds in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast at the beginning of the war. It traveled 200 km in order to reach Melitopol by the next day, covering the retreat of units of the National Guard of Ukraine from the city. It later withdrew to the Vasylivka-Tokmak defensive line, and eventually to a defensive line at Kam'yanske-Orikhiv where it successfully halted the Russian offensive.[26]

In April 2022, the brigade took part in the defense of Ukraine during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, fighting in the Luhansk region. On 7 April, it was announced that soldiers of the brigade had pushed Russian troops 6-10 kilometers away from Kreminna.[4]

The brigade took part in the 2022 Ukrainian southern counteroffensive.[27] In the brigade's native Zakarpattia Oblast on 2 September 2022, a day of mourning was held after the deaths of seven residents of the region who served in the brigade.[28] During the southern counteroffensive, the brigade (re)captured Myroliubivka on 3 October 2022,[27] followed by a string of villages on the right bank of the Dnieper River.[29]

On 18 February 2023 President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that the brigade was operating and fighting in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.[30] The brigade's commander Colonel Dmytro Lysyuk confirmed to The Guardian in mid-October 2023 that that the brigade was still fighting in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, taking part in the 2023 Ukrainian counteroffensive.[11] On 3 November 2023 a Russian strike killed members of the brigade while on a ceremony on the occasion of Rocket Forces and Artillery Day, on 5 November Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Kucherenko reported that 28 soldiers had been killed and 53 others wounded.[31] Three days of mourning were held in Zakarpattia Oblast.[32] On 6 November the 128th Brigade itself confirmed the deaths of 19 soldiers in the strike.[33] Lysiuk, who arrived late to the ceremony and was uninjured, was suspended from his position while authorities opened an investigation.[34]


Petro Poroshenko and Stepan Poltorak inspecting the brigade (2016)
A brigade member with an EDM4S anti-drone rifle during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

As of 2024, the brigade's structure is as follows:[35]

  • 128th Mountain Assault Infantry Brigade, Mukachevo
    • Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Mukachevo
    • 1st Mountain Assault Infantry Battalion "Lynx"
    • 2nd Mountain Assault Infantry Battalion
    • Motorized Infantry Battalion "Bears"
    • 1st Rifle Infantry Battalion
    • 2nd Rifle Infantry Battalion
    • 15th Separate Mountain Assault Infantry Battalion, Uzhhorod
    • Tank Battalion
    • Mountain Artillery Regiment
      • Target Acquisition Battery "Mavic Band"
      • 1st Self-Propelled Artillery Battalion (2S3 Akatsiya)
      • Self-Propelled Artillery Battalion "Cerberus" (2S1 Gvozdika)
      • Rocket Artillery Battalion (BM-21 Grad)
      • Anti-Tank Battalion (MT-12 Rapira)
    • Anti-Aircraft Defense Artillery Regiment
    • Reconnaissance Company (Mountain)
    • UAV Battalion
    • 534th Combat Engineer Battalion (Mountain)
    • Logistics Battalion
    • Maintenance Battalion
    • Signal Company
    • Radar Company
    • Medical Company
    • Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense Company
    • MP Company
    • Brigade Band

Division order of battle

  • Divisional Headquarters, Uzhhorod
  • 315th Mechanized Regiment, Berehove
  • 327th Mechanized Regiment, Uzhhorod
  • 820th Mechanized Regiment, Mukachevo
  • 398th Armor Regiment Uzhorod, Uzhhorod
  • 331st Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment, Perechyn
  • 757th Anti-Tank Artillery Battalion, Svaliava
  • 253rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment, Svaliava
  • 47th Reconnaissance Battalion

The 327th Mechanized Regiment[36] was reorganized to form the 15th Mountain Infantry Battalion, which became the first Mountain Infantry formation in the current Ukrainian Ground Forces.

Former commanders

  • Serhiy Tumoshkov – 12 July 1922 –
  • Colonel Viacheslav Zabolotnyi – 1992 – 1993[37]
  • Major General Henadiy Vorobyov – 2001 – 2002[38]
  • Colonel Serhiy Horoshnikov – 2002 – 2003
  • Vasyl Koka – 2004[39]
  • Colonel Viktor Hanushchak – 2007
  • Colonel Serhiy Shaptala – 2014 – 2017
  • Lieutenant Colonel Serhiy Sobko – 2017 – 2019



  1. ^ a b c "Zakarpattia regional gov article". 30 May 2012. Archived from the original on 27 May 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  2. ^ (in Ukrainian) In a night battle in the Luhansk region killed 15 soldiers, the fate of another 13 unknown, Ukrayinska Pravda (18 June 2014)
  3. ^ "Історія бригади | 128-ма окрема гірсько-штурмова Закарпатська бригада".
  4. ^ a b "Ukrainian army forces enemy to retreat from Kreminna in Luhansk region". 7 April 2022. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  5. ^ Schwirtz, Michael (22 April 2022). "Dug in on the front lines, Ukrainian soldiers fight to repel the Russian onslaught". The New York Times.
  6. ^ "Ukrainian army forces enemy to retreat from Kreminna in Luhansk region". 7 April 2022. Retrieved 6 August 2023.
  7. ^ "Transcarpathian Legion fighters free Myrolyubivka in Kherson region. Espreso". Retrieved 6 August 2023.
  8. ^ Axe, David (22 December 2022). "Bakhmut Is 'Soaked In Blood' As Eight Of Ukraine's Best Brigades Battle 40,000 Former Russian Prisoners". Forbes. Retrieved 5 November 2023.
  9. ^ "Ukraine's 128th Mountain Brigade is Probing Russian Defenses—And Finding 70-Year-Old T-54 Tanks". Forbes. 17 June 2023.
  10. ^ Oliphant, Roland (19 June 2023). "Moment Ukraine's special forces kill Russians in close-quarters trench fighting". The Telegraph.
  11. ^ a b c "Russia's Avdiivka offensive is failing, says top Ukrainian officer". The Guardian. 15 October 2023. Retrieved 16 October 2023.
  12. ^ "Decree of the President of Ukraine No. 646/2015". 18 November 2015.
  13. ^ "128-I Turkestan Krasnoznamennaya Guards Rifle Division". Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  14. ^ А. Г. Ленский, Сухопутные силы РККА в предвоенные годы. Справочник. — Санкт-Петербург Б&К, 2000
  15. ^, Central Asia Military District, 22 June 1941, accessed October 2011
  16. ^ BSSA via
  17. ^ Легендарные части нашей Армии: 128-я Мукачевская горно-пехотная бригада [Legendary part of our Army: 128th Mukachevo mountain infantry brigade]. (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  18. ^ a b c "MoD news article". Archived from the original on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2009.
  19. ^ Holm, Michael. "128th Guards Motorised Rifle Division". Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  20. ^ "Про присвоєння військових звань | від 31.12.1992 No. 642/92". Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  21. ^ "Про присвоєння військових звань". Офіційний вебпортал парламенту України.
  22. ^ "128th Mechanized Brigade (Ukraine)". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
  23. ^ УКАЗ ПРЕЗИДЕНТА УКРАЇНИ No. 646/2015 [Ukaz President of Ukraine No. 646/2015] (in Ukrainian). President of Ukraine. 21 November 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  24. ^ УКАЗ ПРЕЗИДЕНТА УКРАЇНИ No.344/2016 [Ukaz of the President of Ukraine No. 344/2016] (in Ukrainian). President of Ukraine. 22 August 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  25. ^ Michael Schwirtz (22 April 2022). "Dug in on the front lines, Ukrainian soldiers fight to repel the Russian onslaught". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 22 April 2022. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  26. ^ "Залужний призначив героя України Чаюка головним військкомом Львівської області". Interfax (in Ukrainian). 5 September 2023. Retrieved 9 May 2024.
  27. ^ a b "Transcarpathian Legion fighters free Myrolyubivka in Kherson region". Espreso TV. 3 October 2022. Retrieved 3 October 2022.
  28. ^ (in Ukrainian) In the Transcarpathian region, mourning has been declared for the dead soldiers of the 128th mountain assault brigade. Nine deaths reported, (3 September 2022)
  29. ^ David Axe (16 October 2022). "Two Mountain Brigades—One Russian, One Ukrainian—Are Rolling Toward Each Other In Flat Southern Ukraine". Forbes.
  30. ^ "Much of what we are preparing depends on battles in Donetsk Oblast – Zelenskyy". Ukrainska Pravda. 18 February 2023. Retrieved 19 February 2023.
  31. ^ "Russian missile strikes brigade in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine says". The Washington Post. 5 November 2023. Retrieved 5 November 2023.
    "The losses of the 128th brigade in the Zaporizhzhya region became known" [Стали известны потери 128-й бригады в Запорожской области] (in Russian). 5 November 2023.
  32. ^ "Tragedy could have been prevented – Zelenskyy on 128th Brigade". Ukrainska Pravda. 5 November 2023. Retrieved 5 November 2023.
    "Russia attacks Ukrainian soldiers who had gathered for awards ceremony: over 20 fighters killed". Ukrainska Pravda. 4 November 2023. Retrieved 5 November 2023.
  33. ^ "128th Brigade confirms deaths of 19 soldiers in Russian strike". Ukrainska Pravda. 6 November 2023. Retrieved 6 November 2023.
  34. ^ "Ukraine's president rules out holding elections next spring and calls for unity in fighting Russia". Associated Press. 8 November 2023. Retrieved 8 November 2023.
  35. ^ "128th Mountain Assault Brigade". 27 December 2022. Retrieved 25 August 2023.
  36. ^ John Pike. "Ground Forces – Ukraine". Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  37. ^ "Про присвоєння військових звань| від 31.12.1992 No. 642/92". 31 December 1992. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  38. ^ "Новини Управління Прес-служби МО". Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  39. ^ "— Мукачево: "Прощавай, зброє!" — горячие новости". 18 October 2004. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  40. ^ "Про присвоєння почесного найменування "Закарпатська" 12...| від 10.01.2000 No. 11/2000". 30 October 2000. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
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128th Mountain Assault Brigade (Ukraine)
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