Ukraine’s AFU Strategic Communications and the Land Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces have reported that they have defeated the “elite” 38th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade. The date, time, and the Ukrainian unit responsible for the attack were not mentioned by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who announced the news through its official Facebook accounts.

“38th OMSBr zs rf [38th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade] and its scrap metal. Exactly, this is exactly what our defenders units and parts of the occupier are turning into, no matter how “elite” they are,” the Armed Forces of Ukraine’s Strategic Command said while posting what remains of the unit. It is unknown whether some Russians had escaped the attack.

An update from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense dated April 6 claimed that the Russians had been preparing for an offensive operation in Donbas to establish full control of the entirety of the region. This is not surprising as the Kremlin themselves announced these intentions in the previous weeks upon suffering enormous losses at the hands of the Ukrainians, who have been defending their positions well.

“The main focus of a Russian enemy’s efforts is to conduct offensive operations in order to break through the defences [sic] of the Joint Forces in the Donetsk direction. It is also trying to take full control of the city of Mariupol,” the statement said.

In doing so, the Russians have been resupplying and regrouping to prepare for their attack, particularly with their Central Military District based in Bryansk and Kursk oblasts in Russia. Along with this regrouping, they reported that the 38th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 35th All-Military Army, which is part of the Central Military District of Russia, was to be moved from Belarus to the Belgorod region. Note that an oil depot in Belgorod was allegedly attacked by 2 Ukrainian Mi-24 Attack Helicopters last week, which the Ukrainian government has refused to confirm or deny.

The patch of the 38th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle collected after the Ukrainians destroyed them (СтратКом ЗСУ / AFU StratCom). Source: https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=347687634066557&set=pcb.347688167399837
The patch of the 38th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle collected after the Ukrainians destroyed them (СтратКом ЗСУ / AFU StratCom/Facebook)

Two days later, the entirety of the 38th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade apparently had never made it to Belgorod. While the number of troops and vehicles destroyed by the Ukrainians are not stated and not documented in the post, they did describe the Russian defeat to be “scrap metal,” indicating that they may have all but obliterated the unit.

Earlier on April 5, Ukrainian Journalist Roman Tsymbalyiuk reported that the 38th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade had been bombed by their own Russian bombers. They apparently could not distinguish between their own troops and the Ukrainian ones. This again reveals the communication issues that the Russians have been suffering from, with their military communications being said to be non-operational due to it being jammed. This claim could not be independently verified as of writing.

Note that Roman Tsymbalyuk is a UNIAN news agency Russian correspondent, the last accredited Ukrainian journalist in Russia. He left the Kremlin as he believed his personal safety was under threat.

“I left the Russian Federation because I believe there is a threat to my personal safety. The Russian junta seems to have exposed itself. And now they claim they recalled the summons for my interrogations, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be issued again. Prior to that, there had been many signals that they decided to deal with the last Ukrainian reporter in Moscow very, very seriously,” he said to Hromadske.

 

Various military vehicles of the 38th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade destroyed in Ukraine (СтратКом ЗСУ / AFU StratCom). Source: https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=347688127399841&set=pcb.347688167399837
Various military vehicles of the 38th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade destroyed in Ukraine (СтратКом ЗСУ / AFU StratCom/Facebook)

Tsymbalyiuk reported on Russia’s blunder of bombing the 38th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade in a Facebook post.

“During the hostilities in Ukraine, the 38th separate motorized rifle brigade, or military unit 21720, Yekaterinoslavka, Amur Region, suffered significant personnel losses from its bomber aircraft, which at night could not distinguish its troops from the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” Tsymbalyiuk wrote.

“After the air bombardment of their own positions, the commander of the 38th Motorized Rifle Brigade, Colonel Kurbanov Andrey Borisovich, asked the commander of the Eastern Military District, Colonel-General Chaiko Alexander Yurevich [Aleksandr Yuryevich Chaiko], to no longer provide him with such air support,” he added.

This led to significant losses on the 38th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade, which ultimately led to its demise at the hands of the Ukrainians.

Military analysts and open-source military trackers have also reported on the 38th’s demise:

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The 38th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade, also known as the 38th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Vitebsk Order of Lenin, Red Banner, Order of Suvorov Brigade, is part of the 35th Combined Arms Army. The 35th is known as one of the oldest armies in the Russian Federation, first formed in July 1941 till August 1945. It was again formed in June 1969. It is reportedly led by Lieutenant General Aleksandr Semyonovich Sanchik. According to reports, it is currently comprised of the 38th, along with the 64th Motor Rifle Brigade, the unit allegedly responsible for the Bucha massacre, 69th Covering Brigade, 107th Rocket Brigade, and 165th Artillery Brigade.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been a bloodbath, with the Russians suffering thousands of casualties (with some being killed by their own men as reported above) and losing several generals and high-ranking commanders. This is not the first time they have been completely obliterated too. The “elite” Russian 4th Guards Tank Division was defeated by the Ukrainians during the battle of Trostyanets, leaving many to question the Russian forces’ real military capabilities.