The Facebook account of Lieutenant General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, who is the commander in chief of the armed forces of Ukraine, claims that an entire platoon of the Russian 74th Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade surrendered to Ukrainian forces near the Ukrainian city of Chernihiv which is about 85 miles north of the country’s capital in Kyiv.
Under interrogation, the platoon leader of the unit, Sergeant Buinichev Sergeevich seemed to be in the dark about what his army was doing, “No one thought that we were going to kill. We were not going to fight, we were collecting information.” The Sergeant also believed his unit would be sent back to Russia. Sgt Sergeevich appeared in a photograph to have been wounded in the left upper arm and shoulder and was in his uniform suggesting his platoon was not operating covertly in civilian clothes and trying to mix in with the population. The 74th GMRB is based in Yurga in Russia’s Kemerovo Oblast. Guards’ divisions in the Russian army are generally better equipped and led units made up of veteran soldiers. They are also larger in terms of manpower than the normal rifle regiments of the Russian army. A motorized reconnaissance platoon on the brigade level would travelling in any number of tracked or wheeled vehicles in the Russian army, but in this case their most likely vehicles were the GAZ Tiger and/or the IVECO Light Mobility Vehicle or LMV.
The 74th GMRB is believed to have been present in 2014 when Russian troops wearing non-standard uniforms and posed as Separatists invaded Ukraine’s Donbas Oblast. This information is based on social media posts by members of the 74th that showed destroyed military vehicles in the summer battles in Dombas