CQB (Close Quarters Battle) is like religion, guys get very passionate about it and everyone thinks their way is the one true way, aside from a few agnostics. CQB refers to a type of fighting that typically occurs inside of buildings and extremely tight spaces considering a gunfight is what may go down. The Eastern Bloc techniques change, as do all tactics, from unit to unit just as with American forces. Depending on the unit’s purpose, tactics that seem inadequate by one unit’s standards may be exactly what is required by another unit. CQB is also very situation dependent and a unit must be able to adapt their tactics to fit the most plausible situations they are likely to encounter.

The men of one of Ukraine’s elite Army Recon platoons have developed a system based on the almost exclusive use of hand signals and slow meticulous movement. These techniques aid in avoiding trip wires and mines for starters but also fit to a very distinct environment and situation. Their occupation requires them to move forward of friendly lines and scout terrain that is often sparsely populated suburban areas that are occupied and observed by pro-Russian forces. So this form of CQB aids them in avoiding detection from separatist fighters but more often civilians living in adjoining houses who may expose the team’s position.

While we often compare linear vs double entries, shooter placement, etc.; we usually fail to ask ourselves, what is the purpose behind it? The Recon Team’s job is to observe and report enemy activity; so actively engaging the enemy is not on their “To Do” list. We must also remember that they do not have access to QRFs, CAS, or MedEvacs like we do in the US Armed Forces. Ukrainian air power if virtually non-existent given that most have been allocated to anti-terror units and anti-air missiles are a very real threat in Ukraine’s regions of conflict, so Close Air Support is out of the picture. Quick Reaction Forces can be put together, but being of ground transport in nature and the fact that the Recon teams are often in a hard to reach location, they are more of a slow reaction force. So it is in the team’s best interest to move slowly and quietly, remaining undetected given the most support they’re going to get is probably a poorly trained mortar team.

The following is footage of a Recon team conducting a live fire field exercise paired with dry fire CQB operations in urban terrain.