Pentagon races to prop up Ukraine's hard-fighting 47th Mechanized Brigade that's exhausted, report says

  • Ukraine's 47th Mechanized is equipped with top US military hardware.

  • It has been in continuous cobat for many months.

  • The Pentagon plans to replenish the powerhouse brigade with  Bradley fighting vehicles, Forbes said.

Ukraine's hard-fighting 47th Mechanized Brigade is battle-weary and urgently needs US support, Forbes reported.

Trained by NATO instructors, the 47th Brigade all-volunteer unit is one of Ukraine's powerhouse brigades. It is equipped with US-made military hardware, including M1 Abrams tanks, M2 Bradley fighting vehicles, and M-109 howitzers.

In January, the 47th battling reputation was burnished when an attack using Bradley fighting vehicles became an international news story. A video of one of the US-built combat vehicles hammering a T-90M, which Putin has called "the world's best tank," with chain gun fire from its 25 mm cannon, was widely reported.

The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine posted the video online, attributing it to the 47th Brigade fighting in Stepove, a village outside Avdiivka in northeastern Ukraine.

This week, the ministry released new footage showing the destruction of Russian tanks and combat vehicles that it said had been eliminated by Bradley IFVs and FPV drones of the 47th Brigade.

But with nearly continuous combat since Ukraine's unsuccessful counteroffensive last summer, the Brigade's 2,000 troops need respite, resupply, and reinforcement, Forbes said.

The Pentagon is set to help replenish depleted resources and bolster combat effectiveness quickly, Forbes said.

Recently, despite initial plans for withdrawal, the 47th Brigade was rushed into action when the Russian 30th Motor Rifle Brigade launched an assault near Ocheretyne, northwest of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine. The rapid redeployment highlights the unit's fighting reputation as an "emergency brigade,' Forbes said.

However, it now appears the 47th Brigade fought for nothing. Russian troops took most of Ocheretyne following a rotational blunder involving the 47th and 115th Mechanized Brigades in April.

Russia's 30th Motor Rifle Brigade took advantage of the rotational lapse as the 47th Brigade withdrew and attacked, capturing a large swathe of territory.

The former company commander of the 47th Brigade, Mykola Melnyk, who lost a leg during the summer offensive, wrote on Facebook: "The drastic advancement of the Russians became possible because certain units just fucked off."

Months of fighting have taken a toll on the 47th Brigade, with casualties and equipment losses escalating, said Forbes. Repeated changes in leadership have further exacerbated challenges.

A US Abrams tank was put on display for Moscow residents to see in an open-air exhibition featuring equipment from nearly a dozen NATO countries.
A US Abrams tank was put on display for Moscow residents to see in an open-air exhibition featuring equipment from nearly a dozen NATO countries.Russian Ministry of Defense

Indeed, the 47th Brigade recently lost its Abrams tanks. They were pulled from the front due to Russian drone tactics, two US defense officials told the Associated Press last month.

The New York Times reported that Ukraine has lost five out of its 31 Abrams tanks in recent months, citing an unnamed senior US official.

The recent approval of fresh US military aid to Ukraine signals a crucial lifeline, with replacement Bradleys poised to bolster the 47th Brigade's capabilities on the battlefield.

Following Congress's approval, The first US arms shipment to Ukraine included an unspecified number of Bradleys. The 47th Brigade is the only Ukrainian unit that uses the vehicle, said Forbes.

Beyond material support and tactical adjustments, the 47th Brigade needs a reprieve from the relentless cycle of conflict.

"Another month, and there will be a year without rotation," said Melnyk.

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