31st Guards Air Assault Brigade Redirected from 31st Guards Airborne Brigade

31st Guards Air Assault Brigade
Russian: 31-я отдельная гвардейская десантно-штурмовая ордена Кутузова II степени бригада
Great emblem of the 31st Guards Air Assault Brigade.svg
31st Guards Air Assault Brigade emblem
Country Russia
BranchGreat emblem of the Russian Airborne Troops.svg Russian Airborne Troops
TypeAirborne forces
RoleLight Infantry
Airborne Infantry
Airmobile infantry
Part ofSouthern Military District
MUN 73612
EngagementsSecond Chechen War
Russo-Georgian War
Crimean Crisis
Crimean parliament raid
War in Donbas
Battle of Ilovaisk
DecorationsOrder of Kutuzov 2nd Class Order of Kutuzov
Current commanderCol. Dmitry Ovcharov

The 31st Separate Guards Order of Kutuzov 2nd class Air Assault Brigade is an airborne infantry brigade of the Russian Airborne Troops, based in Ulyanovsk. The brigade was formed in 1998 from the 104th Guards Airborne Division. The brigade fought in the Second Chechen War and the Russo-Georgian War. During the Crimean crisis 2014 elements of the brigade were located in the Crimean peninsula.[1] In August 2014 brigade's units participated in the War in Donbas.[2]


The brigade was created as a result of the disbandment of the 104th Guards Airborne Division in 1998 at Ulyanovsk. Between 1999 and 2001, the brigade fought in the Second Chechen War. For their actions during the war, Senior lieutenants Grigory Galkin and Roman Igoshin were awarded the title Hero of the Russian Federation (Igoshin posthumously).[3] Since 2005, the brigade has used a contract manning system. On 1 December 2006, it was redesignated as an air assault brigade.[3] A battalion tactical group of the brigade fought in the Russo-Georgian War in 2008.[4]

A monument to Army General Vasily Margelov is located at the brigade's base in Ulyanovsk. In April 2010, VDV commander Vladimir Shamanov visited the brigade and viewed its battalion tactical exercises.[5]

The brigade was part of the Collective Rapid Reaction Force as of 2013.[6]

In February 2014, elements of the brigade were sent to Crimea.[1] Brigade troops assaulted the building of Crimean Parliament, wearing Ukrainian "Berkut" police uniforms and insignia.[7]

In August 2014 the brigade's units fought in the Battle of Ilovaisk. On 26 August a column of mixed 8th Mountain Brigade and 31st Air Assault Brigade units was ambushed by a Ukrainian anti-tank artillery squad of the 51st Mechanized Brigade near Mnohopillya village.[8] Two soldiers of 31st Brigade were captured: Ruslan Akhmetov and Arseniy Ilmitov.[9][10][11] During a rescue attempt, another 31st Brigade unit was ambushed. Nikolai Kozlov, a paratrooper who participated in the Crimean Parliament building takeover in February, lost his leg in the ambush.[12] After Russian "RBK" media had published an investigation where it assumed Akhmetov and Ilmitov were killed in the battle of Ilovaisk,[13] notorious "Lifenews" media made a TV report, where it visited brigade's garrison in Ulyanovsk and spoke to both Akhmetov and Ilmitov proving they're alive and are actual servicemen of the Russian army.[14][15]

During the Ukrainian forces' withdrawal from Ilovaisk on August 29, Donbas Battalion fighters were able to capture two soldiers of the 31st Air Assault Brigade near Chervonosilske village: Nikita Terskikh and Eugen Sardaryan, as well as some soldiers of 6th Tank Brigade.[16]

On 4 June 2015, the Russian Ministry of Defence announced that the 104th Guards Airborne Division would be reformed from the brigade.[17]

The 31st Airborne Brigade alerted as part of high alert check of the Airborne Forces.

In March 2016, the brigade temporarily moved from its base at Ulyanovsk to Orenburg in snap readiness drills.[18]


As of 2016, brigade units include:

  • 2 Air Assault Battalions
  • Airborne Battalion
  • Artillery Battalion
  • Military Transport Aviation Squadron
  • Support units


  • Major General Vadim Orlov (1998–2000)
  • Colonel Sergey Yevgenyevich Kapustin (2000–2002)
  • Colonel Nikolai Sergeyevich Nikulnikov (2002–2005)
  • Colonel Vladimir Anatolyevich Kochetkov (2005–2007)
  • Colonel Dmitry Vasilyevich Glushchenkov (2010–2012)
  • Colonel Gennady Vladimirovich Anashkin (2012–2014)
  • Colonel Dmitry Ovcharov (2014–present)



  1. ^ a b "В Джанкое находятся войска Чеченской Республики" [In Dzhankoy are forces of the Chechen Republic]. IPC Dzhankoy (in Russian). 5 March 2014. Archived from the original on 10 March 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  2. ^ Sutyagin, Igor (March 2015). "RUSI Briefing Paper: Russian Forces in Ukraine" (PDF). Royal United Services Institute: 2. Retrieved 6 April 2016. Cite journal requires |journal=
  3. ^ a b "31-я отдельная гвардейская десантно-штурмовая Ордена Кутузова 2-й степени бригада : Министерство обороны Российской Федерации" [31st Separate Guards Airborne Brigade Order of Kutuzov 2nd class: Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation]. structure.mil.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2015-12-18.
  4. ^ "Прощай, оружие" [A farewell to Arms]. old.redstar.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2015-12-18.
  5. ^ "Командующий ВДВ инспектирует войска" [VDV Commander inspects troops]. desantura.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2016-03-03.
  6. ^ McDermott, Roger (2011-09-04). "CSTO Moves Into The Information Age". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2016-02-07.
  7. ^ "How 'Ukrainian Berkut Officer' from Russian Ulyanovsk Assaulted Crimean Parliament Back in 2014". InformNapalm.org (English). 2015-07-09. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
  8. ^ "КАПИТАН, КОТОРЫЙ ИЗМЕНИЛ ХОД ВОЙНЫ" [The captain who changed the course of the war]. Censor.net (in Russian). Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  9. ^ "Embarrassment for Russia With Their Soldiers Being Captured in Ukraine. - InformNapalm.org (English)". InformNapalm.org (English). 2014-12-18. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
  10. ^ "Most Russian Soldiers Killed in the Wat in the Ukraine Came From 5 Elite Airborne Units, Report". Matthew Aid. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
  11. ^ Igor Panko (2014-08-28), Ruslan Akhmetov and Arseniy Ilmitov interrogation (2014/08/28), retrieved 2016-10-31
  12. ^ "Билет в один конец". Новая газета - Novayagazeta.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2016-10-31.
  13. ^ "Расследование РБК: откуда на Украине российские солдаты". РБК. Retrieved 2016-11-28.
  14. ^ "LifeNews пообщался с "похороненными" десантниками". Life.ru. Retrieved 2016-11-28.
  15. ^ LifeNews пообщался с "похороненными" СМИ десантниками, retrieved 2016-11-28
  16. ^ "Internet Users Have Identified Russian Soldiers Captured Near Ilovaisk - InformNapalm.org (English)". InformNapalm.org (English). 2015-03-27. Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  17. ^ "Источник в Генштабе: Ульяновскую бригаду ВДВ преобразуют в дивизию" [General Staff source: Ulyanovsk Airborne Brigade to be converted to division]. TASS (in Russian). 4 June 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  18. ^ "Russia's Ulyanovsk airborne formation redeployed to Orenburg range for drills". TASS. Retrieved 2016-04-06.

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