A Ukrainian brigade that vows to “destroy Russian troops” simulated a skirmish in the woods near Kyiv on Thursday, as the country pushes ahead with plans for a counteroffensive.

In a glade of pine trees, reconnaissance troops from the Bureviy brigade, playing the “enemy,” covered their faces in camouflage makeup and balaclavas, donned yeti-style suits and rolled in marsh water to blend in with their surroundings.

Then another group representing Ukrainian forces launched a surprise attack on them, shooting blanks and flinging smoke grenades.

Part of the National Guard internal troops, Bureviy, or storm, brigade is also known as the “first presidential brigade”. President Volodymyr Zelensky praised its “resilience” this week.

Bureviy says its name in Ukrainian can also be deciphered as “brigade to destroy Russian troops”.

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The interior ministry in February announced the creation of several new armed formations, including Bureviy, run by the National Guard, police and border force.

It advertised for volunteers to join snappily titled brigades – with names such as Spartan, Steel Border, Rage – saying they would “strengthen us during the coming offensive.”

More than 23,000 people applied.

A serviceman belonging to the Ukrainian storm brigade "Bureviy", takes part in military exercises outside Kyiv on April 20, 2023. PHOTO: AFP

Ukraine has said they will aim to liberate regions that are now under Moscow occupation – including Crimea.

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In response to Russia's armed aggression Ukraine, once the world's breadbasket, has had to focus more on reinforcing it military arsenal along with most countries in the West.

“It’s time to return what’s ours,” reads the National Guard’s recruitment site.An online ad for the Bureviy brigade warns: “Occupiers, a storm is coming!”

“At the beginning of the war, we took a defensive position. Our task was to restrain the enemy,” said one of the Bureviy soldiers, Taras, 41, who joined up soon after Russia’s invasion in February 2022.

‘Motivation is good’

Taras has fought in eastern hotspots including Bakhmut and Sieverodonetsk.

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“Now we must go on the counteroffensive. We need to win back what was taken from us,” said the former manager in a factory making armoured doors.

This year, Kyiv has poured in resources, soldiers said.

“Now all our specialists (such as medics) are going abroad for training,” Taras said. “Now there is full supply of uniforms, body armour and helmets, and food.”

“Everything has changed a lot. The motivation is good.”

Servicemen belonging to the Ukrainian storm brigade "Bureviy", take part in military exercises outside Kyiv on April 20, 2023. PHOTO:AFP

New recruits are not immediately going into battle, he said.

“The units are divided so that there are fighters who have already been through battles and have experience, and we add recruits there.”

“It has become much better, our unit has grown four times larger, we have more instructors from the West. In general, the level of training has increased, there are more weapons,” said a 21-year-old intelligence officer with the call sign Bazooka, who joined almost three years ago.

Taras estimated that the brigade would not return to the front line for at least another month, while its specialists train abroad.

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Comments (6)

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Kenneth Germann
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I'm very surprised that Puttin ? Has not been assassinated yet

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John
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Ukraine will win because NATO is now pouring in the needed materiel (jets, drones, missiles, 💵💵💵💶💷....) and can't afford to lose. NATO's too big to fail and Russia is the greater evil as Christ controls history. 🇪🇺🇫🇮🇫🇰🇯🇵🇳🇿🇺🇸🇨🇦🇬🇧🇮🇱🇰🇷🏴‍☠️🇺🇳🇻🇮🇩🇪🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦....vs🇷🇺🇰🇵🇮🇷🇨🇳

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Nicholas
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Ukarine will lose. No doubt about it. Ukarine is like Germany in 1944. Death to NATO Nazi. Russia china will win...

Richard
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@Nicholas,

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Richard
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@Nicholas, "how's the kool aid?"

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Yo daddy
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@Nicholas, fuck you bitch.

John
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@Yo daddy,

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D Y
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Because sooner or later the Russians won't believe it's actually coming. Then it will.

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Stephanie
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@ThoughtLife.God

The ennemy is not blind and can see some of your preparation. You can't deny it all. But you can play with its mind.

Say the Ukrainians still need three months to prepare. You announce the invasion in a month to lure the Russian to stop their attack and go into full defense mode. You save some troops and territory in the meantime.

Say your plan is to counterattack the east front and cut the resupply of Crimea. You announce the invasion of Crimea trying to lure Russian units there.

Say your counterattack will secretly come from the air, your annouce every tank comming in.

They ennemy may not take the bait, but at least you keep it on his toes.

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Tim
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God speed and bless your people from the USA!

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