This is a new Ukrainian Marine unit very likely built on cadre from the long-existing, combat veteran 36th Marine Brigade. Unlike the veteran 36th, the 37th is mentioned specifically in the Discord leaks documents.
Official Ukrainian statements and content appear to confirm the 37th’s existence, but also confirm the continued existence of the 35th and 36th Marine Brigades.
The Ukrainian military over the past year has often expanded formations by taking subordinate battalions – groups of 250-500 men, typically – and then pushing reservists and newly-trained recruits into a new brigade with a planned full strength of 1200-1500 men.
Based on Discord Leaks, the 37th is the most likely Marine unit to participate in the offensive and thus a formation to watch.
By doctrine and experience, all Ukraine’s Marine units are, picked (Ukrainian Marines themselves would say “elite”) conventional combat formations whose main job is to fight on land, but they need to be ready to make amphibious landings and operate in wet environments.
During the 2014-2021 Donbas conflict, and even before, the 36th was assigned to the Mariupol sector, on the Azov Sea. Much of that brigade was destroyed in the Mariupol siege, but since Fall a reconstituted 36th brigade has fought almost continuously in Donbass.
It is likely that combat veterans from the 36th are the backbone of officers and sergeants in the 37th Marine Brigade.
The newly formed 37th is shown to be operating an eclectic mix of towed Soviet howitzers, British Mastiff and Canadian Senator Afghanistan War-era transporter vehicles apparently pressed into service as armored fighting vehicles for the AFU, and the French AMX-10 fighting vehicles, a peculiar system somewhere between a very heavy armored car and a very light tank on wheels.
Trooper from 37th Marine Brigade aboard a French AMX-10 “wheeled tank” during April training. Image from unit Facebook page.
The common denominator of all this kit is that it weighs less and takes up less space than full-on tracked combat vehicles like the US Bradley.
A logical mission for the 37th, with its cadre of combat-experienced leaders and NATO-trained, but new-to-war lower-ranking recruits, would be to take the lead on any cross-water assaults in the upcoming offensive.
Most of the southern front, where the offensive is widely predicted to take place, is bisected by the Dnipro River, and the west flank of Russia’s defenses in the southern sector, ending in the Tavria region and Crimea Black Sea coasts, is theoretically open to a water-borne outflanking attack by the Ukrainians.
Such an operation would be high-risk/high-reward. Were Ukraine’s high command to decide to attempt an amphibious assault larger than 50-100 men, anywhere on the front, the 37th Marines would be a likely formation to lead it.
- Ukraine’s Counteroffensive, Units to Watch #1 – 3rd Separate Assault Infantry Brigade
- Ukraine’s Counteroffensive, Units to Watch #2 – 28th Mechanized Brigade
- Ukraine’s Counteroffensive, Units to Watch #3 – 82nd Air Assault Brigade
- Ukraine’s Counteroffensive, Units to Watch #4 – 10th Mountain Infantry Brigade
- Ukraine’s Counteroffensive, Units to Watch #5 – 73rd Naval Center of Special Operations
- Ukraine’s Counteroffensive, Units to Watch #6 – Specialized Unit Kraken
- Ukraine’s Counteroffensive, Units to Watch #7 – 37th Marine Brigade
- Ukraine’s Counteroffensive, Units to Watch # 8 – 47th Separate Mechanized Brigade 'Magura'
- Ukraine’s Counteroffensive, Units to Watch # 9 – 92nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade
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