This unit was by most accounts the first Ukrainian combat formation to receive foreign tanks, and of all the units listed in the Pentagon-sourced Discord leak papers as possible elements of the upcoming offensive, the 47th has had the longest time to train and prepare.

The 47th is a regular army unit with recruits coming from Kyiv, Dnipro, Odesa and Lviv. It started the war as a separate assault infantry battalion, was designated to be a full-on brigade in Nov. 2022, and according to news reports its soldiers by 2023 had amassed a good deal of combat experience, fighting primarily in the Donbas sector.

In Ukraine’s high command picked the 47th to be the second army brigade to be filled out primarily with green soldiers trained first in Britain primarily by Commonwealth nation instructors, and as the offensive kicks off probably lacking combat experience.

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The unit’s commanders and senior soldiers are almost certainly combat veterans. Colonel Oleksandr Sak, the 47th’s commander, at age 28 is one of the Ukrainian army’s standout young combat leaders.

Much of Sak’s pre-war service was with 93rd Mechanized Brigade, an outfit that was rotated repeated to the Donbas sector in the 2015-2021 period.

The 47th It is equipped with the somewhat peculiar Slovenian upgrade T-55 tank, a Soviet-era vehicle refurbished with a NATO-standard cannon, modern optics, and reinforced armor.

But the key weapon of the 47th is the US-made Bradley infantry fighting vehicle: a fast, mobile and heavily armored personnel carrier able to go toe to toe with most Russian tanks, and specifically designed to chew up enemy defenses be it infantry in trenches or buildings, combat vehicles.

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By some accounts, the most powerful infantry fighting vehicle not just in the war but in any army anywhere, is the US-manufactured Bradley.

The brigade’s own press officers have enthusiastically posted images of Slovenian T-55s and American M2 Bradleys in training.

According to the Discord leak papers, fully 99 Bradleys are or will be assigned to the 47th, arguably making it the brigade – admittedly not fully combat experienced – the combat unit with the most battlefield firepower on either side in the war.

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If the Ukrainian top command seeks to blast a hole in Russian defenses, or, fight and destroy Russian reserve forces coming to patch up a hole in their defenses, 47th Brigade would be a likely tool for that job.

Oleksandr Sak, commander, 47th Mechanized Brigade. Photograph published by censor.net.

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READ MORE:

  • 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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