Armies of Russia’s War in Ukraine

Published: December 20th, 2019     
Product Image
Author: Mark Galeotti
Reviewed by: Bill O'Malley - IPMS# 46473
ISBN #: 9781472833440
E-Book ISBN #: 9781472833457
Other Publication Information: 64 pages, color photographs, color illustrations and maps, insignia, and Orders of Battle.
Price: $20.00
Product / Stock #: Elite 228

In February 2014 the "Maidan Revolution" in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv toppled the pro-Moscow government of President Yanukovych. This started a process which led to Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, and an undeclared bloody war in southeastern Ukraine's Donbas region.

Armies of Russia's War in Ukraine describes the forces on both sides and how they have evolved since 2014. The book includes Orders of Battle for both regular and militia forces, descriptions of the motley range of wartime units and their weapons and equipment. Color photographs and color illustrations of the uniforms and equipment for the various combatants are also included.

The book does not discuss the political issues that precipitated the conflict or any of the current political issues but focuses on the combatants in the Ukrainian conflict.

The first 3 chapters give a brief description of the Ukrainian conflict:

  • Introduction
    • Describes the factors leading to the collapse of the pro-Russian government led by president Yanukovych which spurred Russia's hostile actions.
  • Taking Crimea
    • In February 2014, Russian-supported volunteers and undercover Russian forces without any uniform insignias begin to seize the Crimea Peninsula
  • War in the Donbas
    • After easily capturing the Crimea Peninsula, the Kremlin initiated a "limited and deniable" military operation in the ethnically Russian Donbas region of Ukraine.

The following chapters describe the combatants in text, Order of Battle illustrations, color photographs, maps, and color profiles of uniforms and uniform insignia.

  • The Rebels
    • This chapter describes the anti-Ukrainian government forces in the Donbas region of local militias, volunteers, defectors from government forces, Cossacks, and mercenaries. These rebels were hostile to the new anti-Russian Ukrainian government and many were created by Russian FSB or GRU operatives.
  • Russian Regular Forces
    • Russia relied as much as possible on the militias but stepped up with Russian regular forces when necessary to stop advances of the Ukrainian forces.
  • Ukrainian Regular Forces
    • This chapter describes the regrouping of Ukraine's armed forces after Crimea was invaded with assistance from NATO and many western nations.
  • Ukrainian Militias
    • This section describes a range of volunteer militias that rose to fight the Russian proxies and allies in the Donbas. These militia were bankrolled by Ukrainian oligarchs and others were rooted in local communities or political groups.
  • The Future
    • For the moment the undeclared war seems to continue as an on-off conflict of covert Russian attempts to sabotage and subvert Ukraine. Ukrainian forces are training alongside western counterparts and also contribute to international missions. This may be the age of the deniable, full spectrum war, widely known as "hybrid war," fought as much through disinformation, cyberattack, subversion, and proxies as by direct military force.
  • Select bibliography
  • Index


Osprey's Armies of Russia's War in Ukraine provides a good description of the various forces in the Ukrainian conflict since Russia annexed the Ukrainian Peninsula. The introductory chapters give a brief description of the conflict but most of the book is descriptions and color images of the fighters and their uniforms. The book goes into detail on the leaders and people involved with the forces, and the color photos and illustrations are good visual images. The photos and uniform illustrations can be good references for modelers, and those interested in current affairs will enjoy the read.

Thanks to author Mark Galeotti and Osprey for publishing this informative book.

  • Order of Battle
    Order of Battle
  • Rebel uniforms
    Rebel uniforms
  • Sample page 2
    Sample page 2
  • Sample page
    Sample page
  • Ukraine Map
    Ukraine Map
  • Ukraine Occupation
    Ukraine Occupation

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