37th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade

DecorationsBattle honours
  • Budapest
  • Don Cossack
Military unit

The 37th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Don Cossack Budapest Red Banner Order of the Red Star Brigade named after Ye. A. Shchadenko[a] is a motor rifle brigade of the Russian Ground Forces (Military Unit Number 69647). It is stationed at Kyakhta in Buryatia, part of the 36th Combined Arms Army of the Eastern Military District. The brigade fought in the War in Donbas and the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Due to its location in Kiakhta in Buryatia, this brigade has a high percentage of Buryat and other ethnic minority servicemen, many of whom adhere to Tibetan Buddhism. As a result, by 2021 it was the only Russian military unit with a Buddhist lama serving as a military chaplain.[1]

The brigade included more than 200 tracked vehicles and more than 100 wheeled vehicles in 2013.[2] According to 2015 data, the brigade was equipped with 40 T-72B3, 1 T-72BK, 120 BMP-2, 15 MT-LB, 18 BM 2B17-1 Tornado-G, 36 2S3M Akatsiya 152mm howitzers, 18 120mm mortar 2S12 Sani, 6 100 mm MT-12 Rapira, 12 9K114 Shturm-S, 36 BTR-80, 12 BM 9A33BM2(3) Osa, 6 BM 9A34(35) Strela-10, and 6 ZSU 23-4 Shilka.[3]


On 1 June 2009, the 5th Guards Tank Division became the 37th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade, as part of the 2008 Russian military reforms.[4] The 5th Guards Tank Division (Second Formation) itself dated to 1965, and its predecessor 5th Guards Cavalry Corps to 1942.

Donbass (2014-2022)

Elements of the brigade fought in the War in Donbas and were located in the Northern operational area in February 2015.[5] The 37th's troops fought in the Battle of Debaltseve during this time, where their heavy equipment and weaponry was crucial to the defeat of Ukrainian forces in the battle.[6] In September 2016, a conscript from the brigade was run over by a Kamaz truck while sleeping during an exercise.[7] A large number of incidents and deaths in the brigade were reported during the 2010s, including two court cases involving beatings by superiors, suicides, and accidental shootings.[8] Conscripts of the brigade repeatedly complained to the Commissioner for Human Rights of Buryatia regarding extortion by the unit before their demobilization, poor clothing, and inadequate medical care.[9]

Russian invasion of Ukraine

The brigade was committed to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. Elements of the brigade participated in the Kyiv offensive.[10] On 23 March, Ukrainian journalist Roman Tsimbalyuk posted a video showing brigade commander Colonel Yuri Medvedev being evacuated after having been run over by his own troops due to reportedly being dissatisfied with the about 50 percent casualties that the unit had suffered during their fight at the battle of Makariv. Colonel Medvedev later died in hospital. This was widely repeated by Western intelligence officials as a sign of widespread Russian demoralization during the war.[11][12] After the Russian retreat from Kyiv Oblast, the brigade was redeployed to eastern Ukraine.[13]

On 20 April, residents of Kyakhta, the city of the unit's garrison, purchased a quadrocopter UAV to be sent to the brigade in Ukraine using funds from a donation drive.[14]

Elements of the 37th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade are suspected of participation to war crimes in Motyzhyn near Bucha during 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.[15]


The brigade includes:[3]

  • Headquarters
  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd motor rifle battalions
  • Rifle company (sniper)
  • Tank battalion
  • 1st and 2nd self-propelled howitzer battalions
  • Reactive Artillery Battalion
  • Anti-Tank Artillery Battalion
  • Anti-Aircraft Missile Battalion
  • Anti-Aircraft Missile Artillery Battalion
  • Reconnaissance Battalion
  • Engineer Battalion
  • Chemical Defense Company
  • Headquarters Battalion (communications)
  • UAV company
  • Electronic Warfare Company
  • Headquarters and artillery reconnaissance battery (chief of artillery)
  • Repair and Recovery Battalion
  • Materiel Support Battalion
  • Commandant's Company
  • Medical Company

See also


  1. ^ Russian: 37-я отдельная гвардейская мотострелковая Будапештская Краснознамённая, ордена Красной Звезды Донская казачья бригада имени Е. А. Щаденко


  1. ^ "Путин поблагодарил буддийского капеллана из Бурятии". Байкал-Daily (in Russian). Retrieved 2022-06-05.
  2. ^ "Части 36-й армии ВВО приведены в высшую боевую готовность" [36th Army units put on high alert]. RIA Novosti (in Russian). 14 July 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Восточный военный округ | ВВО". milkavkaz.net. 2017-04-19. Archived from the original on 2017-04-19. Retrieved 2022-04-23.
  4. ^ "Войсковая часть 69647 (37-я ОМСБр)" [Military Unit 69647 (37th OMSBr)]. voinskayachast.net (in Russian). 28 October 2015. Retrieved 2016-03-01.Holm, Michael (2015-01-01). "5th Guards Donskaya Budapeshtskaya Red Banner order of the Red Star Tank Division imeni E.A. Shchadenko". Soviet Armed Forces 1945-1991: Organisation and order of battle. Retrieved 2022-03-27.
  5. ^ Sutyagin, Igor (March 2015). "RUSI Briefing Paper: Russian Forces in Ukraine" (PDF). Royal United Services Institute: 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 January 2021. Retrieved 6 April 2016. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ Czuperski, Maksymilian; Herbst, John E.; Polyakova, Alina; Wilson, Damon (6 June 2015). "Putin's Secret Warriors: Russian Soldiers Sent to Fight in Ukraine". Newsweek. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  7. ^ Lisina, Yana (27 September 2016). "Военный КАМАЗ раздавил солдата-срочника на учениях в Бурятии" [Military KAMAZ crushes conscript soldier on exercises in Buryatia]. Komsomolskaya Pravda (in Russian). Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  8. ^ "В бурятской части на границе с Монголией нашли мертвым контрактника" [Contract soldier found dead in Buryat unit on Mongolian border]. Novaya Gazeta (in Russian). 11 November 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  9. ^ Hakobyan, Eduard (16 May 2018). ""Услышьте голоса и мольбы тех, кто еще жив"" [Hear the Voices and Pleas of those still living]. Sibir Realii (in Russian). Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  10. ^ "The paratroopers defeated a detachment of the 37th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade of Russia". mil.in.ua. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  11. ^ "Western official: Russian tank commander run over and killed by his own angry troops". Times of Israel. AFP. Retrieved 2022-03-26.
  12. ^ "Mutinous Russian troops ran over their own commander, say western officials". TheGuardian.com. The Guardian. 2022-03-25. Retrieved 2022-03-26.
  13. ^ "На Украине ламы из Бурятии провели молебен для военных" [Lamas from Buryatia held a prayer service for servicemen in Ukraine]. Baikal-Daily (in Russian). 21 April 2022. Retrieved 2022-06-05.
  14. ^ "ЖИТЕЛИ КЯХТЫ ПРИОБРЕЛИ ДЛЯ БОЙЦОВ 37-Й ОМСБР КВАДРОКОПТЕР". Novaya Buryatiya (in Russian). 20 April 2022. Retrieved 5 June 2022.
  15. ^ Crimes de guerre : le visage des bourreaux, Complément d'enquête, France 2, 23 juin 2022
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