The British Army Review 187 – The Battle of Irpin River

Battle of Irpin River

“Some of the most remarkable stories are of those who were civilians on the 23rd February 2022 and who volunteered to fight on the morning of the 24th. Ukrainians queuing at recruitment offices or turning up to the gates of military bases saw the images and videos on social media of the Russian columns bearing down on Kyiv. Many we spoke to did not think they would win, but they believed they had to do something. Some had prior military experience in the Donbas, but many had none. Mobilisation was chaotic but essential – these initial volunteers went on to make up a significant portion of the forces that defended Kyiv.” – James Sladden (Associate Fellow, CHACR), Liam Collins and Ben Connable, authors of The Battle of Irpin River.

Based on extensive field research and first-hand oral interviews, this timely special edition of The British Army Review provides professional soldiers with a hugely valuable insight into one of the opening chapters of Ukraine’s ongoing fight against a numerically-superior enemy. Its narrative focuses on the defence staged by the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion and supporting units of the Ukrainian Army’s 72nd Mechanised Brigade. The Battle of Irpin River details the fighting that took place at Antonov Airport on the 24th February and the subsequent battle along the Irpin River at Horenka, Moshchun and Huta Mezhyhirs’ka. The waterway became a natural front line – an operational obstacle that Russian forces had to overcome and, when the Ukrainian military flooded the river, a barrier that became uncrossable. The battle raged until the end of March 2022 and ended in a Russian retreat.

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