The “shamans”, the Ukrainian secret unit that is attacking the Russians on their territory
The Ukrainian “shamans” – a secret, most elite unit of Ukrainian commandos – confirmed to British journalists that they had so far taken part in sabotage operations in the territory of the Russian Federation, which is the first official recognition that Ukrainian infantry units operated in the whole territory, even beyond the border, after the Russian occupation of Ukraine.
In a report in the British newspaper The Times, two members of the 10th Special Forces Division describe some of their combat actions that took them across Ukraine, even into the territory of the country where the attacks come from.
Their identity is protected, their faces are hidden, only their nicknames are known – Handsome and Twenty e Two.
Their unit, officially dubbed the “Shaman Battalion”, was trained by Western special forces and gained combat experience in battles with Western counterparts in Afghanistan. The shamans were trained for landings and special operations, using parachutes, diving and walking. The three said they were completely surprised by the start of the Russian occupation. “Every day we were told that the invasion would start tomorrow and then it would not happen. “When it finally started, I did not trust them.”
Since the first day. they were urgently deployed to positions at Hostomel Airport, where they repulsed the attack of Russian special units. “We took up positions in hangars and barracks and engaged in a four-hour exchange of fire,” one of them described the first day, adding that the Ukrainian army was still trying to coordinate its defense. But the battle was ultimately decisive – the airport remained in Ukrainian hands and Russian forces were not given the much-needed airlift to supply their units in the attack on Kiev.
The shamans then moved to the village of Moschun, where they stopped a Russian infantry attempt to cross the Irpin River, a key point in defending Kiev. They waited until Russian soldiers entered the center of the village and then hit them. “We fired from 5-10 meters. They have a lot more artillery than us, but their morale is very low.”
The Ukrainian army has so far relied heavily on its special units to defend the country. The shamans took part in every battle in defense of Kiev and carried out guerrilla attacks on Russian units that later withdrew from the northwest of the country.
Given how ubiquitous they are, it is no wonder that they have suffered the heaviest losses of all Ukrainian units. They say about half of their friends have been killed in recent weeks as the battle for Donbas progresses. “We have a lot of people, but we do not have the right weapons for everyone. “This is an artillery and aviation war, we need more of both.”
The ability of Ukrainians to withstand a relentless attack depends more than ever on the assistance of the United States and its allies. Among those on whom they depend most is a secret network of commandos and spies that provides weapons, intelligence and training, senior US and European officials told the New York Times.
Most of their work takes place outside Ukraine, with bases in Germany, France and Britain. Although the Biden administration said it would not deploy US troops in Ukraine, CIA personnel continued to operate covertly in the country, mainly in the capital Kiev, directing most of the large amount of intelligence to Ukrainian officials, sources said. for the New York Times.
At the same time, several dozen commandos from other NATO member countries, including Britain, France, Canada and Lithuania, are also operating inside Ukraine.
Some lower-level Ukrainian commanders have recently expressed gratitude to the United States for the intelligence gathered through satellite imagery, which they can see on tablets they have received from allies. The tablets release an application for the design of the battlefield, which the Ukrainians then use to target and attack Russian troops.