Helmet Cam: Ukrainian Soldiers Defend Position With Recoilless Rifle

first published on February 25, 2018 by

A fire-team sized element of Ukrainian Soldiers hold their position after being told to retreat by their commander. They slam DPR fighters with a recoilless rifle, and defend their trench line. Even though their commander requested that they leave their position and fall back, the soldiers choose to stay because they think they have the upper hand in the fight. This video was recorded near Maryinka town. The date on the camera also appears to be incorrect.


Members of the Ukrainian military hold their trench line against an attack from DPR fighters somewhere near Maryinka town. The fire-team sized element of Soldiers are operating what appears to be an SPG-9 recoilless rifle, and their fire rate suggests that they are in a comfortable position against the attack. Over the radio, their commander can be heard giving the order to fall back to supplemental positions in the defense, these Ukrainian soldiers however do not feel the need to do so. Instead, they tell their commander that they can hold their position against the attack, and that they wish to remain in place to continue punishing the DPR fighters with their weapon system.

According to our source, the radio chatter is between three separate parties. The soldier in the trench that is seen on camera is named DaVinci. He is speaking to his commander, Tangis, and also his the forward observer for the weapon system, Slavyansk. Tangris requests that the troops fall back to supplemental firing positions so that they do not get overrun. DaVinci responds to his commander saying that they are in no real danger where they are, and that they can keep firing. He then calls up Slavyansk and asks him for adjustments to get the weapon system on target. Slavyansk tells DaVinci that from his position, he is unable to see the explosions and then gives them an adjustment for the weapon system.

recoilless 12

The date on this video appears to be incorrect. This could be caused by any number of reasons. Regardless of the reason, the conflict in Ukraine didn’t officially begin until 21 November, 2013 when the president at the time, Viktor Yanukovych, suspended preparations for the implementation of an association agreement with the European Union. This then led to civil unrest in the country, and the eventual overthrow of Yanukovych. Shortly after this, Russia would militarily become involved, and annex Crimea from Ukraine. This intervention led to the birth of a pro-Russian insurgency known as the DPR, that is supported by Russia.

It is unclear the exact location that this video was filmed, but our source believes that the events unfolded near Maryinka town. Maryinka is a small city inside of Donbass that was captured by DPR forces in early 2014. It was officially reclaimed by the Ukrainian military in August of the same year. Later in 2015, the DPR would launch a massive attack against the city once again, only to be fought off by the Ukrainian government. The attack would consist of over 1,000 DPR fighters backed by tanks and heavy artillery. This footage could be from that attack against the city.