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What do the colored ribbons mean for Russian and Ukrainian soldiers? Here is the answer

News: What do the colored ribbons mean for Russian and Ukrainian soldiers? Here is the answer
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Ever since the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian War, we have seen images of the Russian and Ukrainian sides marking their own soldiers with armbands. In recent days, we have seen more and more pictures of soldiers already gluing their helmets and uniforms together with colored tape.

They are, for example, Russian soldiers:

They also:

They are Ukrainians:

The purpose of this marking is to be able to distinguish between the warring parties: the Russians mostly use white or red, and the Ukrainians use yellow armbands for this purpose. In addition to the armbands, the Russian soldiers can also see the pattern of the “St. George Ribbon”, which is one of the national symbols of Russia.

In the “normal” case, such markings would not be necessary, as one of the purposes of the uniform would be precisely to make it easy to distinguish the fighting sides. However, there is a significant overlap between the equipment of the Russian and Ukrainian forces: the vast majority of both sides use Soviet remnant technology or modernized versions of it, so the silhouette of their vehicles and soldiers is very similar.

But there are also covert patterns that are specifically used by both sides: for example, the Russian and Ukrainian special operations units have standardized the multicam pattern, making it almost impossible to distinguish between these formations, and even their helmets are almost the same. . The Russians would also use a surprisingly large number of samples based on the A-TACS, which could be remotely confused with the Ukrainian MM-14 sample because of its shades.

It is also hampered by the fact that, since the beginning of the conflict, both sides have apparently been looser in applying uniform rules on the wearing of uniforms and a large number of irregular militias without uniforms are fighting on the Ukrainian side. only their identification is the yellow armband.

Obviously, armbands and tapes impair the camouflage ability of the terrain pattern, but in urban combat, where much of the Russo-Ukrainian war takes place, target identification is a much more important consideration.

Cover image: Europa Press 2022 via Getty

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Written by Rebecca Bell

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