MOSCOW (Realist English). In an interview with the Realist information Agency, a veteran of the special operationsforces spoke on condition of anonymity about the methods of warfare in a modern city.
Realist English: What are the specific features of the fighting in urban conditions? What difficulties do special operationsforces soldiers face?
Veteran of the special operations forces: First of all, let’s classify the objects of the assault:
- Multi-storey apartment building.
The storming of this object can be divided into several stages:
Approaching the building. When moving by land, it is carried out, as a rule, from several directions using the smokescreen. There are two main types of assault: stealthy approach and dynamic attack. They are be carried out using vehicles or by foot. It is carried out from the side where the smallest number of windows is located (from the ends of the building, as a rule) in order to reduce fire resistance. It is also possible to advance by air and descend by rope to the roof of the building from a helicopter in hover mode.
Breaking into the building. It is carried out using assault ladders or the body of the vehicle through windows or through pre-made gaps in the walls.
Creating a stronghold. It is equipped in one of the rooms into which it was possible to penetrate and gain a foothold. This is done to get in touch with other groups, to entrench in the building and determine the further algorithm of actions and exclude fire contact with friendly units. It is also used to evacuate the wounded or provide them with first aid.
Organization of the combat directly inside the building. Issues that need to be paid attention to when organizing a combat: movement along corridors, stairs, direct penetration the premise and clearing it. The doors are opened either with overhead charges, or with the use of firearms by shooting off the door hinges. When opening the door, it is necessary to use the cat-hook with a rope, at a distance, in order to avoid the explosion of possibly installed booby traps. Each issue requires separate detailed consideration. The use of assault shields is mandatory.
Administrative building (hospitals, schools, shopping centers, business centers and cinemas).
The storming of this type of object is carried out similarly to the storming of a multi-storey building. It should be borne in mind that the enemy can actively use breaches in the walls between rooms to move inside the building.
3. Detached building (private house).
When storming this type of objects , three groups are created:
External blocking group. It blocks the building from all sides in order to inflict fire damage on the house, as well as to prevent the enemy from leaving the building. Armament, as a rule, consists of machine guns and grenade launchers. When placing the personnel of the group, the exclusion of “friendly” fire should be taken into account.
Internal blocking group. After entering through the gate of the house, it controls the courtyard and the windows facing it, in order to counteract the fire damage from them.
Assault group. It carries out the storming of the premises inside the house and their clearing. The use of assault shields is mandatory. For the initial inspection of basements and attics of buildings, it is necessary to use lanterns and mirrors.
Realist: On the example of the Ukraine, we see how the Armed Forces of the Ukraine and the Nationalist Batalions equip firing points in residential buildings, schools, hospitals, kindergartens. What has to be done to minimize civilian casualties in this case?
Veteran: A characteristic feature of the city is high density of artificial structures that form blocks, streets, alleys, dead ends, etc.
City fightingis very complex tactically; it belongs to the category of fighting in difficult conditions.
Prior to organizing a city fight, a thorough study is carried out of:
- the most convenient approaches to the objects and the types of obstacles.
- the nature of the enemy’s defense (the fire system and the possibility of conducting flanking fire from neighboring buildings).
- availability of underground utilities and the possibility to use them.
Movements in the population center.
The basic principle is the fire cover of the assault groups and of every fighter separately by one other. The following principle is mandatory: covering, be covered. When moving along buildings and entering buildings, one should avoid, if possible, doorways in entrances – as they can be mined. To enter buildings, it is necessary to make independent breaks in the walls.
The buildings are good shelters for personnel, but they reduce the observation sectors and the firing range. Conducting fire damage is also reduced due to dust from destroyed buildings, smoke and fire from burning buildings, as well as ammunition bursts. The firing distance is usually 100-200 meters. The basic principle of street fighting tactics is to capture in turn one object after another.
The initial position for the assault is usually occupied by the unit in the immediate vicinity of the enemy and, if possible, in houses adjacent to the object of the attack. The object designated for the assault is examined according to the large-scale city plan and by way of observation. If possible, UAVs are used.
The sections of streets and squares that are openly viewable or shot through are intersected at extreme speeds, using smokescreen.
Approximate tactics of actions during the storming of various types of objects are described above.
Realist: How long does it take on average for a complete sweep of a well-fortified city from gangs?
Veteran: Regarding the time of sweeps and minimizing civilian casualties. It should be noted that the issue is very extensive and its solution depends on many factors, such as the density of urban development, the availability of the private sector and, in fact, the number of civilians in the locality.
Ideally, non-combatants should be evacuated from the combat area. In practice, it takes about 10-12 hours of daylight to work about each multi-storey building or detached structure. At night, it is advisable to block the object without carrying out active actions in order to detect enemy positions and firing positions.