The 72nd Kiev Mechanized Brigade is a formation of the Ukrainian Ground Forces. It was previously named the 29th Rifle Division (2nd formation) and then the 72nd Guards Rifle Division of the Soviet Ground Forces. in 1957, it became a motor rifle division.
The 29th Rifle Division (2nd formation) was redesignated the 72nd Guard Rifle Division by Directorate of the General Staff order №104 on 1 March 1943. The units of the division were renumbered.
On March 3, 1943, 72nd Guard Rifle Division was involved in battles for liberation of Belgorod. Soon they were near Kharkiv and Krasnohrad. On 19 September, the division was awarded the title Krasnohrad. On 8 January 1944, the division was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.
The division fought in the Budapest Offensive from late October 1944. On 15 December, units of the division reinforced Cavalry Mechanized Group Pliev during the attack on Szécsény. On 9 January, the division was attached to the 24th Guards Rifle Corps. The division captured the area around Bart. The division's attack was stopped by the 1st Battalion of Grenadier Regiment 317 a kilometer north of the village.
In May 1946, the division became the 7th Guards Rifle Brigade, part of the 33rd Guards Rifle Corps. In October 1953, it became a division again. The 72nd Guards Rifle Division became a motor rifle division stationed in the Kiev Military District at Bila Tserkva on 4 June 1957. It was part of the 1st Army. On 19 February 1962, the 280th Separate Equipment Maintenance and Recovery Battalion was activated. A missile battalions was also activated on the same day. In 1968, the 220th Separate Guards Sapper Battalion became an Engineer Sapper Battalion. In 1972, the 191st Separate Chemical Defence Company became the 23rd Separate Chemical Defence Battalion. The 1345th Separate Anti-Tank Artillery Battalion was activated on 15 November 1972. The motor transport battalion became the 892nd Separate Material Supply Battalion in 1980. In 1990, the division was equipped with 133 T-64 main battle tanks. During the Cold War, the division was maintained at 25% strength, with one full strength regiment.
After the fall of the Soviet Union it was transferred to Ukraine. In 1992, Colonel Volodymyr Lytvyntsevu - Commander 72nd Guards Motor Rifle Division of the Kiev Military District was given the rank of Major General.
On August 23, 1995, Colonel Nikolai Nikolaevich Tsytsyurskomu, Commander 72nd Mechanized Infantry Division of the 1st Army Corps of the Odessa Military District, was given the rank of Major-General. In accordance with a decree of August 23, 1998, division commander Colonel Grigoriy Pedchenko was promoted to major-general. On June 29, 1999 the 72nd Guards Mechanized Division of the North Operational Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was given the honorary title of "Kiev".
It was reduced in size to a mechanized brigade in 2002.
In May 2014 72nd Guards Mechanized Brigade was involved in the Mariupol standoff during the 2014 pro-Russian conflict in Ukraine. During this conflict Ukrainian singers Zlata Ognevich and Anastasia Prikhodko raised money for the Brigade. The brigade defended Sector D near Chernopartyzhansk, Sverdlovsk and Diakove alongside the 51st Mechanized Brigade from July 2014. Separatist and Russian attacks resulted in the brigade being surrounded and cut off from supply by early August. The brigade's 1st Battalion and elements of the 51st Brigade, along with a group of border guards (about 400 total), destroyed their weapons and crossed into Russia. They were interned and returned to Ukrainian territory. Major Mykhailo Drapatyi's 2nd Battalion of the brigade near Chernopartyzhansk broke out of the encirclement, covered by the 30th Mechanized and 95th Airmobile Brigades from the south. Two soldiers from the 2nd Battalion were killed in the breakout. The convoy in which 195 soldiers of the brigade returned to Ukrainian territory after crossing into Russia on 4 August 2014 was fired on by separatists.
On 18 November 2015 the brigade's honorific "Red Banner" was removed as part of an Armed Forces-wide removal of Soviet awards and honorifics. On 22 August 2016, its Guards title was removed.March 1, 1943 received the honorable designation "Guards"
January 1944 received Order of the Red Banner award for clearing the city of Kirovohrad
September 20, 1943 received the honorable name "Krasnohradska"
Lieutenant Volodymyr Mykheiev - First person in the division to receive Hero of Soviet Union award
Oles' Honchar, Oleksandr - Ukrainian writer
Late Soviet Period Structure222nd Guards Motor Rifle Regiment - Bila Tserkva
224th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment - Bila Tserkva
229th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment - Bila Tserkva
292nd Guards Tank Regiment - Honcharivske
155th Guards Artillery Regiment - Smila
1129th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment - Bila Tserkva
1345th Anti-Tank Artillery Battalion - Bila Tserkva
117th Separate Reconnaissance Battalion - Bila Tserkva
538th Separate Communications Battalion - Bila Tserkva
23rd Separatw Chemical Defence Battalion - Bila Tserkva
220th Separate Engineer Battalion - Bila Tserkva
280th Separate Maintenance Battalion
892nd Combat Service Support Battalion
Command and Staff of the 72nd Mechanized Infantry Division
224th Separate Mechanized Infantry Regiment
229th Separate Mechanized Infantry Regiment
Separate Tank Battalion
155th Separate Self-Repelled Artillery Regiment
1129th Separate Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment
1345th Separate Anti-Tank Artillery Battalion
220th Separate Engineer Battalion
538th Separate Signal Battalion
117th Separate Reconnaissance Battalion
23rd Separate Chemical Battalion
892nd Separate Logistics Battalion
280th Separate Repair and Recovery Battalion
149th Separate Medical Battalion
1st Mechanized Battalion
2nd Mechanized Battalion
3rd Mechanized Battalion
Major General Anatoly Losev (1 March 1943–24 March 1945)
Lieutenant Colonel Grigory Balatov (25 March–25 April 1945)
Colonel Alexander Pankov (26 April–11 May 1945)
Major General Pyotr Berestov (July 1945–January 1947)
Major General Sergiy Bezlishchenko
Colonel Andriy Hryshchenko (–June 2015)
Colonel Andriy Sokolov (June 2015–present)