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Don Cossack Pro-Russian forces use BMP-2M tracked IFVs in Ukraine

According to pictures released on the "TankDiary" Twitter account on May 2, 2022, the military forces "Don" Cossack detachment use the BMP-2M tracked armored IFV 'Infantry Fighting Vehicle) which is a modernized version of the Soviet-made BMP-2 IFV.
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Don Cossack Pro-Russian forces use BMP-2M tracked armored IFVs (Infantry Fighting Vehicles) for combat operations in Ukraine. (Picture source Twitter account TankDiary)

The Don Cossacks are Cossacks who settled along the middle and lower Don. They have had a rich military tradition, playing an important part in the historical development of the Russian Empire and participating in most of its major wars.

The Don Cossacks were revived in the early 1990s and were officially recognized by the Russian Government in 1997, its Ataman holding the rank, insignia, and uniform of a full Marshal. In 1992 they joined the separatist forces during the Transnistria War.

Since 2014, members of Don Cossacks have participated in the war in Eastern Ukraine as independent volunteers for the pro-Russian Donbas militias. Reportedly several military formations were formed though most of these groups were subsequently disbanded and integrated into the armed forces of the DPR (Donetsk People's Republic) and LPR (Luhansk People's Republic).

The BMP-2M is tracked armored IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) and an upgraded version of the BMP-2 IFV. The vehicle was unveiled in 2010 during the Engineering Technologies, a defense exhibition that was held in Moscow, Russia. In 2017, the Russian Defense Ministry placed a ten-year contract with KBP for the supply of 540 modernized BMP-2M and BMD-2 airborne vehicles. The vehicle is now in service with Russia and Algeria.

The BMP-2M keeps the design of the original of the BMP-2 with the driver seated at the front of the vehicle on the left side and the commander on the rear of the driver position. It has a two-man turret located at the top middle of the hull and the troop's compartment at the rear. The vehicle can carry three crew members, including a driver, gunner, and commander. The troop compartment offers seating for up to seven soldiers. Combat efficiency of the vehicle has been highly improved with advanced armament, while cross-country speed has also been increased.

The BMP-2M is equipped with the Berezhok weapon station which is armed with one 30mm 2A42 automatic gun, a 7.62mm PKT coaxial machine gun, and a 30mm AG-17 automatic grenade launcher. The turret is also fitted with two missile launchers mounted on either side which can fire 9M133 Kornet series anti-tank guided missiles.

The hull of the BMP-2M is protected by appliqué armor, which enables the vehicle to withstand 12.7mm rounds and high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) missiles.

Don Cossack Pro Russian forces use BMP 2M tracked IFVs in Ukraine 925 002
Russian army BMP-2 tracked armored IFV at a military parade in Moscow. (Picture source Vitaly Kuzmin)

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