War in Ukraine, Volume 3: Armed formations of the Luhansk People’s Republic 2014–2022

Published on
February 3, 2024
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Edward Crowther
Other Publication Information
64 Pages, 8.3 x 11.7 in, 72 color photos, 7 color illustrations,10 color profiles, 3 maps, 1 table
Product / Stock #
Company: Helion & Company - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Casemate Publishers - Website: Visit Site

This is the third book in the War in Ukraine series (currently at five volumes). The previous two volumes were reviewed by Orlando Reyes of the IPMS/USA Review Corps:

War in Ukraine Volume 3: Armed formations of the Luhansk People’s Republic 2014–2022 is Number 33 of Helion and Company’s Europe at War series which contains 64 Pages in a (8.3” x 11.7”) paperback with 72 color photos, seven color illustrations, 10 color profiles, three maps, and one table, authored by Edward Crowther.

As fellow reviewer Orlando Reyes suspected near the end of his second review, there was indeed a third volume (and fourth and fifth). While the second volume dealt with the Russian invasion in February 2022, this volume dovetails with the first volume with the armed forces of the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), a partner in the now defunct Novorossiya Confederation with the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), both breakaway oblasts (Soviet Union administrative divisions, often called a state or province) in the Donbas Region of Eastern Ukraine. This volume deals with the armed forces of the LPR from its creation in 2014 to September 2022 when the LPR was annexed by the Russian Federation.

The book is complete with extensive photographs, technical details and specifications, and detailed illustrations, composing the following ten chapters:

  • Abbreviations
  • Chapter 1 – Origin of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine
  • Chapter 2 – Ideology and motivation
  • Chapter 3 – Propaganda and Symbology
  • Chapter 4 – Strategic Aims of the LPR and the Russian Federation
  • Chapter 5 – Key Battles and Formation of LPR units
  • Chapter 6 – Command and Control of LPR 2nd Army Corps
  • Chapter 7 – LPR 2nd Army Corps and Principal units
  • Chapter 8 – Armed formations of the LPR not falling under the 2nd Army Corps
  • Chapter 9 – Weaponry and Equipment of the LPR Armed Formations
  • Chapter 10 - Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • Notes
  • About the Author

Author Edward Crowther states,

The causes of the conflict in eastern Ukraine had their origins in both geostrategic conflict between Russia and the West, and growing internal divisions within Ukraine. As the Ukrainian scholar Serhy Yekelchyk noted: ‘The fighting in …Donetsk and Luhansk provinces combines features of a covert foreign invasion with those of a civil conflict. Accordingly, it has both external and internal causes, even if these happen to be closely connected.’

Edward Crowther’s research and knowledge of the origins of the conflict are detailed and well laid out. In 2013, Ukraine was at a crossroads when the Russian backed President Viktor Yanukovych (also a native of the Donetsk oblast) decided to back out of deal with the European Union (EU) to normalize relations sparked a pro-EU protest. By early March 2014, Russian forces had taken advantage of Ukraine’s internal chaos and bloodlessly seized the Crimean Peninsula (strategically important to Russia, especially due the Russian lease of the Sevastopol naval base). The author cites Anna Arutunyan’s Hybrid Warriors: Proxies, Freelancers, and Moscow’s Struggle for Ukraine,

“The shocking events in Crimea had a fateful impact on the Donbas in eastern Ukraine. For pro-Russian elements in the Donbas ‘…in Crimea, as well as in Eastern Ukraine … Russian’s sudden decisiveness gave them permission to act. Crimeans and Eastern Ukrainians who had supported Russia passively until then suddenly had enormous additional incentives to do so actively.’”

This book is about the creation of the LPR through disassociated and, often in conflict, units, and ideologies to create a separatist state composing of Cossacks, pro-Tsarist, pro-Soviet, anti-Ukrainian, gangs, boxers, and groups all united by a common Russian language and hatred of Ukraine. The author does an amazingly meticulous job of delving into details of the various factions, their ideologies, flags, insignia, etc and how they finally coalesced into a fighting unit, first clandestinely, then more in the open, units backed by Russia, finally with their proxy 2nd Army Corps being the main LPR unit (closely correlated with the 1st Army Corps of the DPR).

The Ukrainian military held its own against both the LPR and DPR and pushed back in both oblasts, reducing the separatist possessions to the far eastern third of their respective oblasts. As the LPR and DPR used whatever weapons they could scrounge, they held the defensive line, even after the Russian subterfuge of non-assistance was proven with the advent of armor not in Ukrainian stocks (particularly the T-72 as Ukraine decided to keep their indigenously produced T-64 as their main tank force). The stalemate persisted until the Russian invasion in February 2022.

In the author’s conclusion,

On 24 February 2022, Putin’s massive ‘special military operation’ began. One of its stated goals was to force Ukraine to recognize the independence of the DPR and LPR within the pre-2014 Donetsk and Luhansk oblast boundaries to which each People’s Republic had respectively laid claim, and to ‘protect the people of Donbas.’


On 30 September 2022, after a carefully choreographed Kremlin-orchestrated referendum, the DPR and LPR were both formally annexed by Russia and vanished as nominally independent political and military entities. Russia’s troubled eight-year experiment using proxy forces in eastern Ukraine had come to an abrupt end. Shortly afterwards, on 31 December 2022, the 1st and 2nd Army Corps were formally brought into the Russian military, with Putin presiding over an official ceremony at Rostov-on-Don.

This book is a boon for modelers with all sorts of vehicles, equipment and uniforms in color photographs and color plates. There are a lot of opportunities for Soviet era tanks and armored fighting vehicles to have different camouflage and livery, including a one-of MOP – an experimental river crossing support vehicle based on the PTS-3 amphibious transporter chassis. This is an excellent book to better and further understand the ongoing War in Ukraine.

Slava Ukraine!

Profuse thanks to Casemate and IPMS/USA for providing the review sample.


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