Friday, February 21, 2014

Some Random Riot Thoughts

I have been browsing the various video and pics of the Ukraine riots quite a bit over the last week or so mostly in an attempt to kinda track the evolution of the rioters tactics and weapon adaptations.

I found the similarities and obvious ad hoc medieval flavor of some of their inventions quiet interesting to be honest.

What surprised me the most was the complete lack of any pole weapon adaptations by the rioters. In many cases they were on the offensive and had a fairly complex support system in place with Molotov production, food and water assistance, medical crews and weapon designers/engineers and production operating in the back field.

The support personnel was a point that really adds some questions to the entire thing for me but on a political level as in my mind it shoots some holes in the "paid rioters" propaganda that the pro-Russian forces like to put out there. But that's another discussion.

My first and only real criticism would be the way the rioters are confronting the shield walls. As I said I am surprised no one adapted any pole weapons to help reduce these formations more quickly. In many cases the protestors were simply harassing the security forces so it is understood a full on attack situation was not called for but in some cases, especially Wednesday night, the rioters were pressing forward hard and speed would have helped them greatly.

The weakest spot of a shield wall is the bottom inside (right when facing it)  corner of those riot shields. You can take my word for it or not as you wish but I have a fair amount of experience opening up shield walls like the protestors were facing and they are not as hard as they look. You just have to put the right tool in the right place. Two man teams help with one man using a pole to pull out from the bottom while the second man exploits the opening and goes for the exposed part of the man next to the opening. Most times a wounded man in a shield wall will also fall forward on top of his own shield thereby taking that shield out of play.

For opening up a shield you don't need a hooked spear so much as a key with a double straight protrusion. Picture just a stick with two smaller sticks coming off it really. With a bit of practice you can actually insert the edge of the shield in between the two teeth and have it locked in pretty solid. At that point the guy with his arm strapped into the shield (if he is stupid) is at your mercy as you have a huge leverage advantage. If they are using the shields with a large handle across the back you can often rip the thing right out of their hands.

As I mentioned though I saw no evidence of any type of pole weapon use by the rioters. Mostly it was just clubs, ad hoc bits of armor, siege equipment (which was neat but not sure how useful) and a damned lot of Molotovs.

All in all I am not sure very much of what we witnessed in the Ukraine riots would be all that useful anywhere else. The security forces for the most part were obviously acting under orders to not escalate the situation too far and the rioters had very little by way of modern day firearms to up the violence level on their own.

The Multiple Molotov Delivery System approach for APC's that had fire suppression was eye opening however.  One of those moments that kinda make ya go hmmmmm.

I think the pictures of the security forces using their own Molotov bombs drove the most interesting point of all home though. Regardless of orders or even personal politics once you are on a side you will identify with that side and things will escalate and you will use what you have at hand.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!



  1. I don't think I would attack a shield wall but of course that is where the TV cameras are. I would leave a force yelling and throwing stuff at the shield wall and then appear miles away off camera and ravage some other part of the enemy force where weapons could be captured.

    1. Sf - I could envision someone needing to keep said shield wall busy while the others raided the armory. Ten years ago I would have been the first volunteer but at the rate age is catching me these days....not so much.

  2. The shield wall is an obvious form of ritualized combat. Too efficient combat will backfire.

    This very much occurred when snipers started shooting folks. The game went to immediate reset and the government lost big time.


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