US Strykers Help Ukraine Retake Lost Territory in Kharkiv Region

Wes O'Donnell
5 min readJun 10, 2024
A Stryker Armored Vehicle from Lightning Troop, 3–2 Cavalry Regiment reaches the old city of Krakow on March 26 during Operation Dragoon Ride, a capstone exercise for the unit’s rotation under Operation Atlantic Resolve. (US Army photo by 1st Lt. Henry Chan, 16th Sustainment Brigade public affairs, 21st Theater Sustainment Command) Public domain

After 9/11, the US Army needed a new, fast vehicle to serve as the backbone for the newly-created, medium-weight brigade combat team (BCT).

The BCT was to strike a balance between Armored brigade combat teams (heavy armor) and Infantry brigade combat teams (light infantry).

The Canadian-made Stryker Infantry Carrier was their solution when you want the punch of a Bradley but the speed of a Humvee.

So, what exactly is the Stryker, and how is Ukraine leveraging its unique capabilities to retake its stolen territory around Kharkiv?

The Stryker is a family of eight-wheeled armored fighting vehicles named after two unrelated US soldiers who posthumously received the Medal of Honor: Private First Class Stuart S. Stryker, who died in World War II, and Specialist Four Robert F. Stryker, who died in the Vietnam War.

These infantry carriers are extremely fast, and unlike the tracked Bradley, which can typically carry six, the Stryker can carry 9+ soldiers.

So, how fast are they? Strykers can travel at speeds over 90 km/h or 60 mph.

This speed, however, comes at a cost. The Stryker doesn’t have the big 120mm gun found on the Abrams nor the 25mm chain gun found on the Bradley.

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Wes O'Donnell

US Army & US Air Force Veteran | Global Security guy at War is Boring, GEN, OneZero | Intel Forecaster | Law Student | TEDx Speaker | +Democracy | +Human Rights