Infantry (pikhota). The oldest and proportionally the largest branch of the army; it conducts combat operations on its own or with the support of other branches. During the Middle Ages in Ukraine (see Princely era) the small princely retinue was usually mounted, but in wartime the bulk of the troops consisted of footmen armed with bows and pikes. In the 17th century the Cossacks were known as the best infantry in Europe. In the 20th century, the Ukrainian armies consisted mostly of infantry, and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (1943–9) was basically a light infantry.

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