In the first days of 2015, some videos in which Russian troops are posing in front of the cameras while firing at the positions of the Ukrainian troops, hiding behind civilian houses on the outskirts of the village of Styla (Starobesheve Raion, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine) were posted online. A precise identification of this location has been done by Dajey Petros, a well-known blogger and analyst and a good friend of the InformNapalm team.
In his blog [email protected], Mr. Petros made a clear identification of the area:
Also, he pointed a direction of firing at the Ukrainian positions.
Let’s take a look at the videos that were filmed, probably, at the end of December, 2014. Their sequence and chronology are quite interesting.
In the first video, we see how the Russian gunmen are entering the town of Starobesheve in Donetsk Oblast. One of them is saying that they are “coming from Russia”. They are giving a ‘joy ride’ to a girlfriend on the armored personnel carrier BTR-80.
The second video has been filmed in the village of Styla. Some of the Russian terrorists have a ‘bat’ chevron on the sleeve, which is a symbol of Russian Spetsnaz GRU [special forces of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation]. Although, lately this symbol has been used by many terrorist groups, including the marginal militia units under command of Alexander ‘Batman’ Bednov, who was killed by Russian special forces on January 1, 2015.
Some of the newly minted fighters of the special forces are dressed in the Russian ‘Gorka’ uniform, but some are wearing ‘Oak’, the older model of the Ukrainian uniform. This may suggest that the Russian military is preparing for provocations, possibly, against the civilian population.
Judging by the commentary behind the scenes, the members of this unit have been already exposed in Ukraine. “I am already on their f… website, but I still want to go to see Paris”, sums up the cameraman, possibly alluding to the fact that their personal data have been published on the websites such as LostIvan or Mirotvorets.
You can also see that the gunmen are busy positioning heavy equipment: T-64 tank, BTR-80 and BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle (tail number ‘254’) between rural civilian houses. The tactic of using human shields is widely practiced among the Russian armed forces and have been applied in many military conflicts.
The third video shows all the same machinery of the terrorists in the same location, but from different angles. A tactical sign on the BMP can be seen which also allows to determine its affiliation with the Russian army.
The fourth and final video in this series shows how the Russian troops are shelling positions of the Ukrainian forces. The shooting armored vehicles are positioned in the very close proximity to the houses of the civilian population of Styla.
Thus, all four videos give a clear idea of who and how fights against Ukrainian forces during the so-called ‘truce’.
The audacity of the Russian side is shocking. Russian mercenaries and active duty soldiers almost openly demonstrate their presence in the Donbass, show how they fire at the Ukrainian military and terrorize the civilian population using the civilians as human shields. This behavior requires an adequate hard response to the aggressor not only from Ukraine but also from the entire World.