Ukrainian hacktivists of the Cyber Resistance team have obtained and handed over to the international intelligence community InformNapalm unique evidence of the Cubans being recruited, moved to Russia, and trained to participate in hostilities against Ukraine. We have passport copies of entire units of Cuban mercenaries – 199 fighters (a document archive is attached at the end of this publication). Together with the hacktivists, we tried to reconstruct this chain and find out who the mercenaries are, what motivates them, and why Russia is seeking support from “brotherly communists” for its imperialist war of conquest.
Western analysts once again noted that Russia wants to avoid further domestic mobilization. Although Russia has never given much heed to human losses, year and a half of the full-scale war is starting to take its toll on the aggressor. Russia has sufficient mobilization resources, but these people still need to be physically dragged into the army. Obviously, this could be done in a new wave of mobilization. And clearly, this will be a hugely unpopular step, especially unwanted on the eve of the presidential elections planned in the Russian Federation for 2024. Accordingly, there is an urge to look for cannon fodder among non-Russian citizens. Migrants and the poor from the ex-Soviet states are the most logical pick. Accordingly, the exploitation of foreign citizens allows the Kremlin to attract additional human resources for its military operations, even in the face of mounting losses.
Main characters – Tula draft officer
First, let us introduce to you the Russian officer who made this research possible in the first place. Perevozchikov Anton Valentinovich, born 06/11/1976, military rank – major. Since May 2023 – head of the contract enlistment office in the city of Tula.
His social media accounts do not reveal his professional activities, containing only innocent photos from the wedding and leisure time. But where OSINT does not work, CYBINT will help.
From the personal file of Major Perevozchikov, we learned that from August 2022 to April 2023 he was the deputy commander for morale of the 488th Motorized Rifle Regiment (MRR) of 144th Motorized Rifle Division. This regiment repeatedly lost its combat effectiveness and personnel, after which it was withdrawn for reconstitution. On March 5, 2022, Advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Vadym Denysenko reported that “the Armed Forces of Ukraine managed to wipe out the 488th MRR near Kharkiv.” On March 12, the speaker of the Operational Headquarters of the Odessa Regional Military Administration, Sergiy Bratchuk, also announced the complete destruction of this regiment. Perhaps this is why Major Perevozchikov, who previously already had significant experience in personnel selection, was again transferred from the operational command to a logistics position.
Probably, being on the next reconstitution, the regiment needed not only significant personnel but also materiel replenishment. Perevozchikov quickly seized the initiative so as not to remain on the front line, but to return to the rear position. Here he thanks German Milush for his “charitable donation”. Milush is an interesting character, a businessman convicted in Latvia back in 2007 for trying to install through bribery a controlled mayor in Jurmala, the favorite city of Russian agents on the shores of the Baltic Sea. He escaped from Latvia in a hiding compartment in a Russian truck. Once in Russia, he was quickly acquitted and his business went up.
But this is all just a preamble to another component of the enlistment officer’s activities. The contents of Major Perevozchikov’s mailbox, yielded the data of foreign mercenaries who expressed a desire to conclude contracts with the Russian Defense Ministry. The number makes for two full companies.
CUBA LIBRE SERVED IN A MATRYOSHKA
After analyzing the mailbox dump of Major Perevozchikov, we established the names, surnames, dates of birth and passport details of 199 Cuban mercenaries. All of them are citizens of Cuba with the exception of one person – Diaz Romero Juan Pablo, who is a citizen of Colombia.
The eldest of this batch of Cubans is Oliva Fernandez Lazaro. He was born in 1955 and in December, if he still lives, he will turn 69 years old. However, Russia is not picky – grandpas at the front will also come in handy.
The youngest, Mena Alvarez-Builla Yoender Raul, celebrated his 18th birthday in March of this year.
There are twins among this group – Stable Gonzalez Jose Antonio and Luis Antonio.
And there is even a Bandera among them, keen to fight for Russia. Only his name is not Stepan, but Ynol.
The identified persons arrived in Russia during July and August in different groups of 10 to 30 people. They arrive at Sheremetyevo airport. Surprisingly, the Stable twins arrived separately. Luis arrived on July 15, and Jose on August 1.
Usually they take a photo of their passport immediately upon arrival in the Russian Federation. The stated reason for the visit to the Russian Federation is “tourism”.
Their final destination in Russia is Tula. There, Major Perevozchikov registers the Cubans, translates their passport data, hands them a contract and promises “mountains of gold.”
ISLAND OF POVERTY OFF AMERICA’S SHORE
A whole package of documents awaits the mercenaries in Tula. All of them are prepared in advance in Spanish: questionnaires, salary application forms, contracts with annexes.
According to the documents, Cubans are guaranteed a full benefits package, which is also provided to Russian contractor soldiers.
Thus, in the annex to the contract we see that in addition to payments to the family in the event of death or injury, the mercenary can count on:
- A one-time payment of 195,000 rubles when signing a contract for a period of one year or more.
- Monthly payments from 204,000 rubles per month in the area of a “special military operation” (depending on military rank, position and length of service).
- The opportunity to quickly purchase housing at the expense of the Russian Ministry of Defense through the savings and mortgage lending system.
- Service-provided accommodation or rental compensation.
- Free examination, treatment and rehabilitation in military medical institutions.
- Life and health insurance covered by the federal budget.
- The right to a preferential pension after 20 years of service.
- Combatant status and benefits.
- Tax benefits and tax holidays.
- Subsidized studies for children at universities.
- Reserved jobs for future contract workers.
In fact, the Russian state offers to the Cuban mercenaries monthly salaries from $2,000. It is simply impossible to earn that kind of money in Cuba.
Let’s look at the portrait of the average Cuban who goes to fight: low social status, large family – he is either one of many brothers and sisters, or the father of several children himself.
For example, Yusser Galindo. Born in 1982. An analysis of his Facebook page showed that the took up odd jobs, doing low-skilled construction or land moving work. He didn’t earn much, and the quarantine further undermined his ability to earn money.
This is how Yusser lives and relaxes with his family.
TT for “Tula tourists” and a bit of OSINT
In June of this year, Infobae portal ran an article by Lucas Martin Goyret, titled With his troops depleted, Putin now seeks Cuban military to fight in Ukraine. Analyzing this material, Sergiy Borshchevsky pointed out that Goyret’s material mentions “luring people with high salaries, incomparable with earnings in Cuba, and the opportunity to expedite Russian citizenship for Cuban mercenaries who are already training on the territory of Belarus.” Back then, in mid-May, Cuba’s military attaché Monica Gomez signed a number of agreements in Minsk, in particular dealing with “training of Cuban military personnel in the Republic of Belarus.”
Borshchevsky also mentioned the visits of Patrushev and Lavrov to Havana, admitting the existence of a secret deal between Cuba and the Russian Federation on the supply of mercenaries. However, there was no direct evidence of this.
Thus, Cyber Resistance hacktivists prove that there was a deal after all. And the mercenaries themselves helped establish the presence of Cubans in Russia.
For example, we know that the Tula military registration and enlistment office, Perevozchikov’s place of employment, is located at 28 Comintern street. This is the building:
A lateral view of the street from this building will look something like this:
And here is the Cuban Alyeski Justi Anache, born in 1989. From the metadata of his passport photo, it is clear that he entered the Russian Federation on July 18, 2023 and immediately took a passport photo for his overseer.
And here we see that Anache already set up another Facebook account for himself on July 19 (archive). Back then it looked like this:
Let’s take a closer look at the user pic.
The mercenary did not even walk a hundred meters from the enlistment office, and promptly took an account photo. We thank him for this additional proof. One thing to have a photo with a passport, but it’s another thing entirely to get a photo on the street right by the Tula military enlistment office.
Another mercenary, Michael Valido, born in 1993, also decided not to stray far from the place of recruitment.
Maikel Baro, born in 1996, was so glad to leave Cuba that he also immediately changed his residence upon arrival in the Russian Federation.
The most inventive was Rolando Boza Morton. He not only managed to film the road from Moscow to Tula while using the Delimobil rental car service, but also gave himself a tour of the iconic places in the home town of the samovar. Also, Rolando put a cover with Russian emblem on his Cuban passport and moved his wife to Russia (video 1, video 2).
However, getting to Tula goes not necessarily directly from Cuba. The Cyber Resistance group also identified several “losers” who came to conquer Russia a couple of years ago, but something didn’t work out.
For example, Roberto Perez Blanco, who arrived in the Russian Federation in 2021. This is one of the few cases when a foreign passport was issued to a person a a while ago and not immediately before the mercenary tour. Here is photo of Roberto wearing a mask harking back to the “happy years of quarantine”. But Perez’s life is not going too well, or maybe he is just desperate to get the Russian citizenship. So now he will fight.
Or here’s another case. Ricardo Arencibia. He’s been living in Russia at least since March of this year. On Facebook he calls himself “Prince”.
However, the life in Moscow probably did not turn out that “princely”, so he went to Tula to sign a contract. He confirmed his stay there with a short Instagram story on August 7, 2023 (video archive), highlighting the Iskra space.
In his June analysis, Sergiy Borshchevsky wrote:
“Let’s note that Cuban law prohibits mercenarism. At the same time, an ordinary Cuban cannot get to Russia or Belarus at his own expense – he would have to work for several years to earn money for travel. To get there, a Cuban needs either funding from the Cuban authorities or funds from Russia. If it is proven that the Cuban authorities are “loaning” their citizens to Russia, this will mean that they have violated their own legislation and will undermine official Havana’s relations with many countries in the region, not to mention the United States.”
We have received irrefutable evidence of the participation of Cuban mercenaries in the war against Ukraine on the side of the Russian Federation. We have reasonable doubts that these mercenaries ended up there without the knowledge of the Cuban authorities. Obviously, there is a pattern and it is growing. We exposed only one such focal point in one Russian city. It is unlikely that Tula is the main recruitment hub.
The fact that there are more of these people is proven by the correspondence of the aunt of one of the mercenaries, Juan Carlos Basulto.
There was some interesting small talk in the comments to this post, sufficient to get the gist. Juan Carlos’s aunt complains that another friend of theirs went to Russia to fight, Pavel Marquito. But this name was not among our Cubans. He is definitely not in this party of 193 people whom we managed to expose in Tula, which means that there were and probably will be even more Cubans, if this flow is not stopped.
OSINT analysis of these mercenaries did not confirm any hidden connection between these individuals prior to recruitment. They are no jail birds or former military personnel, or representatives of some other narrow group or subculture. The only thing most of them have in common is poverty. Or the desire to make their way in life.
But it is impossible to get rich in war. And Russia does not keep its promises. If it abandons its own people, what can penniless foreigners expect?
In the meantime, the Stable twins, along with Alexander Verdessia and another unidentified guy, have already signed their contracts and reached the training camp. Here are the latest stories from the training grounds for September 3, 2023.
All data of the mercenaries was transferred to law enforcement agencies of Ukraine, and the names and photos of the mercenaries were entered into the Myrotvorets Center database. We will seek prosecution to everyone behind facilitating recruitment of mercenaries for the hostilities against Ukraine. These Cubans are also guaranteed a warm welcome in Ukraine.
When this material was already completed and prepared for publication, the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs released an interesting statement, which noted:
“The Ministry of the Interior has identified and is working to neutralize and dismantle a human trafficking network operating from Russia with the goal of recruiting Cuban citizens living there, as well as some living in Cuba, into the ranks of the armed forces participating in military operations in Ukraine.”
According to Cuban authorities, such attempts were neutralized and criminal charges were brought against those involved in such activities.
The Foreign Ministry emphasized that “Cuba’s enemies are spreading distorted information that aims to tarnish the country’s image and present it as complicit in these actions, which we strongly condemn.”
However, we have reasonable suspicions that the Cuban authorities are thus playing ahead and trying to hide their cooperation with Russia in terms of combatant recruitment for the war against Ukraine. After all, there is a very low probability that the Cuban authorities did not notice the flow of people suddenly receiving travel passports for the first time in their lives, which are issued only in the capital of Cuba. Just like the visits of Patrushev and Lavrov to Cuba, as well as the training of the Cubans in Belarus – all these events are parts of the same jigsaw puzzle.
Will Cuba really curtail the flow of mercenaries, or will it make do with an empty statement and continue to secretly supply mercenaries to Russia? It won’t be that difficult of find out. To date, we already have 199 passports of Cuban mercenaries which were sent to Major Perevozchikov (passport scans in a ZIP archive).
We have many more sources of information, whereas the Cyber Resistance hacktivists are capable of tracking the fate of these and other mercenaries. And if these particular individuals are not brought to account, if the movement of Cubans to Sheremetyevo and on to other Russian cities continues, then the conclusion will be obvious, and assurances of “non-involvement in the recruitment of mercenaries” from the Cuban Foreign Ministry will no longer suffice…
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