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Path of Russian 8th Brigade: from Departure to Donbas to Rewards for War Crimes

InformNapalm volunteer community continues the series of publications describing ‘tours of duty’ of various Russian military units which have taken part in combat actions in Donbas. The following article is themed on the fairy tales by the leader of Kremlin’s criminal regime, who recently stated: “We have never said that there were no certain persons in Donbas who handle problems, including the military ones. But there are no regular troops“.

So, sit back and relax, since the InformNapalm team is going to demonstrate another example of lies by the deceitful political and military leadership of Russia – the ‘Ukrainian assignment’ of the 8th mountain brigade of the Russian Federation’s armed forces. 

This new story is presented in an uncommon format, as a presentation of a military unit that has distinguished itself in hostilities in Ukraine. In this case it is about the 8th separate mountain motorized rifle brigade (military unit No. 16544, the 58th general army, Southern Military District, Borzoy, Republic of Chechnya, Russia). All the servicemen listed below serve in this unit.

Phase 1 – a detachment from the military unit No. 16544 with its equipment is sent to the border with Ukraine and located in a field camp. 

Thanks to contract soldier Aleksandr Subbotin [1] (archives of profile [2], album [3], contacts [4]) we were able to keep track of the 8th brigade’s equipment (MT-LB vehicles with ‘square with a dot’ tactical sign characteristic to this brigade) loaded on a train – archive 1 [5]and 2 [6].

Pogruzka 1 [7]Pogruzka 2 [8]

The same kind of photos [9] can be found in the profile of Boris Ganin [10] (archives of profile [11], album [12], contacts [13]), another serviceman of the 8th brigade. The album also contains pictures [14] from a rest break of Putin’s ‘polite people’.

Pogruzka 3 [15]Polya 7 [16]

We cannot say that these servicemen were forced to join this ‘Ukrainian trip’, because the contract soldiers do not mind to carry out criminal orders of their Supreme Commander. The comments [17] under the Andrei Latutin [18]‘s (archives of profile [19], album [20], contacts [21]) photo from the trip just confirm our conclusion.

Neotkaz1 [22]Neotkaz 2 [23]

Aleksandr Arkush [24] (archives of profile [25], album [26], contacts [27]), another serviceman, demonstrated the conditions in which the ‘assigned’ soldiers lived in field camps in Rostov Oblast in September, 2014. Photos 1 [28]and 2 [29] showed the equipment park near Taganrog city and the location of the вуефсрьуте not far from khutor of Novoolkhovskiy (Kuibyshev raion, Rostov Oblast – 1 [30], 2 [31], 3 [32]).

Polya 1 [33]Polya 6 [34]Polya 2 [35]

Polya 3 [36]Polya 4 [37]Polya 5 [38]

Phase 2 – Russian servicemen mutate into ‘militants’, weaponry and equipment become ‘the trophies’. All the insignia are gone, so you cannot identify a Russian soldier any more, the equipment is decorated with inscriptions, flags are attached. Oleg Syshchuk [39] (archive of profile [40], album [41], contacts [42]) has a picture [43] of MT-LB vehicle with Russian imperial flag. A photo of him together with his comrade-in-arms Igor Rubtsov [44] (archive of profile [45], album [46], contacts [47]) can be found as well.

Flag 1 [48]Slugba 3 [49]Flag 3 [50]

Viktor Gornostaev [51] (archive of profile [52], album [53], contacts [54]) has a photo album with the telling title ‘My job’ which includes photos [55] of a vehicle convoy flying the same flags on march. One of the pictures [56] shows that some MT-LB units have the brigade’s signs removed and new side numbers manually added. Besides MT-LBs, the tactic signs were painted over on KamAZ trucks too (photo [57]).

MTLB 1 [58]

Kamaz 1 [59]

Flag 2 [60]

The same kind of convoy on march can be found in the photo [61] by Aleksandr Yakovlev [62] (archive of profile [63], album [64], contacts [65], Instagram [66] profile), who claims that he has participated in the ‘corn conflict’.

Konflikt 1 [67]

Stanislav Badriev [68] (archives of profile [69], album [70], contacts [71]), an officer from the 8th brigade, has a photo album named ‘There is such a profession’. It contains pictures of:

Akula 1 [75]All [76]Povyazka 1 [77]

Not all the servicemen are wordy – they are scouts, right? But the group photo disclosed one more contract soldier of the invasion forces – Nikolai Lisogor [78] (archives of profile [79], album [80], contacts [81]).

Group [82]Slugba [83]

The same ‘toothed’ MT-LB [84] and the group picture [85] can be seen in the photo album of Aleksei Samarov [86] (archive of profile [87], album [88], contacts [89]).

Bair Dagbaev [90] (who has 2 accounts in VKontakte [91] and Odnoklassniki [92] social networks) also stores the picture of the MT-LB [93] unit in his album.

Akula 2 [94] Slugba 1 [95]

Phase 3 – ‘Ukraine, here are your liberators!’. The military unit of the Russian army invades Ukraine, as Putin says, ‘for handling some issues in military area‘.

Aleksei Feofilaktov [96] (archive [97]) is a serviceman of a recon company of the 8th brigade and also has the second account for Fil Legion [98] (archive of profile [99], album [100], contacts [101]). Once he made a picture of himself at a jury checkpoint [102]. There is a handmade ‘Novorossiya’ flag on the column and the well-known MT-LB with the imperial flag in behind. Aleksei is bearing in hand a modern R-187P1 [103] radio station – it was recently taken in service in the Russian army.

Blockpost [104]

The same MT-LB pictured from a different angle is shown in the photo [105] by Viktor Gornostaev. Igor Rubtsov is in the spot.

Slugba 2 [106]

Mentioned in the very beginning Aleksandr Arkusha helped us to locate the unit near Krasnodon (photos 1 [107], 2 [108], 3 [109], 4 [110], 5 [111]). Geo-referencing became possible not only due to the geotags in the photos, but also because of a monument [112] in Sukhodilsk which was used as a background of the pictures. It is noteworthy that the photos show SVD-S and VSS ‘Vintorez’ rifles which are used exclusively in the Russian army. All this proves that the 8th mountain motorized rifle brigade has participated in the combat actions in the territory of Ukraine with its organic personnel and weaponry. 

Krasnodon 1 [113]Krasnodon 2 [114]

Krasnodon 4 [115]Krasnodon 3 [116]

Lekha Lebedev [117] (archives of profile [118], album [119], contacts [120]) has succeeded in reaching… no, not Kiev, but Donetsk, where he took a picture in the central square in front of a Lenin monument. (archive [121]).

Donetsk [122]

According to the information from the social profiles of the servicemen of the 8th brigade, the tactical battalion groups’ trips to Ukraine used to be carried on between July, 2014, and March, 2015 (till the capture of the Debaltseve bridgehead). There were several tactical groups from the 8th brigade, but with the Minsk agreements approval, the Russian command started to disseminate servicemen within ‘Novorossiya’ armed formations. And this was done not only to hide traces, but also to train militants and to control the illegal formations. 

Zima 1 [123]Zima 2 [124]

Phase 4 – awarding. War criminals brought killings and devastation to Ukraine. Not everyone wants to boast of it, since some military operations planned by the Russian Ministry of Defense sooner or later will result in tribunal for the war crimes. InformNapalm’s task is to disclose facts and provide evidence. Nothing remains unpunished.

Bair Dagbaev shared the picture [125] with a medal in his OK profile on April 4, 2015. Aleksandr Yakovlev did the same in Instagram [126] on June 6, 2015.
Medal [127]

Medal 2 [128]

The 8th brigade has been the ‘hero’ of our publications for several times already:

(CC BY) 

Original article [136] by Victory Krm [137], translated by Stepan Grishin