Soldiers of the 17th Mechanized Infantry Brigade from Chechnya awarded Orders of Courage by Putin’s decree for participating in Donbas fighting, have been identified.
One of the areas of OSINT investigations of the InformNapalm international volunteer community is gathering data about military awards received by Russian servicemen for their “Ukrainian assignments”. The publications of our community contain records of a broad variety of combat orders and medals, awarded both on the state and agency levels, which were instituted by decrees of the President and the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation. It should be noted, that prior to the outbreak of an undeclared war in Donbas, the majority of decrees on service awards were transparent, and could easily be found on the official websites and veteran sites. But since the beginning of the events in Donbas in 2014, the Kremlin has classified this kind of information. Nevertheless, our investigators collected data on dozens of recipients of various military decorations of the Russian Armed Forces. Often, Russian servicemen, the “veterans of Donbas”, carrying out the criminal orders of the Russian high command, were inadvertently giving us valuable assistance.
The new OSINT investigation has revealed accounts of soldiers of the 17th Motorized Infantry Brigade (military unit 65384, permanent deployment location – Shali, Chechnya, part of the 58th Army of the Southern Military District of Russia), who took part in the fighting in Ukraine in the summer and autumn of 2014.
Broskin Dmitry Vladimirovich – a contract serviceman of the 17th Mechanized Infantry brigade, presumably a tank commander with the rank of a sergeant, and a participant of the fighting in Ukraine in 2014. He was awarded the Order of Courage #74773 by the Presidential decree of 12 December, 2014. From June 29 to August 5 he was on leave.
On the image with the order, a framed photo with a group of “combatants” is also visible. Judging by their appearance (mismatched non-standard uniform, unkempt appearance, white identification armbands), these are Broskin’s colleagues, posing as “miners-combatants” in the summer of 2014. Broskin himself is easily recognized among them.
Broskin’s contact list on the VKontakte network contains a few dozens of soldiers of the 17th Brigade, including a seemingly unremarkable Maxim Pupin from St Petersburg. Pupin also has a page on Facebook, where he, like his colleague, boasts of the same award.
Pupin Maxim Viktorovich, born July 20, 1988, a native of Lesosibirsk of Krasnoyarsk Region, now presumably residing in St Petersburg. In the recent past – a soldier of the 17th Mechanized Infantry Brigade in the rank of a sergeant, a participant the fighting in Ukraine in 2014. He was awarded the Order of Courage (Photos 1 and 2).
It is worth reminding that these are not the first soldiers of the 17th Brigade to brag about their Orders of Courage on the internet. Over a year ago, InformNapalm published the information about lieutenant S.Gelimar, a graduate of the Mikhailovsky Artillery Academy, who had also received the same award from Putin in October 2014.
Note. The Order of Courage is the state award of the Russian Federation, which is awarded to citizens for their dedication, courage, and bravery shown during the rescue of the people, in protecting of public order, in the fight against crime, in response operations to natural disasters, fires, accidents and other emergencies, as well as for bold and decisive actions in the line of military or civil duty in the conditions involving a risk to life. These orders were awarded by the government to the Russian servicemen who had participated in the invasion of Georgia in August 2008 (see Repentance of a Pskov Paratrooper).
The tactical group of the 17th Motorized Brigade of the Southern Military District of Russia joined the undeclared war in Donbas among the first. We know about considerable losses of the brigade from Chechnya, a clear proof of which is the monument in Shali, with the names of soldiers killed in Donbas in August 2014.
The 17th mechanized infantry brigade appears in seven OSINT investigations by InformNapalm:
- Another ‘Hybrid Miner’ from the Russian 17th Brigade2016-02-10
- The 17th Brigade in Donbas in Summer, 2014. Photo proofs2015-04-27
- 2S19 ‘Msta-S’ Self-Propelled Mortar of the 17th Brigade near Novoazovsk2015-08-12
- Officer of the Russian 17th Motorized Rifle Brigade Awarded Order of Courage for the Donbas War2015-06-18
- “Inglourious Basterds”: a monument to the soldiers of the 17th Mechanized Infantry Brigade in Shali 2015-02-06
- “Tankman”: Russian Officer of the 17th Independent Motorized Rifle Brigade Who Participated in Armed Hostilities in Donbas2014-10-13
- The 17th Motorized Brigade of the Southern Military District of the Russian Federation is in Ukraine2014-09-09
This publication was prepared on the basis of an OSINT-investigation by the InformNapalm international volunteer group.
Author: Irakli Komakhidze
Translated by Victor Danilchenko
Edited by Artem Velichko
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