Banning of the Russian social network VK in Ukraine did not affect the capabilities of InformNapalm volunteer intelligence community to find new facts and proofs of the Russian military men participation in illegal armed groups (IAG) of Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). This OSINT investigation deals with a sniper from the 19-th Motorized Rifle Brigade (19-th MRB) masquerading as a “Novorossia rebel” and bringing the values of the Russian world to the Donbas.
Earlier identification attempts: not a Russian mercenary, not a lieutenant
The subject of this investigation is a Russian citizen Mikhail Milovidov. He was born on Oct, 04, 1989 in Irkutsk. From late 2013 to early 2014 he was a contract sniper of the 19th MRB. He probably began his military service as a conscript in one of Central Military District boot camps, and was subsequently transferred to serve in the Caucasus, Southern Military District.
We found in open sources at least two attempts to identify Milovidov. However, in both cases the findings were superficial or inaccurate.
The first identification attempt was performed by Myrotvorets Center in September 2015. Milovidov was added to the terrorists and war criminals data base as a Russian mercenary / IAG memeber. Milovidov must have liked to be identified as a “Novorossia militant”, he even posted the screenshot from the Purgatory section in his social media account.
The second identification attempt was undertaken in March 2017 on a web site of another OSINT team. According to their data, Milovidov is a junior lieutenant from one of the units from the Russian Central Military District, but this assumption is supported with very weak evidence.
Identifying Milovidov: Russian army sniper masquerading as a “Novorossia rebel”.
Earlier attempts to identify this Russian serviceman were inaccurate, therefore in this investigation we will present a more solid evidence base. A detailed study of Mikhail Milovidov’s VK profile (archived pages, photos, contacts) suggests that as of August 2016 he was, and probably still is, an active contract serviceman of the 19th MRB (military unit 20634, location: Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia, Southern Military District of Russia).
Milovidov’s affiliation with the 19th MRB (directly or indirectly) is confirmed by several factors, i.e.:
- His August 2016 photo series form North Ossetia–Alania contains among othersa picture of a contract soldier in the barrack of this unit in Vladikavkaz, which is confirmed by relevant geotagging. Judging by these pictures, Milovidov just came back to the garrison of his unit from another Ukrainian deployment.
- Several posts on Milovidov’s social media profile strongly suggest that he is a Russian contract serviceman. Among them is therepost of a picture of March, 2, 2017 from the group Ministry of Defense / Russian contract soldiers / Army, which is captioned with “Waiting for us isn’t in vogue anymore, ladies prefer money…”, commented by Milovidov: “Indeed(((((”..
- Milovidov’s video album contains several of videos about 19th MRB. Among them is the videomade by InformNapalm on the findings of our OSINT investigation from July 2015 titled Snipers of the Russian 19th Brigade Enlisted in ‘Somali’ Terrorist Battalion.
- Among Milovidov’s contacts and followers there are a lot of his comrades-in-arms from the 19th MRB, drafted in 2013 and 2014, including men from the snipers company, who enlisted for contract service while being conscripts:Igor Krasnoperov, Sanyok Krasnov, Serega Napasuk, Rinat Usmanov, Alexey Semenenko, Sergey Chugunov, Sergey Tarasov and others. Moreover, Tarasov’s album features pictures of the 19th MRB servicemen who were subjects of our previous investigation about the 19th MRB snipers, particularly Dmitriy Abgadeev (marked green) and Ilya Rudykh (marked orange).
Abgadeev’s photo can be also seen in Milovidov’s album. This photo was taken in February, 2017 in Irkutsk during a memorial event for Somali IAG commander Mikhail Tolstykh (known as Givi), who was killed in a contract hit in Donbas.
The Russian army sniper took part in buildings seizures in Donetsk before the start of the armed conflict.
In March and April 2014, before the military phase of the hybrid war began, Milovidov was sent to Donbas to participate in the rallies and spearhead the seizure of the Donetsk regional administration building. Take note that apart from the St George’s ribbon, he is also wearing a white armband, the identifying sign that Russian hybrid soldiers wore en-masse at later stages of the conflict. Most probably, he also took part in other provocations too. At the early stages of the armed conflict in the East of Ukraine he was spotted among the militants of so-called Novorossia militia. He was attached to Vostok IAG, alternating Ukrainian deployments with service in the 19th MRB in Vladikavkaz and vacation trips to his native Irkutsk.
All this evidence in the aggregate (photos, vidoes and network activity) strongly suggests that sniper Milovidov is an active serviceman with the Russian Army. Moreover, we tracked Milovidov’s connection with the subjects of our previous investigation on the snipers of the 19th MRB, who fought in Donbas within Somali IAG.
Hybrid service in the Russian Army
This investigation proves again our point that a part of Russian contract servicemen are doing hybrid service. Remaining on the Russian Army rosters, they are assigned to so-called “Novorossia militia” as instructors, snipers or military specialists, responsible for communication and coordination with main forces, deployed on alert across the Russian border.
InformNapalm earlier presented dozens of similar facts about several military units.
From Southern Military District: 291st Artillery Brigade (military unit 64670, Troitskaya, Republic of Ingushetia), 7th Military Base (military unit 09332, Gudauta, occupied Abkhazia, Georgia), 8th Mountain Motorized Rifle Brigade (military unit 16544, Borzoi, Republic of Chechnya), 17th Motorized Infantry Brigade (military unit 65384, Shali, Chechnya), 18th Motorized Rifle Brigade (military unit 27777, Kalinovskaya village, Chechnya), 136th Motorized Rifle Brigade (military unit 63354, Buynaksk, Dagestan), 205th Motorized Rifle Brigade (military unit 74814, Budyonnovsk, Stavropol Krai), 19th Motorized Rifle Brigade (military unit 20634, Vladikavkaz, Republic of North Ossetia), 33th Mountain Motorized Rifle Brigade (military unit 22179, Maykop, Adygea), 34th Mountain Motorized Rifle Brigade (military unit 01485, Storozhevaya, Karachay-Cherkess Republic).
From Central Military District: 23rd Motorized Rifle Brigade (military unit 65349, Samara), 15th Motorized Rifle Brigade of peacekeeping forces (military unit 90600, Roshchinsky training range, Volzhsky District, Samara Oblast), 21st Motorized Rifle Brigade (military unit 12128, Totskoye, Orenburg Oblast), 28th Motorized Rifle Brigade (military unit 61423, Yekaterinburg), 31st Air Assault Brigade (military unit 73612, Ulyanovsk). Some units of Russian Guard and other Russian law enforcement agencies have been involved in manning the IAGs too.
It bears remembering that the 19th MRB appears in seven OSINT investigations by InformNapalm. These publications are related to facts of invasion to Ukraine in summer-autumn 2014, and also to evidence of this brigade’s servicemen participation in Donbas war.
- Combat crews of Grad MLRS of 19th MRB identified along the border with Ukraine2014-10-01
- 2S19 ‘Msta-S’ Self Propelled Mortar from North Ossetia at the Border with Ukraine2014-10-07
- ‘Drone Company’ of Russian 19th Motorized Rifle Brigade. A story of their Ukrainian ‘trip’2016-08-08
- Snipers of the Russian 19th Brigade Enlisted in ‘Somali’ Terrorist Battalion2016-07-27
- Hawkish course: new airborne reconnaissance companies for the Russian infantry 2016-07-27
- War criminals of 19th Motorized Rifle Brigade of the Russian Army detected2016-12-09
- “Going from Ukraine to the Caucasus”. Conscript gave away “Ukrainian mission” of the 19th Motorized Rifle Brigade2017-02-23
· The structure and weapons of the 19th MRB.
The 19th, Voronezh-Shumlin Motorized Rifle Brigade (military unit 20634, Sputnik village, Vladikavkaz) of the 58th Field Army of the Southern Military District.
Structure: Command, three battalions, special forces battalion (Troitskaya village, Ingushetia), a separate sniper company, a tank battalion, two self-propelled howitzer artillery battalions, a rocket artillery battalion, an antitank artillery battalion, an antiaircraft missile battalion and an antiaircraft artillery missile battalion, a reconnaissance battalion, a UAV company, an engineer battalion, an NBC protection company, a control (communication) battalion, an electronic warfare company, a control and artillery reconnaissance battery, a control and radar reconnaissance platoon, a control platoon, a recovery battalion, a logistics battalion, a headquarters company, a medical company, a military instructors platoon, a training simulator platoon, a training range and a brass band.
40 pcs. T-90A tanks,
1 pc. T-90K tank,
120 pcs. BMP-3 infantry combat vehicles,
9 pcs. BTR-82A, armored personnel carriers,
27 pcs. BTR-80 armored personnel carriers,
6 pcs. GAZ-233014 Tigr, infantry mobility vehicles,
15 pcs. MT-LB, multi-purpose light armored towing vehicles,
18 pcs. 2B17-1 Tornado-G, multiple launch rocket systems,
36 pcs. 152mm 2S19 Msta-S, self-propelled howitzers,
18 pcs. 2S12 Sani, 120 mm heavy mortar systems,
12 pcs. MT-12 Rapira, 100mm anti-tank guns,
12 pcs. Shturm-S, self-propelled anti-tank missile systems,
4 pcs. BRDM-2, armored reconnaissance/patrol vehicles,
12 pcs. 9K330 Tor, short-range surface-to-air missile systems,
6 pcs. 9A34(35) Strela-10, surface-to-air missile on armored vehicle mounts,
6 pcs. 2S6M Tunguska, self-propelled anti-aircraft guns,
27 pcs. 9K38 Igla man portable surface-to-air missiles.
Translated by Evgeniy Kalashnik, edited by Artem Velichko
(Creative Commons — Attribution 4.0 International — CC BY 4.0)
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