Established: LLS Orsk took part in the aggression against Ukraine. LLS crew members and Zemlyane band members identified.
InformNapalm volunteer intelligence community managed to prove the fact of the participation of the Large Landing Ship (LLS) Orsk (pennant number 148, project 1171, Tapir class landing ship, NATO reporting name: Alligator). LLS Orsk belonging to the 197th Brigade of Landing Ships (BLS) of the Russian Black Sea Fleet (military unit 72136) took part in the special operation to seize Crimea. This particular ship has not yet been included on the list of the Russian vessels that took part in the aggression against Ukraine in 2014 (the list was made public by Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine) which is why this could be of interest to government officials engaged in legal proceedings against the Russian Federation. This investigation is also to supplement the InformNapalm database with additional information on 32 military units of the Russian Armed Forces involved in the invasion of Crimea. Besides, facts in this feature demonstrate how Russia combines military force with soft power in its hybrid aggression against Ukraine, using culture as a weapon.
1. Personal identification of LLS Orsk seamen
While researching social media, InformNapalm volunteers came across a profile of a naval seaman. He was awarded the medal For the Return of Crimea of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. A detailed investigation and analysis led to the profiles of his military colleagues. In this feature, we will have a close look at the evidence and the personal data of some members of the LLS Orsk crew.
Vyacheslav Zyablitsev, born February 15,1995 in Kuybyshev city, Novosibirsk Oblast, Russian Federation.
Zyablitsev served on LLS Orsk, as evidenced by the photo and by the explanatory caption saying: “This is my ship, Orsk”
He also posted a photo of the medal and of the award certificate of the medal For the Return of Crimea bearing a signature of A. Komarov, Captain 1st rank according to Russian set of rank, the commander of 197th BLS. Komarov has already been mentioned in the context of another vessel, LLS Nikolay Filchenkov belonging to the same brigade.
On the next photograph, Zyablitsev is
in the first row on the right, with his shipmate Aleksandr Yeliseyev, on the left.
Aleksandr Yeliseyev, born February 23, 1993 in Krymsky village, Ust-Donetsky District, Rostov Oblast, Russian Federation. Resides in Shakhty, Rostov Oblast, currently employed as a tattoo artist. Yuriyev did his military service on LLS Orsk.
On February 23, 2014, he posted a message on OK.ru social network saying that “The brigade vessels are under 145 code, meaning on full combat alert.”
He posted a picture of the medal and of the award certificate of the medal For the Return of Crimea, with the caption that says, “The first state award ever”.
On the 5th of March of 2014, Yeliseyev posted a photograph with Soviet, later Russian rock band Zemlyane. It says, “With the guitar player and keyboard player of Zemlyane.” Russian mass media wrote about Zemlyane’s performance on LLS Orsk.
On March 2, 2014 YouTube channel orskru published a video of Zemlyane band performing on LLS Orsk. On a freeze-frame at 00:06, we can see the same musicians as on the shot posted by Yeliseyev in his profile.
On the band’s official channel, there is a video of this performance of better quality, that allows us to see not only the band but also several seamen (we saved the video in case of it being deleted). The video was posted on August 2, 2016. The lag is apparently due to the fact that the band’s YouTube channel was created in July 2016.
The following image is a freeze-frame of Alexander Eliseev.
And this freeze-frame features Vyacheslav Zyablitsev
That video allowed us to identify yet more LLS Orsk sailors also awarded For the Return of Crimea medal.
Ivan Likhonosov , born March 09, 1993 in Novocherkassk city, Rostov Oblast, Russian Federation.
Likhonosov was also identified on the same video with the Russian musicians who illegally traveled to Sevastopol, Crimea, in violation of Ukraine’s immigration law.
Likhonosov was awarded a medal for participating in Russian aggression against Ukraine.
It is rather curious that Likhonosov got married to Olena Haydamak, a Ukrainian citizen from Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast.
Here is a photo of Olena with a Ukrainian flag, 2015.
In 2019 she graduated from Mariupol college of Donetsk National University of Economics and Trade, getting a degree in food technology.
We would therefore like to draw the attention of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) and the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine to this fact in order to reduce the risk of a war criminal Ivan Likhonosov entering Ukraine undetected using his family connection as a cover.
Dmitry Spravtsev, born February 06,1991 in Zlynka town, Bryansk Oblast of the Russian Federation. Yuriyev did his military service on LLS Orsk.
Awarded a medal For the Return of Crimea.
Left to right: Dmitriy Spravtsev and his shipmate Mnatsakan Rogonyan, both wearing medals For the Return of Crimea
Spravtsev also featured on the same video with Zemlyane.
Spravtsev is seen filming the band’s performance. Later on, he reposted this video in his VK social network profile. Besides, he reposted Life News’ video story about Zemlyane performing on LLS Orsk.
Mnatsakan Rogonyan, born August 07,1994 in Tuapse, Krasnodar Krai, Russian Federation. Rogonyan’s personal photo album does not contain any proofs of his participation in the Crimea seizure operation. However, he was identified on group photographs taken on the ship by his colleagues appearing as key suspects in this investigation.
Spravtsev’s album. Mnatsakan Rogonyan is second on the right.
Next Spravtsev’s shot: Mnatsakan Rogonyan is first on the right wearing the medal for the occupation of Crimea.
Likhonosov’s album. Mnatsakan Rogonyan is second on the left.
Rogonyan also featured on the video with Zemlyane.
Sergey Gimbitsky, born December 23, 1993 in Georgievsk city, Stavropol Krai, Russian Federation.
This photo, posted by Gimbitsky on OK.ru social network, shows an article from Flag Rodiny newspaper (Russian for the “Flag of the Motherland”) telling about LLS Orsk ship where he did his military service.
Awarded a medal For the Return of Crimea. Gimbitsky posted a group photo of LLS Orsk sailors showing off their awards, he is in the second row, second on the left.
Gimbitskiy in Spravtsev’s album, first on the left. These photos were obviously taken on the same day.
Gimbitsky also featured on the video with Zemlyane.
Two more Russian sailors have been identified through the video. They also participated in the aggression against Ukraine and were awarded relevant medals. Konstantin Yuryev (marked in red) and Alexey Minenok (marked in green).
Konstantin Yuryev,, born in Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation, presumable date of birth October 19,1989. Yuriyev did his military service on LLS Orsk.
Awarded a medal For the Return of Crimea.
Alexey Minenok, born December 08,1990 in Volgodonsk, Rostov Oblast, Russian Federation.
Yuriyev did his military service on LLS Orsk. Awarded a medal For the Return of Crimea.
2. Hybrid warfare methods of Russian Federation
InformNapalm wrote about the aggressive Russian “soft power” as a tool of destabilization of Ukraine and European countries. We call on our readers to read and share these important articles.
The changing environment of modern warfare has already been discussed more than once. Undoubtedly, Russia has developed a profound and consistent soft power strategy, successfully combining it with theuse of military force. The Kremlin uses soft power methods to influence the consciousness of Ukrainian people by means of humanitarian projects, various cultural forums, meet-the-artist sessions, and concerts. The performance of the Russian rock band Zemlyane in Crimea is nothing but a vivid example of it.
Their official YouTube channel features some more videos of the kind.
In the following video the musicians fully approve Putin’s actions, expressing their support to sending Russian troops to the sovereign neighbor state.
They also say, Sevastopol is a Russian city, in a clear bid to carry Russia’s aggressive irredentist ideology through the culture inside of its borders as well as outside. The description below the next video indicates that Zemlyane’s concert took place on March 16, 2014 in support of so-called “referendum” regarding the status of Crimea, which was held at the point of Russian guns.
Besides the aforementioned band, there were others coming to Crimea to provide propaganda support to the aggression against Ukraine. This video shows three bands performing together using abusive language towards Ukrainians and saying that Russians would come to give “a good clean-up”. Bandar-log (the name they call Ukrainians) is an allusion to Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book to describe the monkeys.
In August 2014 Zemlyane were awarded Medal class II of the Order for Merit to the Fatherland by a presidential decree of Putin (archive). The musicians posted a video of the award ceremony on their YouTube channel.
In 2016, the band performed in the occupied Luhansk.
We are calling on the law enforcement, state security and border control agencies of Ukraine to take a more pro-active stance in terms of not only restricting the access of Russian artists who supported the aggression against Ukraine but also to detain and prosecute them according to the law of Ukraine, as well as put them on Interpol watch lists.
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