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Exclusive data: more Russian electronic warfare systems spotted in Donbas

Every two or three weeks, the latest Russian electronic warfare (EW) systems are featuring in the texts of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) reports. InformNapalm volunteers [1], in their turn, closely monitor this type of data and look for visual evidence that can give a better understanding of the purpose and logic behind a particular type of military hardware being in a certain area. Our community also strives to provide our readers with the maximum possible amount of evidence that is not limited to text. This article contains unique data proving the military activity of the Russian Federation in the Ukrainian Donbas. This military activity began in the spring of 2014 and it continues in 2020, whereas Russian military and political leadership continues to deny Russia’s direct participation and control of the hostilities. We call on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine to actively use the data from the OSCE SMM reports and the materials of open-source intelligence (OSINT) investigations of InformNapalm volunteers to step up diplomatic pressure on the aggressor state, strengthen the sanctions and other political measures that will help achieve a real peace, which is only possible after full withdrawal of Russian weaponry, military equipment, servicemen and mercenaries from Ukraine.


Key reports of the OSCE SMM

The regular OSCE SMM report No. 60/2020 of March 12, 2020 [2] revealed a new spot of deployment of three modern Russian EW systems in the southern outskirts of Luhansk: RB-341V Leer-3, R-934B Sinitsa and RB-636 Svet-KU. These systems also fell into the focus of multiple OSINT investigations of the InformNapalm volunteer intelligence community. For example, at the end of 2019, we published a story titled Modern Russian electronic warfare systems spotted in Donbas again (PHOTO) [3] featuring exclusive photos and a list of 12 Russian systems spotted in Donbas during the war. The presence of this sophisticated Russian military technology in the occupied territory of Ukraine is direct evidence of the military aggression of the Russian Federation.

A month ago, the OSCE SMM report No. 40/2020 of February 18, 2020 [4] contained other interesting information about three EW systems spotted by long-range SMM drones on February 16: R-330Zh Zhitel, R-934B Sinitsa and RB-636 Svet-KU near the village of Verbova Balka, 28 km southeast of Donetsk. Through our HUMINT network, InformNapalm volunteers managed to obtain exclusive photos reiterating the spotting report of the SMM. Having done some additional intelligence and refinement of the received data we could identify the likely location of the equipment and possible reasons for its deployment.


Spotting Russian EW with UAVs

This photo has not been openly published before, it visually confirms and provides additional details to the text data of the OSCE report No. 40/2020.

This photo became the starting point for an investigation by volunteers of the InformNapalm community. We made an identity check of this equipment.

We are adding other photos of these systems for visual comparison of their elements.


R-330Zh Zhitel

R-934B Sinitsa or R934BMV

The report lists the spotted vehicle as “R-934B Sinitsa”, but InformNapalm investigators have grounds to believe that this is a modification of that system, namely the R934BMV, which makes part of the Borisoglebsk-2, a system recorded earlier in Donbas on multiple occasions.

RB-636 Svet-KU

Yet again, the RB-636 Svet-KU system got spotted by an OSCE SMM drone.

We should like to remind our readers that in 2016 InformNapalm first identified the Russian mobile radio control and information protection system RB-636 Svet-KU [5] which was spotted in a photo in Luhansk at the intersection of 50-letia SSSR and Kurchatov streets. Our readers also helped us to establish that the system was operated by 18th Electronic Warfare Company (military unit # L-05776 based in Luhansk) of the 2nd Army Corps of the Russian occupation forces in Donbas. The chassis of the system is bearing a tactical sign “18 in a square” and the registration number LK 4686.

In recent years, the Russian RB-636 Svet-KU system has been increasingly featuring on the OSCE SMM reports.


Conclusions on the OSCE SMM report No. 40/2020

According to the source data, the picture of deployed Russian EW systems was taken near the village of Verbova Balka, 28 km south-east of Donetsk (information from OSCE report No. 40/2020). InformNapalm OSINT investigators identified the spot as being in the territory of the Mospino airfield [6], judging by the characteristic features of the terrain and the roof corner of the building. Coordinates: 47°50’46.0″N 38°05’54.5″E [7].


The territory of the former soviet airfield has a suitable infrastructure which remained intact. The distance from the front line is sufficient and optimal for using this airfield as a base for army UAVs. For example, the Orlan-10 UAVs [8], which make part of the Russian RB-341V Leer-3 system, are designed to jam and interfere with GSM communications. The system is capable of simulating GSM base stations and sending faked SMS messages to subscribers in order to mislead or effect psychological pressure. The powerful cover of this territory by Russian electronic warfare and radar systems also indicates the likelihood of a Russian command post deployed in this area.

The Russian RB-341V Leer-3 system was also spotted by the OSCE SMM on March 10, 2020 in the vicinity of Luhansk, which is recorded in the report No. 60/2020.

Interestingly, on February 27, InformNapalm readers sent us photos of SMS messages received in the city of Shchastia in the Novoaydar Raion of the Luhansk Oblast. These photos also indirectly confirm the active use of RB-341V Leer-3 system and Orlan-10 drones by the Russian occupation forces for psychological operations against the Ukrainian military and the civilian population.

Сьогодні під м.Щастя в Новоайдарському районі Луганської області росіяни черговий раз проводили…

Posted by Roman Burko [9] on Thursday, February 27, 2020 [10]

Thus, the Russian Federation continues to use its latest weapons and military technology in the Ukrainian Donbas. This is increasingly recorded by international observers, but neither the Ministry of Foreign Affairs nor the President of Ukraine have given enough attention to these facts to call for tighter international sanctions against the aggressor state.


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