The number of reports on the usage of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) by the terrorists in the ATO area has increased recently. On February 10, 2016, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine reported (UK) that one drone was discovered near Zolote village in Luhansk Oblast and two drones were discovered in the Mariupol and Sartana area (Donetsk Oblast). Earlier, on February 7, 2016, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine informed (UK) about five UAVs spotted near Mariupol and one in the area of Krasna Talivka in Luhansk Oblast.
In view of the increased activity of terrorist forces’ UAVs, the intelligence volunteers of the InformNapalm international community decided to conduct additional exploration and identification of sources of origin of the UAV specialists in the ranks of the illegal armed formations. So, during the investigation, the commander of a ‘DPR’ unit has been identified. He has been trained at the military camp of the Russian Armed Forces in Rostov Oblast.
Aleksandr (Alex Kola, presumably Aleksander Vdovenko, the archived profile and photo album), as he says, is a ‘volunteer’ from Russia with former call sign ‘Terek’. Since July of 2014, Aleksandr is a member of an illegal armed formation, he was seen in the battles in Shakhtarsk, Nikishyne, Fashchivka, Vuhlehirsk, Kruhlyk, etc. You can find more details in the video:
In December of 2014 Aleksandr appeared in a photo with geolocation in the territory of Kuzminskiy training area in Rostov Oblast with titled ‘Study’ and photo of the ‘Granat-2’ UAV with the caption ‘Our swallows’.
“During the exercises conducted by the Russian Ministry of Defense it was proven that the usage of the ‘Granat-2’ UAV complex, developed by the ‘Izhmash’ LLC, allows to reduce the time between detection of a hypothetical aggressor’s targets and their disposal. ‘Granat-2’ is a handheld complex of a remote monitoring and backhauling designed for the aerial reconnaissance by using photo-, video- and thermovision equipment at any time of the day or night at a distance up to 15 kilometers” (the source and archive).
A photo filmed by the UAV and a message in his profile in the social network confirmed that the Aleksandr’s detachment was engaged in the aerial reconnaissance. When the propagandist Graham Phillips began to publish video, which had been recorded by the drones, Aleksandr wrote: ‘Graham gets higher and higher…. it is time to take him in our team’.During the winter campaign, Aleksandr was in a special UAV unit, which is described in the video uploaded in February of 2016.
In another video, we see the Ukrainian military positions reconnaissance using the ‘Granat-2’ UAV, namely the transfer of coordinates using the Panasonic laptop, which is a part of the UAV complex.
It is curious, that the ‘Granat-2’ UAV was seen in the battles for Debaltseve (please check the article “‘Novorossiya Miners’ Use Russian ‘Granat’ Drones”).
In this manner, we gathered evidence of the transfer of modern Russian intelligence means in the hands of representatives of illegal armed groups, as well as learning and training UAV operators in the training area of the Russian Ministry of Defense in Rostov Oblast.
The Security Service of Ukraine and National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine has already informed (RU) about the training of the so-called ‘volunteers’ in the military sites and camps of the Russian Ministry of Defense. InformNapalm has also conducted a number of investigations on this topic:
- Volunteer Reservists of the Russian GRU for Military Conflicts Abroad
- Russia Uses a False Truce for the Rotation of its Forces and Conducting Additional Trainings of Terrorists in Training Camps (RU)
- Training Camp for the Preparation of the ‘DPR’ Terrorists in Rostov Oblast (RU)
- Russian Cossacks as the Russia’s Ministry of Defense Reserve
- Russia is the Sponsor of International Terrorism: Training Camps for Terrorists on the Russian Territory and the ‘Invasion Forces’ Groups (RU)