Volunteers of InformNapalm intelligence community have found new evidences of participation of servicemen from the 15th Motorized Rifle Brigade (the 15th MRB, military unit 90600, Roshchinsky settlement, Volzhsky Raion, Samara Oblast) in fights against Ukraine in the Donbas and in the military annexation of Crimea. We found information about 10 servicemen, who besides pictures from Donbas, have got combat awards: 3 Medals For Military Valor and 4 Medals For the Return of Crimea.
Note: The version of this infographics in Ukrainian you can find here.
Despite the ban of the Russian high command, Russian servicemen continue to leave evidence of their war crimes in social media. We have already reviewed the psychological aspect of this behavior in previous materials. Soldiers of the 15th MRB get into the scope of OSINT-investigators more often than others. Russian special services are trying to hide the sources of data leakage, but this process is so chaotic, that the materials accumulated by our community since 2014 continue to give clues for new investigations.
Previously, we mainly focused on identification of particular Russian military units, weaponry and geography of actions. Now we fill the databases with personal data of servicemen who took part in the invasion and also were integrated into separatists illegal armed groups (IAG) as military specialists and curators.
According to our observations, in the forefront of Russian invasion forces in the summer – autumn of 2014, along with the professional units of the Southern Military District (SMD), there were two battalion-tactical groups (BTGs) of the 15th MRB (so-called “Peacekeeping”) of the Russian Central Military District (CMD). The presence of these “peacekeepers” was due to the plan of the Russian leadership to present the war in the Donbass as a civil one. It was expected that at the convenient moment they would be legalized as mediators-peacekeepers. In that situation Ukraine would be forced to start negotiating with the puppet “separatists”. Thus, the conflict would be frozen for decades, providing Russia with leverage. Russia used this method in Georgia (the Tskhinvali region, or so-called South Ossetia, and Abkhazia), and also in Moldova (Transnistria).
Service record of the 15th MRB
We tracked the “tour of duty” of Samara “peacekeepers” and presented it in dozens of investigations (see the list at the end of the article). There were evidence of their participation in the annexation of Crimea in spring 2014. After that, one of the tactical groups from the brigade was spotted in Belgorod and Voronezh Oblasts, with the task to invade Ukrainian territory at the time of the failed attempt to proclaim the “Kharkov People’s Republic” (KPR) and emergence of another hotbed of separatism there. But since the KPR project failed, and the brunt of military confrontation fell on Donbas, in early summer of 2014, the “peacekeepers” from Samara were brought to a base camp of the Rostov invasion force group. The camp was positioned directly on the border with Ukraine, in Kamensky Raion of Rostov Oblast. This ensured their prompt deployment both in Luhansk and Donetsk directions. The brigade servicemen kept changing the inscription “MC” on the vehicles to the symbols of “Novorossia” and back. This process was tracked by the chronology of posting photos in social networks.
New subjects of investigation in faces and facts
In this investigation, identification of the “Donbas veterans” from the 15th MRB is based on the analysis of photos and data from social profiles of 10 servicemen of this unit. The original identification was based on the photograph taken in 2014 from the album of Alexey Kozlov (a contract serviceman of the 15th MRB) (see 1, 2). Let us remind you that squad leader Kozlov was spotted in the Donbas twice. The second time he popped up in 2015 already as a Donetsk People Republic (DPR) militant.
After analyzing Kozlov’s group photo and his social media accounts, we were able to identify new war criminals from the Russian army.
The name list
- Sergey Sosnin
Born in the town of Ochyor, Perm Krai, he served as a conscript in 2010-2011 in the Russian Airborne Forces. Since 2014, he has been a contract serviceman of the 15th MRB.
Social network accounts: VK (profile, album, contacts archives). We have identified Sosnin in Kozlov’s group photo. Though Sosnin is cautious in social networks, in his album we found a photo (posted on September 18, 2014) where he was on an armored personnel carrier BTR-82, with painted over hull and tactical signs. Other “Donbas veterans” are seen in this picture too. The conspicuous part is their non-statutory uniform – they were disguising as militants.
We have identified Klimentiy Lezhnev (#2) and Alexey Veske (#3).
- Klimentiy Lezhnev
Born on December 01, 1992 in the city of Votkinsk, Udmurt Republic. Since 2014 he has been a contract serviceman of the 15th MRB.
Social networks accounts: VK1 (profile, contacts archives), VK2 has been inactive since 2015, VK3 has been silent since 2016. In one of Lezhnev’s albums we found a picture with an armored vehicles convoy in the background (uploaded on January 6, 2015). Judging by the painted over tactical signs and non-statutory uniform, this picture relates to the period of his Rostov – Ukrainian deployment of 2014.
In this picture we identified Alexey Veske (#3) and Mikhail Tashkinov (#4).
- Alexey Veske
Born on Saturday, May 02, 1992 in the Oparino settlement, Kirov Oblast. Since 2012, he has been a contract serviceman of the 15th MRB.
Social network accounts: VK (profile, album, contacts archives). In his album we found the picture with a medal For the Return of Crimea (posted in April, 2014). Among other pictures, there are photos from September, 2014, taken in the “peacekeepers” base camp, located in the neighboring Ukraine Kamensky Raion, Rostov Oblast, and in the field camp, allegedly located in the Donbas territory.
- Mikhail Tashkinov
Hails from Eloga village, Yurpinskiy Raion, Perm Krai. In 2014 he was a contract serviceman of the 15th MRB.
- Petr Trubin / Made Inrussia
In 2014, he was a contract serviceman of the 15th MRB.
Trubin’s photo album contains pictures, uploaded in 2015-2017. They show his “Rostov-Ukrainian assignment” period of 2014. There are photos from the “peacekeepers” base camp in Kamensky Raion, Rostov Oblast, and also a photo of the second-class Medal For Military Valor with the decoration certificate (the Ministry of Defense order # 178 of March, 24, 2015).
- Sergey Andreev
Born on October 19, 1991 in the city of Kungur in Perm Krai. In 2014 he was a contract serviceman of the 15th MRB.
Social network accounts: VK (profile, album, contacts archives), OK (profile, album, contacts archives). Andreev’s photo album contains pictures, uploaded in 2015. They reflect his “Rostov-Ukrainian assignment” period in 2014, including the photo with Alexey Kozlov. He also has pictures with awards: the Medal For the Return of Crimea (the Ministry of Defense order # 219 of April, 17, 2014) and the second-class Medal For Military Valor with the decoration certificate (the Ministry of Defense order # 178 of March, 24, 2015).
- Vladimir Prokhorov
Born on Friday, March 20, 1981 in the city of Kiselyovsk in Kemerovo Oblast. In 2014 he was a contract serviceman of the 15th MRB.
Social network accounts: VK1 (profile archive), VK2 (profile, album, contacts archives), OK (profile, album, contacts archives). Prokhorov was identified in Alexey Kozlov’s group photo. More than that, Prokhorov keeps in one of his albums pictures from the same series, uploaded in the end of 2014. One of them even has a list people in that photo, which allowed us to double check the subjects of our investigation and reveal more servicemen who had not been identified earlier: Sergey Andreev (#6 with an active link to his profile), Gafur, it is Me (V. Prokhorov), Seliman (Selimanov, #7), Kozlov (the source and “initiator” of this investigation), Sosna (Sosnin, #1), Tarlan, Max, Petrucco (Petr Trubin, #5), Shabalin (Shabalin, #9), and Khoma.
- Yevgeniy Selimanov
Born on January 18, 1995 in the city of Penza. As of 2014, he was a contract serviceman of the 15th MRB.
Social network accounts: VK (profile, album, contacts archives), OK (profile, album, contacts archives). In his albums he keeps pictures with the Medal For the Return of Crimea (uploaded in April, 2014), as well as pictures, which reflect his Ukrainian deployment of 2014 (uploaded in 2014), including the same group photo as A.Kozlov has. Also, Yevgeniy has several pictures taken at prepared fighting positions, allegedly, from Donbas.
- Grigoriy Shabalin
Born on June 12, 1988 in the Kobra settlement, Nagorsky Raion, Kirov Oblast. As of 2014 he was a contract serviceman of the 15th MRB.
He was recognized in A.Kozlov’s group picture and also mentioned in the comment, made by Prokhorov (investigation subject #7).
- Anton Slezin
Born on February 21, 1990 in the city of Kamensk-Uralsky, Sverdlovsk Oblast. As of 2014, he was a contract serviceman of the 15th MRB.
Social networks accounts: VK1 (profile, albums, contacts archives), VK2 (profile, album, contacts archives) the account has been since 2015, VK3 (profile, album, contacts archives) the account has been inactive since 2015, OK (profile, album, contacts archives). He was recognized in the picture from 2014 with a BTR with letters “LPR” (Luhansk People’s Republic) on it, he keeps the same photo in his album. Also, in Slezin’s albums we found pictures of awards: the Medal For the Return of Crimea and the second-class Medal For Military Valor with the decoration certificate (the Ministry of Defense order # 178 of March, 24, 2015).
10 war criminals from the 15th MBR, presented in the investigation, represent only a small part of the identified “peacekeepers”. Previously, InformNapalm identified 15 more servicemen from this unit which indicates that a high number of servicemen from this brigade were involved in combat missions against Ukraine. In average, every 10th of those, who fought in the Donbas, has come into sight of OSINT-investigators. Based on the “5 handshakes theory” we believe it is possible to track down all those who participated in the aggression, using different ways of gathering information in addition to open source intelligence. We continue the work in this direction and its effectiveness does not decrease, despite Russia’s military leadership attempts to tighten control over the leakage of information through social media.
Read more about servicemen from the 15th MRB:
- 15th Motorized Rifle Brigade deployed to the Ukrainian border as an intelligence unit and “peacekeepers” at the same time, 09/12/2014
- Back to Basics: Russian Mercenaries Pretend to Be Peacekeepers, 10/05/2014
- Back to Basics – 2: More evidence of the Russian servicemen turning into DPR / LPR militants and then back into “peacekeepers”, 10/04/2014
- Mourning ‘Peacekeepers’ of the 15th Brigade, 07/23/2015
- A division of the 15th “peacekeeping” brigade from Samara in Millerovo, 04/25/2014
- The 15th Brigade Contract Soldier Is Noticed in Krasnodon, 08/06/2015
- Russian 15th Brigade Mimics ‘Donbas Miners’, 12/15/2015
- The War Criminals of the 15th ‘Peacekeeping’ Brigade: Unpublished Story, 03/06/2016
- Russia Uses Servicemen of the 15th Motorized Rifle Brigade of Peacekeeping Forces in Donbas, 09/10/2016
- Russian squad sergeant Kozlov spotted in Ukraine, 11/22/2016
- Coming back in a body bag: a contract soldier from Russian 15th Brigade identified (photos, videos, 18+), 11/24/2016
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