After almost 3 years, we return to the topic of involvement of the 19th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade (the 19th SMRB) from Vladikavkaz in criminal shelling of Ukrainian territory. In the summer-autumn of 2014, InformNapalm just started its activities. At that time we had neither experience, nor human resources to conduct OSINT (open source investigation) in full. Then our primary task was to identify and record Russian military units involved in the aggression in the Donbas. Sometimes we did not disclose the personal data of servicemen who participated in the events, on purpose, because by publishing their names we risked losing sources who provided us with operational information.
For example, in the end of September 2014, in the grove near the village of Varenik in Matveyevo-Kurgansky District, Rostov Oblast, a few kilometers from the Ukrainian border, we discovered a rocket artillery unit from the 19th SMRB (military unit 20634, Sputnik settlement, Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia–Alania, of the Southern Military District of Russia). A few days later, in the forest near the village of Krasnodarsky in Matveyevo-Kurgansky District, Rostov Oblast, we identified a self-propelled artillery unit (2S19 Msta-S) from the same motorized rifle brigade.
Three years of experience and the formed OSINT team of our community have allowed us to catch up. Probably, our regular readers noticed that in our recent publications we have been focusing on personalities – the identification of the facts of aggression and of Russian war criminals, the so-called “Donbas veterans”. Among others, we have identified artillerymen of various units and formations, battalion-tactical groups or combined rocket artillery battalions, which were involved in military operations in the east of Ukraine. This includes artillery that fired at the territory of Ukraine from mobile positions in Rostov Oblast, as well as temporary advancing into the Ukrainian territory. About 100 officers, contract soldiers and conscripts from various artillery units of the Russian army have been identified so far, including:
- 25 artillerymen from the 7th Military Base (military unit 09332, Gudauta, occupied Abkhazia, Georgia), who as members of a combined rocket artillery battalion, were involved in the shelling of Ukrainian cities, villages, and the Ukrainian army positions from late August to December 2014;
- 9 artillerymen from the 120th Artillery Brigade (military unit 59361, Yurga, Kemerovo Oblast), who since October 2014 till late February 2015, as members of a combined howitzers battalion deployed to Ulraine, participated in shelling;
- 10 artillerymen and mortar men from the 74th Motorized Rifle Brigade (military unit 21005, Yurga), involved in shelling in 2014;
- 40 “veterans” of Rostov – Ukrainian deployment in 2014 from the 291st Artillery Brigade (military unit 64670, Troitskaya village, Ingushetia). In total we have identified 82 servicemen of this artillery unit from Ingushetia, including 31 who were in Syria in 2015.
- Also, we identified several artillerymen from the 17th SMRB (military unit 65384, Shali, Chechnya), the 136th SMRB (military unit 63354, Buynaksk, Dagestan Republic), the 8th Mountain SMRB (military unit 16544, Borzoy, Chechnya), and the 19th SMRB (military unit 20634, Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia–Alania).
It’s time to add to this list of criminals new names of the servicemen from the 19th SMRB. The new investigation resulted in identification of several artillerymen from the reactive battalion of the 19th SMRB, who in the summer and autumn of 2014 participated in shelling of Ukraine:
Date of birth: January 22,1995. Hails from Yablonovsky settlement, Adygea. He served as a conscript from December 2013 till December 2014 in a rocket artillery battalion of the 19th SMRB. Accounts in social networks: VK (profile, album, contacts archives), ОК (profile, album, contacts archives).
Based on A. Listopad’s profile analysis we can conclude that a series of photos, uploaded by him in July-October 2014, falls on one of the hottest phases of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. You can see in the pictures forest camps of the roving rocket artillery battalion of the 19th SMRB (exactly the same as we observed in the autumn 2014 in photoreports of other artillerymen from this brigade in the areas of Rostov Oblast bordering Ukraine, including ones with geotags); a 9K51M Tornado-G MRLS (updated version of the Grad) on firing positions with additional ammunition; camp “partisan” lifestyle and barbecue parties of artillerymen. Distinctive signs of the 19th SMRB are: a tactical sign in the form of a square half-painted diagonally, an unauthorized appearance and a non-statutory “flora” camouflage uniforms, as well as many other features characteristic of the Kremlin’s “invisible front warriors”.
Note: The Russian 9K51M Tornado-G modernized multiple rocket launcher system is the upgraded 122mm BM-21 Grad MRLS. The main differences from its predecessor are: a more advanced fire control system with satellite navigation and a computer for ballistics calculation, with automatic aiming at the target grids. Also, the increased fire range, according to some sources, is up to 100 km. One of the distinguishing Tornado-G features is a mushroom shape small satellite antenna located above the cabin.
Similar pictures were found in photo albums of A. Listopad’s comrades, listed below, who were identified in this investigation. Mostly, they are former conscripts, called for active duty from different regions of Russia in the fall of 2013, who, after pre-deployment training at Prudboy training area in Volgograd Oblast, were deployed to Rostov Oblast.
Date of birth: February 17. Hails from Verkhny Ufaley in Chelyabinsk Oblast. He served as a conscript from December 2013 till December 2014 in a rocket artillery battalion of the 19th SMRB. Accounts in social networks: VK (profile, album, saved photos, contacts archives).
Kochurov’s album contains pictures, uploaded in July – October 2014. The photos reflect the “partisan” life of the roving battalion of the 19th brigade, they show a Tornado-G MRLS with ammunition; there is also a group photo of rocket artillery veterans leaving the “Rostov-Ukrainian assignment” for the home base in Vladikavkaz. Moreover, Kochurov’s album contains a photo with a vehicle in a background that we found in the photo album of another artilleryman from this brigade in the fall of 2014 (in this photo both Kochurov and his comrade were identified).
3. Mergen Vyacheslavovich
The full name has to be identified.
Date of birth: August 16,1991. Hails from Elista, Kalmykia. He served as a conscript from December 2013 till December 2014 in a rocket artillery battalion of the 19th SMRB. Accounts in social networks: «VK» (profile, photo album, contacts archives).
Mergen’s album is rather modest, which is understandable, because in the autumn of 2014 we published photos of “partisan” life of rocket artillerymen from the 19th Brigade, taken particularly from his account; for this reason that album was cleaned up later. Except for one photo in the company of comrades, who are sitting at the table in the forest camp (the same photograph is in the albums of other servicemen).
The following artillerymen of the 19th SMRB were identified through the above-mentioned group photo of newly-minted “combat veterans” departing to Vladikavkaz, found in Kochurov’s account.
Hails from the town of Troitsk in Chelyabinsk Oblast. He served as a conscript from November 2013 till November 2014 in a rocket artillery battalion of the 19th SMRB. Now he serves as a contract soldier in Penza, (military unit 03211, air defense forces). Accounts in social networks: VK (profile, album, contacts archives), second profile was deleted.
Khramov’s photo album still contains photos from the period of the “Rostov-Ukraine assignment 2014″. These are photos, reflecting the “partisan” life, which were uploaded to his album in July-September 2014. Also, D. Khramov was identified in the photo of A. Listopad, where they posed against the backdrop of the MRLS fire position, and in some other group pictures.
Date of birth: April 04,1993. Hails from the town of Troitsk in Chelyabinsk Oblast. He served as a conscript in 2013 – 2014 in rocket artillery battalion of the 19th SMRB. Accounts on social networks: VK (profile, album, contacts archives), his second profile VK2 is not active since 2015.
Denisevich’s album contains just a few photos from his service period, and none of them points to his participation in the “Rostov-Ukrainian assignment 2014″. However, we have identified him in the group photo of the reactive artillerymen returning from the war to the home base.
His real name is to be identified.
Hails from Sochi, currently he supposedly lives in St. Petersburg. He served as a conscript from October 2013 till October 2014 in a rocket artillery battalion of the 19th SMRB. Accounts in social networks: VK (profile, album, contacts archives).
Daniel’s album contains just a few photos from his service period, particularly in artillery, with a noteworthy comment. But there are no photos that would point to the “Rostov – Ukrainian assignment 2014”. Despite this, we have dentified him also in the group photo of the reactive artillerymen returning from the war to the home base.
Other artillerymen of the rocket artillery battalion from the 19th SMRB have photos with apparent signs of the Rostov-Ukrainian deployment.
DOB: October, 25. Hails from the city of Ulyanovsk. He served as a conscript in 2013 – 2014 in a rocket artillery battalion of the 19th SMRB. Accounts in social networks: VK1 (profile, album, contacts archives, not active since March 2017), VK2 profile is active.
In Zavyazov’s frugal account there are only few photos of his service period in the 19th SMRB, including pictures from the forest camp of artillerymen “partisans” from the period of the “Rostov-Ukrainian assignment 2014”, which are the same as ones from Ilya Kochurov’s and Mergen Vyacheslavovich’ albums.
Stanislav Nazarov (Redkiy)
Date of birth: February 21,1994. Hails from the city of Miass in Chelyabinsk Oblast. Registered address of residence is 42 Sevastopolskaya St., apartment 1, Miass. He served as a conscript from November 2013 till November 2014 in a rocket artillery battalion of the 19th SMRB. Accounts in social networks: VK (profile, album, contacts archives).
In Nazarov’s album you can find some pictures uploaded in July-October 2014, which testify to his “partisan” life – participation in a combat mission within the rocket artillery unit of the 19th Brigade. On the so-called discharge photo Nazarov poses with a reward – a jubilee medal for participating in a parade.
Born on March, 3, 1994. Hails from the city of Naberezhnye Chelny. He served as a conscript in 2013 – 2014 in a rocket artillery battalion of the 19th SMRB. Social network accounts: VK (profile, album, contacts archives).
Though Khusnutdinov’s album contains no apparent photos from the Rostov-Ukrainian deployment of 2014, he has been recognized in other artillerymen pictures, including the group picture of artillerymen – “partisans” of the 19th SMRB from September 2014, that was found in Alexey Zavyazov’s album.
Date of birth: June12,1994. Hails from Stavropol city. He served as a conscript in 2013 – 2014 in a rocket artillery battalion of the 19th SMRB. Accounts in social networks: VK (profile, album, contacts archives).
Lavrentiev’s photo album has photos from his military service period, but without pictures from “Rostov-Ukraine assignment 2014″. But he has been recognized in the group picture of artillerymen – “partisans” of the 19th SMRB, dated September 2014, from Alexey Zavyazov’s album.
The structure and weapons of the 19th SMRB
The 19th, Voronezh-Shumlin Motorized Rifle Brigade (military unit 20634, Sputnik village, Vladikavkaz) of the 58th Field Army of the Southern Military District.
As of 2012-2015, Major-General Sergey Aleksandrovich Kisel was the commander of the 19th SMRB. In September 2016, Kisel was appointed Chief of Staff of the 20th Guards Combined Arms Army. He received the rank of Major-General in June 2013. Since 2015, Colonel Esedulla Abdulmuminovich Abachev has been the commander of the 19th Brigade.
The pennon, tactical sign, and insignia of the 19th SMRB:
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.
Armament: 40 pcs. T-90A tanks, one 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.
The 19th SMRB appears in ten OSINT investigations by InformNapalm. These publications are related to facts of invasion to Ukraine in summer-autumn 2014, and also to evidences of this brigade servicemen participation in Donbas war.
- Combat crews of Grad MLRS of 19th MRB identified along the border with Ukraine, 2014-10-01
- 2S19 ‘Msta-S’ Self Propelled Mortar from North Ossetia at the Border with Ukraine, 08/04/2015
- ‘Drone Company’ of Russian 19th Motorized Rifle Brigade. A story of their Ukrainian ‘trip’, 05/25/2015
- Snipers of the Russian 19th Brigade Enlisted in ‘Somali’ Terrorist Battalion, 07/27/2015
- Hawkish course: new airborne reconnaissance companies for the Russian infantry, 09/06/2016
- War criminals of 19th Motorized Rifle Brigade of the Russian Army detected, 12/14/2016
- “Going from Ukraine to the Caucasus”. Conscript gave away “Ukrainian mission” of the 19th Motorized Rifle Brigade, 04/17/2017
- Donbas: Russian army sniper masquerades as a local “rebel”, 06/28/2017
- Electronic warfare systems in Donbas. Specialists from EW company of 19th Motorized Rifle Brigade of the Russian Army detected, 06/17/2017
- Servicemen from the 19th Motorized Rifle Brigade, awarded for fighting in Ukraine, revealed, 2017-07-05
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