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Identified: Russian contract soldier of 34th MRB seconded to Prizrak illegal armed group

A contract soldier of the 34th Motorized Rifle Brigade (MRB) of the Russian Army who was seconded to the illegal armed group (IAG) operating on the occupied territory of Ukrainian Donbas was identified by InformNapalm.

We continue to identify the Russian military personnel seconded to the IAGs of Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) and Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). In this investigation we will provide a detailed analysis of a contract servicemen of the Russian 34th MRB, who combines active service in the Russian Armed Forces with long-term deployments to the occupied part of Donbas.

In the case of Arman Gabasov, there seems to be no direct evidence indicating his belonging to the Russian Armed Forces, but following the logic of the facts listed below, this conclusion becomes evident.

Arman Gabasov

He is better known as Roma Gabasov, call sign Kazak. Born August 5, 1990 in Novomaksimovskiy village, Volgograd Oblast.

Social media accounts: VK1 [1] (archived profile [2]photos [3]contacts [4]), VK2 [5] (account inactive since 2013), ОK1 [6] (archived profile [7]photos [8]contacts [9], account inactive since November 2016), ОK2 [10] (account inactive since 2012), facebook [11] (account inactive since 2013).

Gabasov did his conscript military service [12] in the 943rd Rocket Artillery Regiment (military unit 21797, Krasno-Oktyabrsky settlement, Adygea). He signed the first long-term contract in 2011 with the Motorized Rifle Regiment (MRR) of the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division in Chechnya (later reorganized into the 8th MRB), where he served [13] until 2013. In May 2014, Gabasov had a short return to civilian life, he even managed to work as a security guard [14] at Abrau-Dyurso winery near Novorossiysk.

In August 2014, Gabasov’s life made a new turn: in his social account appeared a photo of a military tent camp [15] captioned “Bashin-Kala“. This the name of a village near Itum-Kali in Chechnya, probably the location of a selection and training grounds for new contract soldiers. Then followed a half-year silence with not a single new photograph. In January 2015, he posted [16] for the first time a snapshot with the DPR insignia. from June to August 2015, Gabasov appears as a Russian serviceman at a so-called autonomous tent camp [17] on the Kuzminskiy training range in Rostov Oblast.

After almost a two-month pause since October 2015, many pictures with Novorossia trivia appeared in Gabasov’s album. A while later, in November 2015, several photos were posted to his album, where Gabasov poses in the camouflage uniform of the Russian Armed Forces with a shoulder patch [18] of the 34th MRB (military unit 01485, Storozhevaya-2, Karachay-Cherkess Republic).

Then in March and May 2016, photos from another Ukrainian deployment were posted in Gabasov’s album. These and other pictures posted from autumn 2016 to September 2017 can be seen in Gabasov’s active VK account, which he registered after losing access to his OK account.

Thus, summing up the above: Gabasov, “a volunteer fighter”, is taking part in the hostilities in Donbas (apparently in the Prizrak [19] IAG), whereas in August 2014 he signed another three-year contract with the Russian Armed Forces. This is confirmed by the November picture of 2015, where Gabasov poses with a shoulder patch [20] of 34th MRB.

There are other important observations, such as comments on his photos of August 2015 which should be mentioned separately. In particular, this comment [21] “There are so many girls here! and you’ve left! come back!“, which was made by a single motherAnastasia Kurilova (on ОK: archived profile [22], photos [23], contacts [24], VK: [25] archived profile [26]photos [27]contacts [28]), living in Yasynuvata, Donetsk Oblast of Ukraine, since 2014 under control of Russian hybrid forces.

With these comments in mind, it can be inferred that Gabasov had his first Ukrainian deployment to the area of Yasynuvata in the first half of 2015. The second deployment to Donbas started in the first half of 2016. We presume, he is there to this day.

We should like to remind you that InformNapalm materials features different kinds of Russian military personnel involved in the hostilities in Ukrainian Donbas, i.e. groups and individual active servicemen of the Russian Army who took part in the hostilities at the initial stage of the invasion, also active Russian servicemen seconded to the DPR and LPR IAGs after the signing of the Minsk Protocol. The so-called “army corps” of the pseudo-republics are manned on a hybrid basis: with local collaborators, Russian mercenaries, (both employees of private military companies and so called “volunteers”) as well as regular Russian military men – officers and contract soldiers. InformNapalm repeatedly recorded active Russian servicemen in the ranks of the IAGs seconded from the following military units: Southern Military District: 19th Motorized Rifle Brigade see 1 [29] and 2 [30] (Vladikavkaz, Republic of North Ossetia), 18th Motorized Rifle Brigade  [31](Kalinovskaya village, Chechnya), 136th Motorized Rifle Brigade [32] (Buynaksk, Dagestan), 7th Military Base see 1, [33] 2, [34] 3 [35] (Gudauta, occupied Abkhazia, Georgia), 205th Motorized Rifle Brigade [36] (Budyonnovsk, Stavropol Krai), 8th Mountain Motorized Rifle Brigade [37](Borzoi, Republic of Chechnya), 291th Artillery Brigade [38] (Troitskaya, Republic of Ingushetia), 22th Special Forces Brigade [39]; from Central Military District: – 74th Motorized Rifle Brigade [40] (Yurga, Kemerovo Oblast), 23th Motorized Rifle Brigade [41] (Samara), 15th Peacekeeping Motorized Rifle Brigade [42] (Roshchinsky garrison, Samara Oblast), 21th Motorized Rifle Brigade [43] (Orenburg), 28th Motorized Rifle Brigade [44] (Yekaterinburg); 31th Air Assault Brigade [45] (Ulyanovsk), from the units of the Russian Guard [46] and other law enforcement agencies [47] of Russian Federation.

The 34th MRB has more than once come to the attention of InformNapalm.

  1. In the context of the Rostov-Ukrainian deployments:
  1. In the context of the Ukraine and Syria deployments:

Databases of the Russian servicemen and evidence of the participation of the Russian hybrid forces in the war in Ukraine are available here: https://informnapalm.org/en/category/top-investigations/. [54]

·         Structure and armament of the 34th Motorized Rifle Brigade

34th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade (mountain), military unit 01485, as part of the 49th Field Army of the Southern Military District of the Russian Armed Forces. Home station: Karachay-Cherkess Republic, Zelenchuksky Raion, Storozhevaya-2.

Composition: command, 1st mechanized infantry battalion, 2nd mechanized infantry battalion, self-propelled howitzer artillery battalion, antiaircraft artillery missile battalion, reconnaissance battalion, control battalion, EW company, engineer company, maintenance company, logistics company, medical company , a transport platoon (56 horses), NBC protection platoon, a headquarters platoon, a control platoon ((of the artillery commander), a control platoon (of the reconnaissance commander), a rifle platoon (snipers). A total of about 2283 people.

Armament: 80 pcs. MT-LBM 6MB and MT-LB VMK; 9 pcs. BTR-80, 18 pcs. 2S1 Gvozdika 122mm self-propelled howitzers, 12 pcs. 2S12 Sani 120-mm mortar, 8 pcs. ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft cannons.

Source: milkavkaz.net [55]



This publication was prepared by Irakli Komaxidze [57] specially for InformNapalm [58]. Graphics Alex Alexidze [59]. Translated by Andrii Gryganskyi, edited by Artem Velichko

(Creative Commons — Attribution 4.0 International — CC BY 4.0 [60])
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