OSINT team unearthed the evidence that Alexander Medvedev, an officer from 18th Motor Rifle Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces, took part in the Russian military aggression against Ukraine in Summer-Fall 2014.
InformNapalm volunteer intelligence community conducted an independent OSINT investigation and gathered information on the participation of 18th Motor Rifle Brigade (military unit #27777, permanently stationed in Chechnya) of 58th Army of Russian Armed Forces (Southern Military District) in the war in Donbas. The investigated case adds another piece of evidence to the database of incidents with Russian military units spotted in the war zone in Ukraine. 18th Motor Rifle Brigade was in the vanguard of the Russian Army invasion forces thrown into the war against Ukraine.
The investigation revealed a Russian officer from this military unit who passed so-called ‘Rostov-Ukraine mission’ in Summer-Fall of 2014. Not only InformNapalm obtained the photo of this officer proving his presence stay in Donbas combat zone, but also verified his ties with other Russian servicemen who got on InformNapalm’s radar during prior investigations.
Key identification attributes are: white bandages, non-regulation uniform (typical ‘Donbas mine worker disguise’, i.e. irregular troops uniform with no insignia of the Russian Army), photo upload date, etc. The top evidence is a photo (archive) uploaded by Medvedev to VK social network on October 26, 2014.
Alexander Medvedev, Senior Lieutenant. Birthdate: October 28, 1987. Birthplace: Blagoveshchensk, Amur Oblast. Medvedev graduated from Far Eastern Higher Military Command School in 2011. In Spring 2014 he took the course in what is known as a sniper school located in Sertolovo Village, Leningrad Oblast (Western Military District). Presumably, Alexander Medvedev serves as the officer in the reconnaissance battalion or sniper company of 18th Motor Rifle Brigade. Contacts: phone: 89389081682; Skype: medvedevaleks283; email: email@example.com.
Social networks accounts: VK1 (archived copy of profile, photo album, contacts), VK2 (archived copy of profile, photo album, contacts), Odnoklassniki.
It is noteworthy that Medvedev’s photos (1 and 2) were commented by Ivan Remizov – a seasoned contract soldier of the same 18th Motor Rifle Brigade, combatant of the Russian invasion forces in Donbas, who was the central figure of the investigation dated July 5, 2016: Another Disclosure by InformNapalm: War Criminals from the 18th Motorized Rifle Brigade of Russian Forces. At that time Remizov posed for picture in his ‘mine-worker outfit’ with BTR-82 APC in the background (after our publication Remizov’s profile was thoroughly cleaned up).
InformNapalm already wrote about standard BTR-82 APCs of 18th Motor Rifle Brigade spotted in Donbas in previous reports, such as ‘Putin’s Eleven’ — Selfie Soldiers of 18th Russian Motorized Rifles Brigade in Donbas dated August 10, 2015. Deployment of BTR-82 APCs by Russian troops in Eastern Ukraine was repeatedly confirmed by different sources, including Russian, and supported by photo evidence of the destroyed BTR-82 near Novosvitlivka, Luhansk Oblast.
Short reference: 18th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade (military unit #27777, Khankala and Kalynovskaya, Chechnya) of 58th Army of the Russian Armed Forces (Southern Military District) was formed by the end of 2008 on the basis of former units of 42nd Motor Rifle Division permanently stationed in Khankala and Kalinovskaya villages, Chechnya as a result of Russian military reform. This brigade is one of the most efficient combat-ready units of the Russian Ground Forces. The brigade is fully rearmed and re-equipped with new and upgraded models of weapons and military hardware. On top of that 18th Brigade has a so-called ‘national’ battalion manned with servicemen coming from the North Caucasus region – most of them are former militants who had gone through Russian-Chechen Wars and were amnestied afterwards; later they served in units of Kadyrov and Yamadayev. Brigade (Division) units took part in the Russian aggression against Georgia in August 2008.
A few weeks before the official announcement of the Russian Ministry of Defense, released on September 27, 2016, InformNapalm wrote about a planned large-scale reform in the Southern Military District, more specifically – about the reorganization of several motor rifle brigades stationed in Chechnya into regiments and their further merger into a new (but essentially old) 42nd Motor Rifle Division.
Structure / Weapons and military equipment of 18th Motor Rifle Brigade
The structure: Command, 1st Motor Rifle Battalion, 2nd Motor Rifle Battalion, 3rd Motor Rifle Battalion, Special Operations Battalion, Rifle Company (snipers), Tank Battalion, 1st Howitzer Self-Propelled Artillery Battalion, 2nd Howitzer Self-Propelled Artillery Battalion, Rocket Artillery Battalion, Antitank Artillery Battalion, Air Defense Missile Battalion, Air Defense Missile and Artillery Battalion, Reconnaissance Battalion, UAV Company, Engineer-Sapper Battalion, NBC Protection Company, Control and Communication Battalion, EW Company, Control and Artillery Intelligence Battery (chief artillery officer), Control and Radar Intelligence Platoon (chief air defense officer), Control Platoon (chief officer of the intelligence section), Repair and Recovery Battalion, Logistics Battalion, Commandant Control Company, Medical Сompany, Military Training Platoon, Training and Simulation Platoon, firing range, orchestra.
Weapons and equipment: T-72BZ main battle tank – 40 pcs., T-72BK main battle tank – 1 pc., BTR-82A armored personnel carrier – 129 pcs., BTR-80 armored personnel carrier – 27 pcs., GAZ-233014 STS Tigr infantry mobility vehicle – 6 pcs., MT-LB armored tracked vehicle – 15 pcs., 2B26 Grad multiple rocket launcher – 18 pcs., 152-mm 2S19 MSTA-S self-propelled howitzer – 36 pcs., 120-mm 2S12 Sani heavy mortar – 18 pcs., 100-mm MT-12 Rapira antitank gun – 12 pcs., 9P149 Shturm-S self-propelled antitank missile system – 12 pcs., BRDM-2 armored patrol car – 4 pcs., BM 9A33BM2 (3) Osa – 12 pcs., BM 9A34 (35) Strela-10 surface-to-air missile system – 6 pcs., 2S6M Tunguska self-propelled anti-aircraft gun – 6 pcs., 9K38 Igla man-portable air defense system – 27 pcs.
InformNapalm keeps track not only of professional servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces who got caught taking part in Russian military offensive in Ukraine. The community collects data on all soldiers who have ties with war criminals.
One of the photos posted by Alexander Medvedev in May 2014 during his sniper course in Sertolovo, Leningrad Oblast, shows three young Russian military officers, all of whom have been identified by InformNapalm (regardless the fact that only one of them is among Medvedev’s contacts) and recorded in the database.
Dmitry Nikitin (archived copy of profile, photo album, contacts). Born in Ishim city, Tyumen Oblast. Education: Military Educational and Scientific Center of the Ground Forces. Officer of 25th Motor Rifle Brigade (military unit #29760, Strugi Krasnye Village, Pskov Oblast, Western Military District) whose servicemen were exposed during their so-called Ukrainian mission.
Ruslan Bogomazov (archived copy of profile, photo album, contacts). Born in Slavgorod, Altai Krai. Education: Novosibirsk Higher Military Command School. He served in the 882nd Ammunition Recycling Battalion (military unit #07007, Yelizavetinka Village, Leningrad Oblast). Supposedly this officer is now serving in the 2nd Taman Motor Rifle Division (military unit #23626, Kalininets Village, Moscow Oblast, Western Military District).
Nikolai Bondarev (archived copy of profile, photo album, contacts). Born in Kyakhta, Buryatia. Education: Military Academy for Logistics. Officer of the 136th Motor Rifle Brigade (military unit #63354, Buynaksk, Dagestan) of the 58th Army of the Russian Armed Forces (Southern Military District) whose servicemen were spotted in the war zone in Ukraine.
InformNapalm possesses unique archives and databases with materials that have not been published. Persons that have connections with militants fighting in joint Russian-terrorist forces also get recorded in the database, but their data are not disclosed until InformNapalm community decides to do so.
InformNapalm volunteer intelligence community uses the entire gamut of HUMINT and OSINT methods to find and process information about Russian war criminals. Some of them even contact InformNapalm to mitigate the punishment. However, main repository of information is waiting for the moment when international investigative and judicial authorities request it in order to bring political and military leaders of the Russian Federation to justice.
It is worth pointing out that 18th Motor Rifle Brigade repeatedly surfaced in InformNapalm’s earlier investigations exposing Russian military presence in Ukraine:
- An Introduction to the so-called “Wild”, or National Battalions of the Russian Federation Currently Engaged in Ukraine, 08/31/2014
- New Evidence of Russian Military Incursion into Ukraine, 06/15/2014
- Tanks of the 18th Motorized Rifle Brigade in Ukraine, 07/15/2015
- A Story Behind the Photo: Separatist Leader Pavel Gubarev and the Russian 18th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade, 07/06/2015
- ‘Putin’s Eleven’ — Selfie Soldiers of 18th Russian Motorized Rifles Brigade in Donbas, 08/10/2015
- 3 Trips From the 18th Brigade to Donbas — ‘Cherchez la femme’, 10/21/2015
- Participation of the Russian MLRS from the 18th Brigade in Lunging of Ukraine: Photo Facts and Geolocation, 02/28/2016
- Another Disclosure by InformNapalm: War Criminals from the 18th Motorized Rifle Brigade of Russian Forces, 07/05/2016
This material is prepared based on own OSINT investigation.
Translated by Evgeniy Kalashnik
Edited by Christina Dobrovolska
Information was specially prepared for InformNapalm volunteer intelligence community website. An active link to the source for any reprint of other use of the material is required.
(Creative Commons – Attribution 4.0 International – CC BY 4.0)
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