On 14 April, the OSCE SMM for the first time spotted 15 new Russian-made UAZ Esaul armored utility vehicles near the occupied village of Oleksandrivske in Donetsk Oblast, 21 km from the contact line. At the end of April, volunteers from InformNapalm international intelligence community obtained visual confirmation of this information and a photo taken by a mini-UAV.
On April 29, Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna, Yevhen Tsymbalyuk, stressed during a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council that Russia continues to supply modern weapons for combat operations in the Donbas produced only in Russia.
UAZ-23632-148 Esaul has been supplied to the Russian army since 2018. This is an armored modification of the UAZ Patriot which has protection against mines and grenades also has an armored engine compartment and explosion and fire proof fuel tanks. A machine gun (Kord or Pecheneg) or a grenade launcher (AGS-17 or AGS-30) can be mounted on the roof of the armored vehicle.
This modification was designed taking into account the combat experience of Russian troops in Syria. The vehicle was used for quick covert transfer of Special Forces troops, combat reconnaissance, assaults, and so on. Its appearance in the arms of the Russian occupation forces in the Donbas may indicate the intentions of the Russian Federation to intensify the escalation of hostilities in eastern Ukraine and increase their dynamics.
According to Russian sources, UAZ-23632-148 Esaul is a rather expensive special vehicle. Its price reaches 3 million rubles (over $40,000). The supply of only this shipment of 15 cars cost the Russian taxpayers 45 million rubles (over $600,000).
Russia supplies more and more new equipment to the Donbas
Let us remind you that in December 2020, the modified Russian 2B26 Grad MLRS based on the KamAZ-5350 chassis which are in service with the Russian Armed Forces were first included in the OSCE SMM report in the Donbas. In February 2021, InformNapalm volunteers received an exclusive visual confirmation of information about the first official spotting of the Russian 51U6 Kasta-2E1 radar station near the village of Buhaevka, Luhansk Oblast.
Overall, the InformNapalm database of Russian weapons spotted in the Donbas already contains more than 50 types of military equipment that could not have been captured from the Ukrainian army and its presence is direct evidence of the supply of weapons by the Russian Federation.
Simultaneously with the testing of modern models of weapons and equipment in the Donbas, the Russia also supplies the occupied territories of Ukraine with weapons of the old Soviet models, for example:
- T-64 main battle tank;
- Early modifications of T-72B tank;
- BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher;
- 2C1 Gvozdika self-propelled howitzer;
- Strela-10 anti-aircraft missile system;
- BMP-1 and BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles;
- BT-LB multi-purpose light armored personnel carrier;
- D-30 122 mm towed howitzer;
- Msta-B 152 mm howitzer;
- MT-12 Rapira anti-tank gun.
These and other types of weapons have also been repeatedly recorded in InformNapalm’s OSINT investigations but they are not presented in our database, as their presence in the occupied territory of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts can be formally justified by the legacy of the common Soviet past and requires other methods of proof. Therefore, we focus our attention mainly on those models of weapons and equipment, the presence of which in the occupied Donbas is irrefutable evidence of Russian military aggression by itself.
Read also on InformNapalm:
- Proofs of the Russian Aggression: InformNapalm releases extensive database of evidence
- OSCE PA Representatives Receive Publications on Occupation of Crimea During US Elections Monitoring (Photo Report)
- Modern Russian electronic warfare systems spotted in Donbas again (PHOTO)
- Militants cover up Russian EW assets in Donbas
- Exact coordinates of location with newest Russian EW systems in Donbas established
- Russian occupation forces used heavy artillery and mortars in Donbas
- Intelligence data on 1st and 2nd Army Corps of Russian Federation in occupied Donbas
- Artillery officer of the 1st Army Corps under UCA surveillance. Part 1