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Russia is building up its military presence in Georgia. New S-300 in occupied Abkhazia

Russia is strengthening its presence in the occupied territories of Georgia: evidence of the transfer of additional S-300 air defense systems to Abkhazia is obtained.

Concurrently with the granting Georgia visa-free travel regime to the EU by the European Parliament, in the last month there has been an intensification of aggressive actions by Russian occupying forces in the Tskhinvali region and Abkhazia. The Russian military and the FSB border guards go on frank provocations: they equip new military facilities, equip artificially created borders, encroach on the right of ownership of civilians, kidnap Georgian law enforcers.

Based on the results of HUMINT / OSINT intelligence, volunteers of InformNapalm international intelligence community revealed the transfer of S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to occupied Abkhazia.

HUMINT

The initial information was obtained directly from occupied Abkhazia, from local residents – opponents of Russian occupation and the so-called integration with Russia (to be precise, assimilation). According to information from trusted sources from Abkhazia, on March 10, 2017, a railway train entered Abkhazia from the Russia’s side – about three dozen freight cars, including open platforms loaded with large wheeled vehicles and large metal structures.

OSINT

To collect additional information on the transfer of military cargo to occupied Abkhazia, InformNapalm volunteers conducted a search in social media and other open sources of information.

On Instagram, a 21 second long video downloaded by the user _natashechka_ a few days prior, was found. The video demonstrates the passage of a train consisting of 17 cars with military equipment, including wheeled vehicles, a radar mast and other auxiliary components to the S-300 surface-to-air missile system.

The video was given hashtags # #военнаятехника#жд#поезд (#military equipment#railway#train) and a geolocation marker “Lukoil”, which is located at coordinates 44 ° 54’38 “N, 38 ° 52’58” E [1] – it is a railway crossing on the Novorossiysk-Krasnodar road, on the administrative border of Adygea and Krasnodar Krai.

Note: As of March 15, 2017, the video has been deleted from its original post [2] (InformNapalm repost [3]). This is not surprising, especially after a number of comments on the video from aggressive trolls, including the story [4] of a Russian woman who sent SMS to Georgia about the transfer of Russian forces to Abkhazia in 2008 and was later convicted of espionage.

On the social website VK, a series of photos taken at the railway station of Gudauta was found on the page of serviceman “B” from the Russian 7th Military Occupation Base (military unit #09332 of the Southern Military District, Georgia, Gudauta, occupied Abkhazia). The photos were posted on March 10 2017 with hashtags #Абхазия#пополнение (#Abkhazia#replenishment). The photographs show the process of unloading military equipment from a train, including S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems.

Note: we do not disclose personal data of the Russian serviceman at this time. We are evaluating the speed with which the military special investigators of the 7th Occupation Base work.

Moreover, we were able to identify and prove that the train with the S-300 missile systems that arrived in occupied Abkhazia and was unloaded at the Gudauta station is the same train that was filmed in the video on the border between Krasnodar Krai of Russia and Adygea. Not only the train and equipment loaded on it look identical, but also the same number – 44357945, was spotted on one of the railway platforms.

Here is a map showing the route of the train with the S-300 systems along the North Caucasian Railway (Krasnodar Krai-Adygea-Krasnodar Krai) and further into occupied Abkhazia:

The question remains open: where did the train come from? We have several assumptions:

The 1537th Anti-Aircraft Rocket Regiment (military unit 26345), consisting of two battalions, from the 51st Air Defense Division of the 4th Air Force and Air Defense Army (military unit 40911, Rostov-on-Don) is stationed in Novorossiysk. According to some sources [5], the first battalion consists of 8 S-400 launchers, the second of 8 S-300PM launchers and a battalion of the 96K6 Pantsir-S1 consisting of 6 systems. There is information that the 2nd Battalion of this regiment was recently rearmed with the S-400. Also, there is information [6] that the anti-aircraft missile regiments of the Russian Air Defense Forces that have S-300 and S-400 systems are reorganizing into a new, three-battalion structure. So, the Russian military command could well send the S-300 complexes from Novorossiysk to Abkhazia after replacing them with the S-400 for building up the military presence of this occupied region of Georgia.

It is also possible that the S-300 complexes could have been transferred to occupied Abkhazia from occupied Crimea, where the 12th and 18th regiments of the 31st Air Defense Division are stationed (Sevastopol, Crimea, Ukraine). Two battalions of these regiments had 12 PU S-300PM complexes each. Recently Russian media reported on the rearmament of one of the regiments with the modern S-400.

Thus, we are seeing the intensified militarization of Abkhazia by Russian occupation forces. According to our assumptions, we are not talking about replacing the old S-300 air defense missile systems of the two artillery divisions deployed by Russia after the invasion of Georgia in 2008 (the state of which is not the best, see the pictures below) with the newer ones. Most likely, the Russian military command decided to add the third S-300 battalion and broaden the air and missile defense forces of the 7th Russian Occupation Military Base, taking under tighter control the airspace of Georgia and its Black Sea coast. Probably, the new third S-300 battalion will be deployed in Ochamchire (near the Nagvalow training area) or in Gali District of occupied Abkhazia, where Russian invaders have become more active since the end of 2016 [7]. Similar actions by Russia are possibly connected [8] with the announced activities of NATO forces in the Black Sea region, including the possibility of using [9] the Georgian port of Poti.

Note: The 7th Russian Military Base (military unit 09332, Gudauta, occupied Abkhazia, Georgia), besides the ground forces, has air defense units which form the so-called Group of missile battalions. In addition to conventional air defense weapons (the Osa, Strela-10 BM and Tunguska missile systems), the S-300 air defense missile regiment is deployed in Abkhazia, consisting of two battalions with 8 launchers in each. The battalions are located near the village of Primorskoye in Gudauta District and near the village of Agudzer in Gulripshi District.

We want to remind you that the 7th Russian Occupation Military Base is one of the most belligerent units of the Russian Armed Forces, information about their “exploits” is presented in 29 OSINT investigations and other publications of InformNapalm international intelligence community. 

The 7th Base in InfrormNapalm publications:

Combat Crews of 2S3 “Akatsiya” of the 7th Military Base Identified along the Border with Ukraine [10] 10/05/2014

‘Donetsk Express’ – identification of Russian military equipment and weaponry, transferred to Donbas [11] 10/6/2014

Medical Detachment of the 7th Military Base from Abkhazia Identified near the Border with Ukraine [12] 10/13/2014

Rocket artillery of the 7th Military Base of the Russian occupation forces from Abkhazia on the border with Donbas [13] 12/18/2014

From the mandarin paradise toward the Ukrainian hell’: Russian contract soldiers pressed to fight in Ukraine [14] 2/4/2015

Servicemen of the 7th Russian Military Base from Abkhazia receive medals for fighting in Donbas [15] 3/2/2015

Conscripts of the 7th Russian Military Base massively recruited to become contract soldiers for the “Ukrainian missions”. [16] 3/6/2015

“Courageous Mihos” – ​​a scout of the 7th Military Base, holder of medal For Courage [17] 3/18/2015

More soldiers from 7th Military Base received Combat Medals after temporary duties in Ukraine [18] 05/27/2015

‘Cinderellas’ with Self-propelled Artillery Systems or How Russian Contract Servicemen are Posing as ‘Self-defence’ [19] 07/02/2015

The Сover Story of the ‘Former’ Soldier of the 7th Russian Base Does not Hold Water [20] 07/02/2015

Massive Deployment of the Russian Troops And Equipment from the Occupied Abkhazia Is Registered [21] 9/23/2015

Russia Deploys the Military Equipment of the 7th Base to Rostov Oblast [22] 09/24/2015

Russian Contract Soldier from the 7th Base Fights as ‘DPR’ Militant  [23]09/25/2015

‘Bored silly’: the Russian Invaders’ Games in Donbas  [24]01/10/2016

‘Double Strike’ to the Russian Officers from the Southern Military District [25] 02/10/2016

Journey of Russian Occupant: Gudauta – Rostov – Donbas – Khmeimim [26] 04/03/2016

The Dynasty of Russian War Criminals: Biographic Narrative of the Invader  [27] 08/15/2016

Emperor’s new clothes – or Putin exposed [28] 11/30/2016

Daily routine of the Rostov reserve of “Novorossia army” [29] 12/15/2016

Documents revealing personnel of another Russian BTG on a “Rostov-Ukrainian mission”  [30]10/27/2016

21 of 35: Russian artillerymen of the 7th Military Base involved in shelling of Ukraine. Identified. Infographics [31] 11/15/20016

Love story 3: love triangle of a Russian occupant [32] 01/05/2017

Russian scout from 7th Military Base given away a Bull Terrier from Horlivka [33] 11/28/2016

Identification of Russian 7th military base scouts who fought in Ukraine [34] 12/30/2016

Russian Kalmyk soldiers “got lost” in the steppes of Ukraine [34] 12/25/2016

From ‘hybrid’ soldier to cadet: Russian Military Intervention in Ukraine [35] 01/06/2017

Recipient of Medal of the Order “For Merit to the Fatherland” and other Donbas veterans from the 7th Military Base  https://informnapalm.org/en/recipient-medal-order-merit-fatherland-donbas-veterans-7th-military-base/ [36]  01/13/2017

Russian contract soldiers prefer service in the Far East to a trip to Donbas  https://informnapalm.org/30750-donbass-dalnem-vostoke/ [37]  02/28/2017 

Database of regular Russian military personnel and evidence of their participation in hostilities in Ukraine on the side of the joint Russian-terrorist forces are available here: https://informnapalm.org/database [38].

Composition and armament of the 7th Russian Occupation Military Base

The 7th Krasnodar Orders of Red Banner, Kutuzov and Red Star Military Base, military unit 09332 (Gudauta, occupied Abkhazia, Georgia) consists of:

Structure

– Command,

– Four mechanized infantry battalions;

– Sniper company;

– Tank battalion;

– Two self-propelled artillery battalions and one battery of towed howitzers;

– Rocket artillery battalion;

– Antitank artillery battalion;

– Antiaircraft missile battalion and an antiaircraft artillery missile battalion (parts of the so-called Anti-aircraft battalion group of the 7th Military Base);

– Reconnaissance battalion;

– UAV company;

– Engineer battalion;

– NBC protection company;

– Control (communications) battalion;

– Electronic warfare company;

– Control and artillery reconnaissance battery (of the artillery commander);

– Control and radar reconnaissance platoon (of air defense commander);

– Control Platoon (of the reconnaissance commander);

– Maintenance battalion;

– Logistics battalion;

– Headquarters company;

– Medical company;

– Military instructors platoon;

– Training simulator platoon;

– Training range;

– Brass band.

The military base also includes a so-called aviation command office providing ground support for periodic flights of Russian Airforce planes to the airfield in Gudauta.

An anti-aircraft missile regiment (formerly the 100th Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment, military unit 90100), consisting of 2 SAM battalions in Agudzera and Primorskoye, which have 8 units of S-300 SAM’s on combat alert, is a part of the so-called anti-aircraft battalion group of the 7th Military Base.

The base also has an electronic technical unit with alert facilities deployed on the airfield of Sukhumi Babushara Airport.

Armament:

– T-90A and T-72B3 MBTs – 41 pcs. (according to other sources 51 pcs.);

– BTR-82AM and BTR-80 armored personnel carriers (APC) – 156 pcs.;

– MT-LB light multi-purpose armored towing vehicles – 15 pcs.;

– BM-21 Grad MLRS – 18 pcs.;

– 2S3M Akatsiya 152-mm self-propelled howitzers – 36 pcs.;

– D-30 122 mm howitzers – 6 pcs.;

– 2S12 Sani 120 mm heavy mortar systems – 18 pcs.;

– MT-12 Rapira 100mm anti-tank guns – 12 pcs.;

– Shturm-S self-propelled anti-tank missile systems – 12 pcs.;

– BRDM-2 armored reconnaissance vehicles – 4 pcs.;

– 9A33BM2(3) Osa SAM’s – 12 pcs.;

– 9A34(35) Strela-10 SAM’s on armored vehicle mounts – 6 pcs.;

– 2S6M Tunguska self-propelled anti-aircraft guns – 6 pcs.;

–  9K38 Igla man portable surface-to-air missiles – 27 pcs.

The armament of the base also includes S-300PM SAM launchers – 16 pcs.

In addition, in accordance with the agreement on joint armed forces between the Russian Federation and the unrecognized Republic of Abkhazia signed in Moscow on November 21, 2015, two mechanized infantry battalions, artillery and aviation groups, as well as a separate special operations group have been attached by Abkhazia to the 7th Military Base.

Except for a few of our additions, this note is based on the data from milkavkaz.net [39].

 

This publication was prepared by InformNapalm international intelligence community based on its own OSINT/HUMINT investigation.

By Irakli Komaxidze, translated by Svitlana Kemblowski

[40]CC BY) Information specially prepared for InformNapalm.org [41] site, an active link to the authors and our project is obligatory for any reprint or further use of the material.