Forpost military drone shot down in Donbas – another blotch on the blotchy reputation of Russia.The top military officials and politicians of the Russian Federation keep officially denying its involvement in provoking of the war in eastern Ukraine. However, undeniable facts of the presence of Russian servicemen and advanced military equipment keep enriching the body of evidence for the future tribunal. Moreover, continuing flagrant aggressive actions of Russia show that lifting the sanctions would be unacceptable – moreover, it is a signal that there is a necessity of reinforce them with an aim to make the aggressor deescalate the conflict.
Ironic hashtags #ихтамнет [#TheyAreNotThere] and #куплено_в_военторге [#BoughtAtMilitaryStore] have become mainstay public memes in Ukraine long ago. With those jokes people deride the cynical lies of Kremlin claiming to be not involved in the military supply of terror groups with ammunition and personnel. However, the presence of Russian military equipment in eastern Ukraine has become a matter of concern of not only international community, but also of some rare Russian activists, who have enough courage to ask uncomfortable questions to officials in Moscow. Konstantin Selezniov is one of those activists, who keeps probing Russian authorities with his requests. He calls his quest for truth to “an investigative experiment” and a study in the Russian legal system. A number of his requests used the materials of the InformNapalm international investigative community, that’s how we have become interested in his activity.
Most of the responses to his official requests are just boilerplate letters like “this is beyond the scope of our competence” and “this is not under our jurisdiction”. The same answer was given to a request to check the legality of actions of the people who were operating the Forpost drone and their involvement in the terrorist activity in Donbas.
As we informed earlier, on May 20, 2015 a special service unit of the “Dnipro-1” regiment together with the operatives of the Special Operations Center shot down a Forpost drone with the factory ID number 923. Russian drone was conducting reconnaissance over Donetsk region of Ukraine near Vodiane village. The factory ID number helped us trace the origins of the equipment, since the drone with the same factory ID was spotted in 2013 on the territory of the OAO Ural Factory of Civic Aviation (read more in the InformNapalm investigation Forpost Drone shot down in Donbas: the trace of Russian military bases found).
Clumsy response of Russian Defense Ministry to “uncomfortable questions”
We are publishing here the response to Mr Selezniov’s inquiry about the drone signed by Valeria Polovinkina, head of the public liaison department at the Combined Strategic Command of Southern Military district. It is nothing short of ridiculous.
“What Forpost? It is all an info sham of the SBU.”
The official vocabulary of the Strategic Command of the Southern Military District seems to have been complimented with a new term “info sham of Ukrainian Security Services with an aim to discredit the reputation of Russian Federation”.
According to the logic of the Russian defense ministry, Ukrainian Security Service conducted the whole special operation by planting a Forpost drone in the Urals factory in 2013, which then was shot down in May 2015 over Ukrainian Donbas.
InformNapalm community reverted to this Forpost drone story not only because of Selezniov’s activity. Not so long ago, the matter of participation of Russian military drones in the war in eastern Ukraine gained profile again, thanks to the post by @slozhny on Twitter. Data were received proving that the Forpost was identified on the updated Google satellite images, which show that the drone was used in August 2014 at the height of fighting for Savur-Mohyla. On August 15, 2014 the Forpost flew over the following coordinates 47°52’58.8″N 38°41’38.4″E.
How would Russian command of the Southern Military District call this screwup?
Russia keeps denying the fact of the presence of its military personnel and advanced military equipment and ammunition on the territory of Donbas. They keep hiding information about their servicemen, who were killed, injured and captured in action in Ukraine.
Russia, which has not received an adequate punishment for the annexation of the Crimea and for starting a war in Europe, feels its impunity and keeps conducting its aggressive policy of creping military invasion. This situation demands quick and decisive action from the international community, increase of pressure on Russia through sanctions and stronger support for Ukrainian people in their fight for territorial integrity of their state, guaranteed by multiple international agreements.
Author: Victory Krm
Translated by Maksym Sviezhentsev
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