A forum titled Beefing up NATO’s Military Presence in the Black Sea Area. National Security for Abkhazia took place in the building of the Abkhazian State University in Sukhumi, capital of the occupied Abkhazia, on April 26, 2017. An assistant reconnaissance commander of the 7th Military Base in Abkhazia was one of the speakers at the event. Curiously, the presentation by the reconnaissance officer from the military base in Gudauta was rife with elements of disinformation, deliberate distortion of facts and circumstances and stereotyped agitprop divorced from reality. Let us look at some examples:
— “Military exercises taking place in the Black Sea and South Caucasus are overtly hostile. They are considered by the USA and NATO countries as one of power politics methods towards Abkhazia”.
— “The main route for moving militants to the North Caucasus legally runs across Georgian territory which destabilizes the situation in Russia’s North Caucasus region”.
— “Claims of Russia’s interference with Ukraine’s domestic affairs made by leaders of the USA and a number of the European countries were used as a pretext for the military build-up in the Black Sea region”.
In connection with this, InformNapalm volunteer intelligence community would like to invite your attention to specific facts describing the track record of Russian occupation army’s 7th Military Base, whose personnel makes cynical allegations about hostile reinforcement of NATO’s military presence in the Black Sea. Strengthening the North Atlantic Alliance’s military alignment in Eastern Europe is merely a consequence of Russia’s creeping aggression against its neighbors and a measure of deterrence.
Russian occupation army’s 7th Military Base (strength, armament, specific features)
The 7th Military Base (military unit 09332) of the 49th Army from Russia’s Southern Military District is located in the city of Gudauta in occupied Abkhazia in Georgia; it was established in 2009 after Russia’s 2008 intervention in Georgia. The military base was initially set up on the basis of 131st Maykop Motorized Rifle Brigade defeated by Chechen rebels during the attempted assault on Grozny on the New Year’s Eve of 1994-1995.
The structure of the occupation force in Abkhazia includes a land component in the form of a reinforced mechanized infantry brigade: 4 mechanized infantry battalions, a tank battalion, 2 artillery battalions, a rocket artillery battalion, a sniper company, a drone company, a reconnaissance battalion, as well as a number of other separate combat and logistics units. The personnel of the occupation force consists of both conscripts and contract soldiers. Its military commanders made numerous attempts to staff the military base with contract soldiers only. Only one mechanized infantry battalion is 100% staffed with contract soldiers. It is the core of the battalion tactical group (BTG) involved in the aggression against Ukraine in Donbas.
The core equipment of the Gudauta base includes: about 50 T-72B3 tanks (used as a replacement of T-90s), more than 150 BTR-82 and BTR-80 armored personnel carriers, 36 Akatsiya 152 mm self-propelled guns, 18 Grad MLRS units, as well as other weapons and equipment. The occupying forces are using the seaside training ground in Nagvalou and the mountain training ground in Tsebelda for their training activities. Units of the 7th Military Base, including mechanized infantry, reconnaissance, and SIGINT personnel are on duty near the administrative border in Gali District and the Kodori gorge.
In addition, the military base includes:
- a so-called aviation command office providing ground support for periodic flights of the Russian Airforce airplanes and helicopters to the airfield in Gudauta;
- a group of air defense missile battalions (including the Army’s air defense forces equipped with Osa and Strela-10 SAM systems and a three-battalion strong S-300 air defense regiment with 24 TELs deployed in Agudzera and Primorskoe;
- an electronic technical unit with alert facilities deployed on the airfield of Sukhumi Babushara Airport.
Russian occupation army’s 7th Military Base in InformNapalm’s materials
Having covered the structure, the weaponry, and some specific features of the 7th Military Base, we would like to remind you that military unit 09332 is not only an occupying force of the Russian army in a part of Georgia, but also one of the most actively belligerent formations in the Russian army. The information about the track record of servicemen of this base in Donbas featured in 30 (!) OSINT/HUMINT studies carried out by InformNapalm international intelligence community. Here is some background:
- In summer and fall 2014, InformNapalm recorded multiple facts of the delivery and presence of units and weaponry of the 7th military base (including cannon and missile artillery) in areas of Rostov region close to Ukraine’s border (see 1, 2, 3). Later on, these facts were supported by the indisputable evidence of the involvement of this force in the Donbas war, including the cross-border shelling of the Ukrainian territory.
- In early 2015, Russia’s RBK carried out its own investigationbased on InformNapalm’s information, which confirmed that military personnel from the 7th Military Base were coerced into participating in the invasion of Ukraine. In the same year 2015, we published evidence of the recruiting process among conscripts aimed at persuading them to sign up for contract service for subsequent combat deployment (see. 4, 5), the information about the mass decorations at the military unit 09332 personnel following their Rostov/Ukraine deployments (see 6, 7). At that time we also identified the first contract soldier of this military base seconded to one of Novorossia illegal armed groups.
- In 2016, entire groups of the 7th Military Base personnel were identified: scouts, artillerists and others who took part in the undeclared war against Ukraine at early stages of the Russian aggression (see 8, 9, 10, 11). We also managed to identify contract soldiers of this military base seconded as instructors to Novorossia illegal armed groups (see 12, 13). We also noticed several officers of the 7th Military Base who got exposed through their photos on social media.
- In 2017, the personnel of the 7th Military Base once again provided evidence of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. In our OSINT investigations, we managed to identifyyet another group of the military men decorated with combat awards for the military action in Donbas, and track down the process of the rewarding of contract soldiers who had combat experience in Ukraine by enlisting them in elite military schools. In our 30th investigation of Russia’s 7th Military Base published on March 15, 2017, we disclosed information about the redeployment of additional S-300 SAM units in occupied Abkhazia. Our publication became one of the reasons for convening a session of Georgia’s Security Council and for international statements in support of Georgia.
· Links to 30 Investigations
- Combat Crews of 2S3 “Akatsiya” of the 7th Military Base Identified along the Border with Ukraine 10/2/2014
- ‘Donetsk Express’ – identification of Russian military equipment and weaponry, transferred to Donbas10/6/2014
- Medical Detachment of the 7th Military Base from Abkhazia Identified near the Border with Ukraine 10/11/2014
- Rocket artillery of the 7th Military Base of the Russian occupation forces from Abkhazia on the border with Donbas12/18/2014
- From tangerine paradise to Ukrainian hell: Russian contract soldiers pressed to fight in Ukraine2/4/2015
- Servicemen of the 7th Russian Military Base from Abkhazia receive medals for fighting in Donbas 3/2/2015
- Conscripts of the 7th Russian Military Base massively recruited to become contract soldiers for the “Ukrainian missions”. 3/6/2015
- “Courageous Mihos”, a scout of the 7th Military Base, holder of medal For Courage3/18/2015
- More soldiers from 7th Military Base received Combat Medals after temporary duties in Ukraine5/13/2015
- ‘Cinderellas’ with Self-propelled Artillery Systems or How Russian Contract Servicemen are Posing as ‘Self-defence’ 6/23/2015
- The Сover Story of the ‘Former’ Soldier of the 7th Russian Base Does not Hold Water 6/30/2015
- Massive Deployment of the Russian Troops And Equipment from the Occupied Abkhazia Is Registered. 9/22/2015
- Russia Deploys the Military Equipment of the 7th Base to Rostov Oblast09/23/2015
- Russian Contract Soldier from the 7th Base Fights as ‘DPR’ Militant09/25/2015
- ‘Bored silly’: the Russian Invaders’ Games in Donbas01/10/2016
- ‘Double Strike’ to the Russian Officers from the Southern Military District02/05/2016
- Journey of Russian Occupant: Gudauta – Rostov – Donbas – Khmeimim03/28/2016
- The Dynasty of Russian War Criminals: Biographic Narrative of the Invader07/22/2016
- Emperor’s new clothes – or Putin exposed9/16/2016
- Daily routine of the Rostov reserve of “Novorossia army”10/4/2016
- Documents revealing personnel of another Russian BTG on a “Rostov-Ukraine mission”10/06/2016
- 21 of 35: Russian artillerymen of the 7th Military Base involved in shelling of Ukraine identified (Infographics)11/11/2016
- Love Story 3: love triangle of a Russian occupant11/21/2016
- Russian scout from 7th Military Base given away a Bull Terrier from Horlivka 11/24/2016
- Scouts of Russia’s 7th Military Base Identified in Ukraine12/08/2016
- Donbas Steppe: Russia’s Kalmyk Soldiers “Lost” in Ukraine 12/15/2016
- Russia’s Ministry of Defense Encourages Contract Soldiers with Combat Experience in Ukraine by Enrolling Them with Elite Military Schools01/06/2017
- Holder of the Medal for Merit and Other Donbas Vets from the 7th Military Base01/13/2017
- Russian Contract Soldiers Prefer Serving in Far East to a Mission in Donbas02/28/2017
- Russia Beefing Up Military Presence in Georgia. New S-300 in Occupied Abkhazia03/15/2017
Thus, the rhetoric of officers of the 7th Military Base of Russia’s occupation forces about the “NATO threat” in the Black Sea region is broken by numerous facts of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and Georgia. Today, Russia is the main and only aggressor that threatens all the Black Sea countries, as evidenced by the occupation of parts of Georgia and Ukraine.
This publication was prepared by Irakli Komaxidze on the basis of an OSINT and HUMINT investigations by the InformNapalm international volunteer group. Translated by Oleksandr Ivanov, edited by Artem Velichko
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