A group of soldiers of the 17th Motorized Rifle Brigade from Chechnya who were on active duty in Donbas was identified.
In the beginning of January, InformNapalm international intelligence community published an article about a recipient of the medal “For Courage” Maksim Ivanov, a Russian contract soldier of the 17th Motorized Rifle Brigade (military unit 65384, Shali, Chechen Republic) of the 58th Army from the Southern Military District, who participated in fighting in the Donbas during the summer-fall of 2014. In the course of a new investigation, evidence of participation of other tankmen from this military unit in the undeclared war against Ukraine has been found.
The main source of information in our investigation was Abdulhakim Nazarov, a tankman who has recently got transferred from Caucasus to an elite tank unit of the Western Military District. The analysis of Nazarov’s accounts in social media let us identify his colleagues – Donbas “veterans” from the 17th Motorized Rifle Brigade from Chechnya.
1. Abdulhakim Nazarov
Abdulhakim Ahmutullaevich Nazarov was born 1988, from Yoshkar-Ola, Mari El Republic, Russia.
He is an experienced contract serviceman in the rank of Staff Sergeant. In 2012-2014 he served in a tank battalion of the 17th Motorized Rifle Brigade (military unit 65384, Shali, Chechen Republic, Southern Military District). Since the early 2015, he is a gunner in the 8th Tank Company of the 6th Separate Tank Brigade (military unit 54096, the city of Mulyno, Western Military District).
According to photos and comments in Nazarov’s accounts in social media, he participated in combat a with battalion tactical group of the 17th Motorized Rifle Brigade in the Donbas in summer-autumn of 2014. After that “mission” he was awarded the Russian Ministry of Defense Medal “For Distinction in Combat”.
It is noteworthy, that photos of the “Rostov-Ukrainian mission” from Nazarov’s account are dated September, 13-14, 2014 – the most fierce phase of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The photos were taken in the rest camp where the invaders posed in non-statutory uniforms with camouflaged tanks in the background (a more detailed analysis of these photos and identification of the tankmen are presented below).
Though there were no geotags on the photos, we were able to pinpoint where and when the photos were taken. In particular, in two photos (1 and 2) we can see Nazarov and a young girl sitting on a MT-LB. The girl was further identified as Alesya (archives of the profile, photo album, contacts) from the village of Kuybyshevo in Rostov oblast in close proximity to the Ukrainian border. Nazarov commented to the picture: “That was during the second trip”.
Identified tankmen of the 17th Motorized Rifle Brigade, the participants of the invasion of Ukraine in autumn, 2014
2. Alexei Bogdanov
Born on 08.27.1990 in Omsk. Graduated from Omsk Higher tank Command School in 2012.
2013: an officer of the 17th Motorized Rifle Brigade tank battalion.
3. Zulfar Galliamov
Born in Tyumen. A contract soldier of the 17th Motorized Rifle Brigade tank battalion.
4. Sergey Belyakov
A contract soldier of the 17th Motorized Rifle Brigade tank battalion.
5. Sergey Kolchin
The contract soldier of the 17th Motorized Rifle Brigade tank battalion.
Social media accounts: VK(archives of the profile, photo album, contacts), the slide with the Russian-terrorist forces white identification armband dated from the period of his last “Ukrainian mission” was found among his photos.
6. Dmitry Golovinov
Born on 07.25.1992. From Dzerzhinsk of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Russia. Born in the village of Sakhanshina of Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine. 2014: a soldier of the 17th Motorized Rifle Brigade tank battalion.
Besides the mention above soldiers who were identified through Nazarov’s photos, we have found some other participants of the “Rostov-Ukrainian mission” of 2014, whose social media accounts contain direct and indirect evidence of their participation in the war against Ukraine.
7. Valery Goloborobkin
Born in Magnitogorsk, Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia.
2014: a soldier of the 17th Motorized Rifle Brigade. Awarded the Order of Courage.
8. Yury Ovsiannikov
Born in the village of Yurino, Mari El Republic, Russia.
An officer of the 17th Motorized Rifle Brigade. There is a series of photos in his album from the “Rostov-Ukrainian mission” of 2014, including a group photo of Russian soldiers turned into local “miners” with a comment: “Pokrovskoe 10.14”.
We have also detected the subjects of our previous investigation in the photos of Abdulhakim Nazarov.
9. “Kirill Malinovsky”
His real name is Stas Fatehov. Born in Nizhny Tagil. Graduated from the Kazan Higher Artillery Command School in 2009. An officer of the 17th Motorized Rifle Brigade.
He appeared in our publications: “’Tankman’: Russian Officer of the 17th Independent Motorized Rifle Brigade Who Participated in Armed Hostilities in Donbas“ from 2014 and “Russian officer who lost the Order of Courage” from 2016.
Social media accounts: on VK (archives of the profile, photo album, contacts) – under the nickname “Next Stirlitz”, and on ОК (archives of the profile, photo album, contacts) – under the nickname “Kirill Malinovsky”.
10. Yevgeny Rassadin
A contract soldier, tank driver from the 6th Separate Tank Brigade (military unit 54096, the city of Mulyno, Western Military District of the Russia).
Appeared in the publication “’Tank Biathlon 2014’ of the Russia’s 6th Tank Brigade in Donbas”.
The 17th Motorized Rifle Brigade appeared in 12 investigations of InformNapalm, mostly in those related to the invasion and fights in Donbas in summer-autumn 2014. But there are also evidence of contract soldiers from this brigade taking part in the war in Donbas in the later period:
- The 17th Motorized Rifle Brigade of the Southern Military District of the Russian Federation is in Ukraine 2014-10-09;
- Tankman: Russian Officer of the 17th Independent Motorized Rifle Brigade Who Participated in Armed Hostilities in Donbas 2014-10-14;
- “Inglourious Basterds”: a monument to the soldiers of the 17th Mechanized Infantry Brigade in Shali 2015-02-13;
- Officer of the Russian 17th Motorized Rifle Brigade Awarded Order of Courage for the Donbas War 2015-06-24;
- 2S19 ‘Msta-S’ Self-Propelled Howitzer of the 17th Brigade near Novoazovsk 2015-08-13;
- Photo proofs: The 17th Brigade in Donbas in Summer, 2014 2015-07-23;
- Another ‘Hybrid Miner’ from the Russian 17th Brigade 2016-02-11;
- Veterans of Donbas from the 17th Mechanized Infantry Brigade and their Orders of Courage 2016-07-21;
- Spotted Russian officer and his lost Order of Courage 2016-09-14;
- “F#cked-up brigade”. Former contract soldier about 17th MRB of the Russian Army (Video) 2016-12-23;
- Identified Chechen soldiers of 17 MBR on active duty in Donbas 2016-12-02
- Identified tankman of the 17th Independent Motorized Rifle Brigade: Participated in Armed Hostilities in Donbas, Awarded Order of Courage 2017-01-14;
Databases of identified Russian military personnel and evidence of their involvement in the fighting in Ukraine on the side of Russian-terrorist forces are available here: https://informnapalm.org/database.
This publication was prepared on the basis of an OSINT-investigation by InformNapalm volunteer intelligence community.
Author Irakli Komaxidze, translated by Denis Whoknows, edited by Svitlana Kemblowski
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