It has been three months since our team published the results of OSINT research that confirmed Russian artillery units’ participation in the Syrian military campaign: East Is a Delicate Matter: 29 Servicemen from 291st Artillery Brigade in Syria. After the publication, we saw another proof of our results: social profiles of the Russian soldiers mentioned there started to disappear quickly. But it seems the Russians did not learn the lesson, and three months later we see again something interesting posted by three of those soldiers.
- Dmitriy Semashkov, #9 on our list – the contract soldier who deleted his photos in Syria. However, soon after he updated his profile, bragging about a military award: a Medal of Suvorov, which he was awarded by the Presidential Order from December 8, 2015. He also uploaded the photo of a new Lada, which he could now afford with his Syrian bonus.
- Vanya Zimin, #20 on our list – he also deleted his Syrian photos but soon after he just had to show off his Medal of Suvorov. He was awarded this medal by the same Order from December 8, 2015.
- Aleksandr Karatnik, #24 on our list – he tried to clean up his profile but later he uploaded the photo of a Medal of Zhukov, with the same date: December 8, 2015. He also added a somewhat ambiguous comment: “Went to a place you never were, did something you never did”.
Afterword: Just a few hours after the publication of the original article, two of the three pages discussed here were cleaned up, and the photos deleted. More on this here.
It is worth noting that the 291st Artillery Brigade is among the most infamous military units of the Southern Military District; we have published multiple reports about it in the context of the so-called “Rostov – Ukraine business trips”.
Here is the list of our publications about the 291st Brigade:
- Armed Forces of Russian Federation Spotted along the Ukrainian Border and in Donbas, August 26, 2014
- Units of the Russian Armed Forces Which Have Been Deployed to Fight in Eastern Ukraine, September 19, 2014
- Identification of the Russian invaders’ artillery units and armaments (RUS, POL),, September 30, 2014
- 291st artillery brigade’s “Tour of duty” from Crimea to Donbass, November 12, 2014
- Russia. Pictures showing artillery positions firing on the Ukrainian territory in 2014 (RUS, DEU, POL, BEL), April 5, 2015
- ‘Novorossiya’ Militant’s Contract Was Finalized in Military Recruiting Office of Volgograd, Russia, October 7, 2015
- Russia Began a Concealed Ground Operation in Syria, October 29, 2015
- East Is a Delicate Matter: 29 Servicemen from 291st Artillery Brigade in Syria, December 7, 2015
- War Crimes of Russian 291st Brigade in War Against Ukraine. Part 1, December 18, 2015
- War Crimes of Russian 291st Brigade in War Against Ukraine. Part 2, December 21, 2015
This article uses the original OSINT research by the international volunteer group InformNapalm.