We discovered a UAV sub-unit of the 19th motorized rifle brigade (military unit No. 20634, Vladikavkaz, Republic of North Ossetia, Russia) in the beginning of May, 2015. The servicemen of this unit were posing in photos made in Donetsk, Ukraine. More information – ‘Drone Company’ of Russian 19th Motorized Rifle Brigade. A story of their Ukrainian ‘trip’
Different sub-units of the 19th brigade involved into the ‘Ukrainian assignments’ have been disclosed for several times already. The classic and rocket artillery units were noticed in Rostov Oblast near the border of Ukraine in October, 2014 (in Russian):
– BM-21 ‘Grad’ combat crews at the Ukrainian border
– Self-Propelled mortar ‘Msta-S’ from North Ossetia at the Ukrainian border
The new OSINT investigation discovers a group of snipers of the same Russian military formation from Vladikavkaz. These contract soldiers also take part in the ‘assignments to Ukraine’. The initial information is provided by the ‘Peacekeeper’ center.
In particular, the VK online account (archive) of Gennady Zakachurin was found. According to the information from the profile, he served in the sniper company of the 19th brigade till the late fall in 2014. Also Gennady’s photo album contains a set of pictures with geotags from Donbas, including the Donetsk airport. Those pictures were uploaded in May, 2015. Attention should be paid to some other pictures as well – like the group photo of the Russian contract servicemen of the 19th brigade together with the ‘Novorossiya’ militants from the ‘Somali’ armed formation.
Checking the pictures from the previous year you can see the one from June, 2014 – with the hidden face, Russian ‘Gorka’ camouflage and the white arm bands, used by the militants. It seems like Gennady served in the 19th brigade and was assigned to ‘Somali’ formation at the same time (based on the information below and validated by the pictures and contacts). Also below you can find pictures from Donetsk made in an apartment rented by a Russian mercenary ‘Samyi Schastlivyi’ [The happiest] from Saint Petersburg, but we will return to him a little bit later.
Noteworthy, the 4th (Donetsk airport area) and 6th (in the apartment) photos show Zakachurin posing with Ilya Rudyh, whose appendage to the Russian army cannot be questioned. On another group picture Zakachurin is with Ilya Rudyh and Dmitry Abdageev at the bus station in the city of Rostov, Russia. The picture is commented by a comrade-in-arms Artur Kudabaev:
The following contacts and comrades of Zakachurin should be outlined:
– Ilya Rudyh (VK profile, archive), the closest friend of Gennady Zakachurin, the serviceman of the same brigade. Investigating Ilya’s photo album we find several interesting slides which confirm his service in the 19th motorized rifle brigade.
The most noticeable photos were uploaded on June, 18 and May, 8, 2015. One of them was taken at the 19th brigade dislocation place in the village of Sputnik, Vladikavkaz and displayed Rudyh with two other soldiers. The same photo was uploaded to Artur Kudabaev profile on April, 30, 2015. Next, Rudyh is pictured in the Russian-Ukraine border area (Niklinovsky raion, Rostov Oblast, Russia) in September, 2014. He wears the ‘Gorka’ camouflage loved by the Russian soldiers involved into ‘Ukrainian assignments’.
Let us remind you that Ilya Rudyh was identified in 3 photos from the photo album of Gennady Zakachurin:
– May, 16, 2015 – Vzlitna st., Donetsk, Ukraine
– April, 23, 2015 – Leninskyi ave., Donetsk, Ukraine
– March, 12, 2015 – Sivers ave., Rostov, Russia
The following profiles are interesting as well:
– Dmitry Abdageev (VK online profile, archive) who has already been mentioned in the picture of Zakachurin made on the bus station of Rostov. Despite the fact that his profile is not that informative and has just a couple of pics, the albums of his friends contain photo proofs of the link between him and ‘Novorossiya’ armed formations as well as his belonging to the 19th brigade. For example, Abdageev appears in Gennady Zakachurin profile (picture at the bus station), in the profile of a ‘Somali’ mercenary ‘Samyi Schastlivyi’ (picture in the Donetsk apartment), in the group picture from the 19th brigade dislocation (at the ‘Старт [Start]’ sign) and in the group photo of the snipers at the training camp near Vladikavkaz.
– Artur Kubaev (VK online profile, archive), a contract serviceman of the 19th brigade, serves in the same sniper company. There are no direct evidences that he took part in the ‘Ukrainian assignments’ (it seems that he was rejected because of his too uncommon appearance or maybe he had been rotated already). But Artur cheers for his comrades in Donbas in his comments, including the picture at the Rostov bus station on March, 12, 2015: “Take care guys, we are waiting for you”. Kubaev also has a group photo from the 19th brigade dislocation place with Ilya Rudyh, uploaded on April, 30, 2015. The same pic was uploaded to Rudyh profile a little bit later.
– ‘Samyi Schastlivyi’ [The happiest] callsign, (VK online profile, archive), a Donetsk separatists, militant of the ‘Somali’ illegal armed formation, which contained snipers of the 19th motorized rifle brigade. Despite the used callsign, he is more brave and honest in his photos and publications. Besides the personal photos, ‘Samyi Schstlivyi’ has pics of all the characters above – Zakachurin, Rudyh and Abdageev.
Besides the mentioned characters there is a lot of other persons whom we can trace to the ‘Ukrainian assignments’ and the Russian army if we dig deep enough.
The topic about the Russian contract servicemen which are forced to voluntarily join the ‘Ukrainian trips’ is not a new one – we had several articles (in Russian) about the 7th occupation base in Gudauta (occupied Abkhazia, Georgia):