A social media profile of Vyacheslav Babenko, a soldier of the 19th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade (military unit No. 20634, Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia) of the Southern Military District (archive of profile, album and contact pages), contained a photo taken in the Kuibyshev district of the Rostov region and posted on Feb. 14, 2017. According to the geotag, the exact location is about 7 km from the Ukrainian border in the so-called Kuibyshev forest outside Zarechny village lying by the road to Ukraine's Marynivka village.
The photo shows a Kamaz truck in the background with the tactical sign of the 19th Brigade on its left door. Two soldiers in the forefront are dressed in the Russia's army camouflage known as Flora, which is no longer used. Although obsolete, this military uniform, along with the Gorka camouflage, has become the basic clothing of Russia's hybrid army in eastern Ukraine.
In a comment to his photo uploaded on Feb. 14, Babenko says: "We are leaving Ukraine for Caucasus!"
According to InformNapalm, the above facts are sufficient to evidence the fact of yet another short Rostov-Ukrainian trip of soldiers of the 19th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade. Moreover, the military of this unit have already been spotted in the Donbas, including as part of a paramilitary Somali gang. Interestingly, Babenko is a conscript of the 2016 fall draft rather than one of the contract soldiers so often involved in Ukrainian trips.
The article concludes that the Russian military command sends draftees to the Donbas along with contract soldiers, although their stay is not so lengthy as that of the latter. The fact indicates a lack of the contract military in the Russian army, which InformNapalm described in its previous articles.
Russia's 19th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade has already been featured in several investigation reports by InformNapalm:
- 2S19 'Msta-S' Self Propelled Mortar from North Ossetia at the Border with Ukraine
- 'Drone Company' of Russian 19th Motorized Rifle Brigade. A story of their Ukrainian 'trip'
- Snipers of the Russian 19th Brigade Enlisted in 'Somali' Terrorist Battalion
- Hawkish Course: New Airborne Reconnaissance Companies for the Russian Infantry
- War criminals of 19th Motorized Rifle Brigade of the Russian Army detected