"What catches the eye on this photo is that the vehicle does not look like a standard military one. It has added elements of armor and is colored in particular hues.
"This is exactly the vehicle that was used by the Donbas battalion in Ilovaisk and stood out distinctly in many videos and photos thanks to its colorful disguise.
"A survey conducted among members of the Donbas battalion, many of whom are still in combat, helped us to gather all the elements of the story of this vehicle [aka "cart"]. SsangYong SUV was transferred to the battalion by volunteers, who painted the car in camouflage colors. The vehicle had been through combats prior to Ilovaysk, but at the first assault of the town was aptly hit into the windshield by a Russian sniper. It had been decided then to armor the vehicle with suspension from MAZ. The front frame rails were used specially for attaching the suspension. Around the same time the gunner's seat was secured with armored plates mounted on top of the regular steel. Donbas battalion insignia were then glued all over the outside of the vehicle.
"It was seen for the last time on Aug. 30, 2014 in the village of Chervonosilske near Ilovaisk, where Ukrainian troops fought their way to, taking a number of prisoners from Russian paratroopers and tank crewmen. Ukrainian Security Service later showed them in a video. Interestingly, the person speaking last in the video, Evgen Sardarian (born in 1994, 31st Brigade, military unit 73612), also happened to be a friend with the above mentioned Akylbek Kuvanov on social media networks.
"It looks like the 4th company deployed in Ukraine has successfully rehearsed its surrender, with the prospects of receiving some certificates of merit.
"Now back to the story of the Donbas' SUV, which has helped to reconstruct the mosaic of the Russian military presence in Ukraine.
"In Chervonosilske, the vehicle was taken into a safe place under the sounds of constant gun fire and explosions. Its tire, punctured by shrapnel, was replaced, but in the end the vehicle was left behind in the village outskirts. The Ukrainian troops decided not to take it with them when coming out of the encirclement. The entire corridor was under solid fire, and this vehicle would have been an unnecessary target for the Russian army…
"Soon the Russians entered the village, some of them taking selfies at the entrance to Chervonoselske. And someone took a liking to the combat "cart" of the Donbas battalion," says the blogger.