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 6th Tank Brigade of Russia in Donbas: destroyed, seized, scorched tanks. PHOTOS

Two hundred years ago, a saying had it: "In Russia, everything is a secret, but nothing is a mystery." Since that time, little has changed. If at the highest state level and on federal TV channels they persistently deny Russia's military involvement in war in the Donbas, at the mundane level nothing is hidden.

Russian troops share in social media their pictures from the war zone in Ukraine, boasting stories of battles, Censor.NET reports citing sled_vzayt's blog.

The military are forced to sign a restricted data nondisclosure obligation and threatened to be held liable under the law. However, as in the case with 32nd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade Junior Sergeant Stepan Potylitsin, such "obligations" are also leaked to the Internet:

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

A link to the archive page.

The servicemen of the Sixth Tank Brigade of the Russian Federation (military unit No. 54096, Mulino village, Nizhny Novgorod region) are no exception in this regard. Further on we will consider the facts of participation of some units of the Sixth Tank Brigade of Russia's Armed Forces in hostilities in the Donbas, collected from open information sources.

It is the first half of September 2014. The fierce battles near Ilovaisk ended a few days ago. In the Rostov region near Anastasievka village and at a field camp near Latonovo village, tankmen from Mulino take a series of group photos and post them in social media.

Field camp near Latonovo on Yandex.Maps:

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

As a result of investigation, some 20 VK accounts of soldiers in the photos have been found.

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

The photo in higher resolution.

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

The photo in higher resolution.

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

The photo in higher resolution.

Further on, according to assigned numbers, there are names or nicknames by which persons in the above group photos were registered in VK social media, followed by a reference to an archive (screenshot) home page of the account:

1 - Aleksey Berezin
2 - Sergey Yakushev aka Serezha Gradov
3 - Garik Pleshkov
4 - Maksim Korotkov
5 - Pavel Osytchenko

6 - Jack Daniels - a screenshot of the deleted account aka Kolya Bazylevich
7 - Artem Sukharev
8 - Roman Gromov
9 - Anton Yuryevich aka Anton Dmitriev
10 - Yevgeny Chernov, his second account

11 - Yevgeny Lyubimov
12 - Vadim Romanyukha
13 - Serega Danilov
14 - Vyacheslav Tumashov
15 - Aleksey Lopin
16 - Lekha Fedoseenko (at that time, judging by photos on his page, was not in service; he had served his compulsory service at the Sixth Tank Brigade and demobilized in 2013; he came to see his former comrades as he lived in Rostov-on-Don not far from the field camp)
17 - Ivan Badanin

Two men in civilian clothes standing to extreme right and not in service:
- Misha Zhurbin
- Sergei Zhurbin

The fact these military come from the Sixth Tank Brigade is easily proved by their SM profiles.

Yevgeny Lyubimov (No. 11) indicated the number of military unit (54096) of the Sixth Tank Brigade as military service; Mulino village, military unit 54096, tank commander - as place of work:

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A link to the archive page.

In the next photo, Lyubimov stands near a T-72B3 tank with the tactical sign of the Sixth Tank Brigade - white dots (probably, depending on the battalion, they mark vehicles with one, two in a row, or three dots as in the photo below) inside the white square-shaped outline:

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

A link to the archive page.

These tactical signs and the above tank (No. 666) can be seen in a photo of Dec. 2013 taken at the training range in Mulino. The Sixth Tank Brigade was then receiving modernized T-72B3 tanks to replace obsolete T-80BV tanks:

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

See more: Ukrainian drill rigs were captured by Russian invaders from Russian 104th airborne regiment. PHOTOinvestigation

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

Before deleting his account under Jack Daniels nickname, Kolia Bazylevich (No. 6) specified in his profile that he had served in the military unit No. 54096 (1st tank battalion) from 2009:

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In his active account, Bazylevich only indicated he came from Mulino:

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

A link to the archive page.

Tankman Vadim Romanyukha (No. 12 ) also indicates Mulino in his profile.

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

A link to the archive page.

Senior Lieutenant Garik Pleshkov (No. 3) has pictures with T-80BV tanks of the Sixth Tank Brigade carrying old tactical sign used before they were replaced by T-72B3 tanks:

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

A link to the archive page.

Lekha Fedoseenko (No. 16) in military service. A photo geotagged in Mulino:

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

A link to the archive page.

Another photo geotagged in Mulino posted by Lieutenant Maksim Korotkov (No. 4)

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

A link to the archive page.

Tankman Ivan Badanin (No. 17) with a tank monument in the background - the territory of the military unit of the Sixth Tank Brigade in Mulino:

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Yevgeny Chernov (No. 10) in a picture geotagged in Mulino, posing near T-72B3 tank with clearly visible tactical sign of the Sixth Tank Brigade:

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

A link to the archive page.

In tankers' photos, except for themselves, there are also T-72B3 tanks of the Sixth Tank Brigade. Some tanks have rapid recognition signs painted over in the form of white circles:

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

A link to the archive page.
Original photo.

армия рф оккупанты доказательства
армия рф оккупанты доказательства

Original photo.

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

Original photo.

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

A link to the archive page.
Original photo.

The following pictures, judging by off duty uniform without chevrons and white recognition bandages, were taken in the combat zone in the Donbas. One can notice a white circle on the tank of the Sixth Tank Brigade painted over its tool box on the left side of the turret where tank's side number and tactical sign used to be:

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

A link to the archive page.
Original photo.

Left in the above photo is Nikolay Minakov registered in VK social media as Nikola Woolf, right - Oleg Saprunov. They serve together with the aforementioned tankmen in the Sixth Tank Brigade:
- Minakov (second row, third from left) and Saprunov (bottom row, far right) in a photo with Vadim Romanyukha (bottom row, middle)
- Minakov (far right) in a photo with Yevgeny Lyubimov (far left)

To summarize the above, in early September 2014, we can notice recognition signs in the form of white middle-sized circles painted over T-72B3 tanks of the Sixth Tank Brigade: on the top of the front plate closer to its lower edge; on turret's front to the left (in the direction of movement) from the barrel; on the left splash guard; on the track shoulder; on the tool box to the left side of the turret.

Watch more: Captive Russian commandos Yerofeyev and Aleksandrov on scout before engagement near Shchastia on May 16, 2015. VIDEO

Except for the Sixth Tank Brigade, T-72B3 tanks were used in the Donbas by units of the 17th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade and 200th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade. However, the given recognition signs are only peculiar for the tanks of the Sixth Tank Brigade.

During the battles in summer and fall 2014, the T-72B3 tanks of the 17th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade carried white recognition circles painted over hull's front and side skirts two times as big as that on the tanks of the Sixth Tank Brigade:

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At the same time period, the tanks of the 200th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade used small yellow triangles as recognition signs. They were painted over tool boxes on turret's left side as well as over the blocks of reactive armor on turret's right side. Moreover, trying to pass for local militants, tanks' side skirts were sometimes decorated by visible slogans of Soviet era propaganda of last century's forties:

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Considering the above facts, we can now review the evidence of participation of the Sixth Tank Brigade from Mulino in battles in the Donbas...

August 26, 2014, at the height of the fighting near Ilovaisk, there start to appear first notices about killed soldiers from Mulino - Vladislav Barakov and Sergey Rusakov. Their comrades make first tragic records in VK social media.

See more: Brand new Russian 'Pantsir-S1' air defense complex and 'Ural-43206' truck in service with militants in Donbas. PHOTO investigation

Dmitry Gorbachyov (in a photo with a T-72B3 tank in the background with tactical signs of the Sixth Tank Brigade) posts pictures of Barakov and Rusakov, saying "this horrible war took you:"

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

A link to the archive page.

Andrei Frolov (a photo in his VK account, showing a T-72B3 tank (No. 662) with tactical signs of the Sixth Tank Brigade and a foot note "My ace wheels for the next year") makes a similar record on Aug. 27:

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

A link to the archive page.

In comments he accuses the Russian government of concealing the deaths of Russian servicemen in Ukraine:

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

A link to the archive page.

Other people's notices about the death of Barakov and Rusakov:
https://archive.is/XTNvC
https://archive.is/BoJer
https://archive.is/cWxDp

There is little information about the deceased Rusakov. There was no news about his death in media. His VK page was quickly deleted, his last tweet of Aug. 15, 2014 read he had been sent to the border, in Taganrog.

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See more: Servicemen of Russian 8th Brigade return from Donbas in coffers or disabled. PHOTOS

армия рф оккупанты доказательстваармия рф оккупанты доказательства

It was differently in case with Barakov, his death was not concealed. His social media profile is still active:

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

A link to the archive page.

Barakov sitting on a T-72B3:

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

A link to the archive page.

Barakov wearing a tanker armor vest, part of Russian protective set 6B15:

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An honorary certificate received by Sergeant Vladislav Barakov in the Sixth Tank Brigade for "gains" and "fidelity to his military duty:"

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

A link to the archive page.

In late September, The New York Times publishes an article about secret funerals of Russian soldiers who died in the Donbas. The reporters visited the village of Selizovo, talked to Barakov's relatives, went to the cemetery where Vladislav was buried. According to the plaque on the cross, he was killed on Aug. 24:

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

Read more: "August Battalion was completely destroyed. Do you think anyone was rendering a salute to trucks full of bodies returning to Russia? We are still Russians for them," - interview with Russian militant

Thus, it is known that at least two tankmen from the Sixth Tank Brigade were killed.

Aug. 26, on the same day when the first records of tankers' deaths appeared, Radio Liberty, referring to Espreso.tv, reports that Ukrainian soldiers captured a Russian tank in a battle, with a full set of documents proving its Russian military unit identity."

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

The following day, Espreso.tv posts a video on its website, showing the captured tank.

оккупанты

The video shot by Road Control journalist Rostyslav Shaposhnikov and Espreso.tv journalist Yehor Vorobiov shows a captured Russian T-72B3 tank (visual differences between T-72B3 and other modifications of T-72 tanks are given in the first part of "Russian armored vehicles at war in the Donbas"):

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At that time, Ukrainian servicemen had already marked the tank with two white stripes as a recognition sign of the Ukrainian Armed Forces hardware, but had not yet brushed out a Russian tactical sign - a white circle painted over the tool box on the left side of the turret:

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See more: "Military supermarket" folds up. What shall heroes of "Novorossia" do? - Russian journalist. PHOTOS

The photos taken at the front angle show a white circle painted over the upper front plate of the hull closer to its lower edge:

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Original photo.

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

Original photo.

The recognition signs over the above T-72B3 tank are similar to those used in that period by the Sixth Tank Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces. However, this is not the exhaustive direct evidence. Inside the tank, a firing record of private Aleksei Berezin (the 3d tank company of the 1st tank battalion) was found:

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

Aleksey Berezin is the soldier present in a group photo of tankmen of the Sixth Tank Brigade (No. 1). Exactly his tank was captured by Ukrainian soldiers and shown in a footage shot by Rostyslav Shaposhnikov and Yehor Vorobiov.

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

A group photo of tankmen of the Sixth Tank Brigade can be found on Berezin's VK page:

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

A link to the archive page.
Original photo.

One more picture taken in the Rostov region:

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

A link to the archive page.
Original photo.

Berezin wearing a tanker armor vest, part of Russian protective set 6B15:

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

A link to the archive page.
Original photo.

Berezin wearing uniform with tank forces insignia:

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

A link to the archive page.
Original photo.

There are different viewpoints regarding the details of Berezin's tank capture. Head of the armored service of Pivden operational command Colonel Yevhen Sydorenko claims the tank was captured on Aug. 24 and used in combat on Aug. 25. Colonel Mykhailo Kovalskyi, at that time - senior engineer of Pivden operational command, says the tank was captured by his battle group on Aug. 26 after it was attacked by an infantry fighting vehicle firing from group's positions in Ahronomichne village.

Aug. 29, breaking out from the Ilovaisk encirclement, Ukrainian troops were forced to leave the captured tank. In his article devoted to Ilovaisk, Yaroslav Tynchenko recalls that Colonel Yevhen Sydorenko managed to get to the outskirts of Novokaterynivka village in the captured Т-72B3.

After that, the tank was found by "DPR" militants. It is shown in a picture posted in VK by Mikhail Pishch:

армия рф оккупанты доказательства

A link to the archive page.
Original photo.

Sept. 14, Berezin's tank surprisingly appears in Vesti Nedeli news show on Russia 1 TV channel. As reported, the so-called "rebels" have allegedly captured a Ukrainian T-72 carrying "neither Russian nor Ukrainian equipment."

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See more: Occupant Alexander Sokolenko from Russian Marines fighting in Donbas. PHOTOinvestigation

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Apparently, the tank was returned to Russian military.

Berezin's tank was captured near Ahronomichne village. In the same area, near Novodvorske village, another T-72B3 of the Sixth Tank Brigade of the Russian Federation was destroyed. This tank was shown in NTV Segodnia and Chrezvychaynoye Proisshestviie TV shows on Sept. 9, 2014. The burnt Russia's T-72B3 is reported to be a "mighty Ukrainian tank" made in Czech Republic.

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The tank still has a recognition sign of the Sixth Tank Brigade - a medium-sized white circle located in the lower part of hull's upper front plate:

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Other photos of the same T-72B3 taken at different times:

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Read more: Unfortunate "Ukrainian trip" of Russian tankman Berezin from the 6th tank brigade of Russian army to Ilovaisk. PHOTOS

армия рф оккупанты доказательстваармия рф оккупанты доказательства

Watch more: Russian tanks convoy awaiting redeployment to Donbas 15 km from Ukrainian border. VIDEO

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The T-72B3 destroyed near Novodvorske is featured in a video shot by militants "Roads of War. Donetsk":

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Watch more: "This is terrorism, this is pure fascism!" - Moscow residents reported military recruiter for Donbas to police. VIDEO

Its exact location in Google Earth satellite image of Sept. 14, 2014:

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