The issue of Russian 'volunteers' in the east of Ukraine has been covered many times. It is known than most of those who are fighting in the Donbas as "volunteer rebels" arrive to the area as groups and usually belong to various organizations (Cossacks, veteran unions, military patriotic clubs, etc.) which are legally registered in Russia and make great targets for being recruited by the Special Forces as cannon fodder for international war operations.
The new article focuses on Altai branch of the so - called interregional patriotic organization "Dobrovoltsy" ("Volunteers"), created in 2014. Their main task in to involve youth into rebel units. At the same time, the organization conducts consolation activities for families of 'volunteers' killed in the Donbas and those who have returned wounded.
The Dobrovoltsy organization is chaired by Alexander Ilyutenko, call sign Palestinian. The most recent activity of the union was held in Ozerky village, Altai Kray, on Sept. 26, 205. It was presentation of a memorial tablet dedicated to local resident Ivan Korolkov, 1989-born, call sign Tsar, who was killed in January 2015 near Debaltseve (video).
Korolkov was not the only 'volunteer' from Barnaul who was sent to be killed in Ukraine by Russian GRU. At least seven other locals returned home as cargo 200, i.e. in zinc coffins:
- Konstantin Rusakov, 1957-born history professor.
- Alexander Borovinskiy, 1980-born Chechnya veteran.
- Sergey Kertel, 1976-born Chechnya veteran.
- Vasiliy Tkachev, 1968-born local Cossack.
- Alexander Usov, 1982-born.
- Igor Antonov, lawyer, lieutenant-colonel, Afghanistan veteran.
- Denis Sukharev, 1978-born Chechnya veteran.
InformNapalm team identified a number of Barnaul "volunteers" and attempted to trace down how they were being recruited to "Novorossiya" Donbas armed gangs.
The following persons have been revealed:
1. Anar Bayramov (photo archive, contacts archive), born in 1993, from Barnaul. Bayramov has been serving since 2011, including 32nd mechanized brigade, seen in Crimea and the Donbas, and the 10th brigade of GRU Special Forces, also noticed in Ukraine.
Among Bayramov's images there are a number of those made in Altay together with his "Donbas comrades," as well as photos from his honoring with a "Novorossiya Defender" medal.
2. Kirill Geist (photo archive, contacts archive), born in 1990 in Altay Kray.
There are no posts in Geist's profile proving his military service (they might be hidden), but there is one photo uploaded on Oct. 30, 2014. Geist (marked with blue arrow) is accompanied by several young people in sailor vests, including Bayramov (marked with red arrow). The photo has a comment by Dobrovoltsy organization curator Andrey Mayevich and a geo location "Goryachiy Klyuch". In its vicinity, there is a training camp used by Russian military command for training of 'volunteers' for subsequent redeployment to the Donbas.
See earlier publications on informnapalm.org:
- 'Russia as the Sponsor of International Terrorism: Militants Training Camps in the Russian territory' (in Russian) - 44 year-old 'volunteer' Yuriy Butyatov from the Far East receives training at the training range near Goryachiy Klyuch;
- 'Russian Cossacks as the Russia's Ministry of Defense Reserve' - Cossacks undergo reserve training at the military training ground of the Russian Defense Ministry near the village of Molkino.
3. Ivan Pakhomov (photos archive, contacts archive), born in 1990, from Barnaul. There are very few posts and photos from his military service (he presumably served in paratroopers in 2013-2014), but unlike his Donbas comrades, Pakhomov dared to upload images made in the east of Ukraine. Those include Pakhomov's picture with Russian propagandist from 'Rossiya' TV channel, author of TV reports of the 'Special Correspondent' series Alexander Buzaladze (marked with a pink square), uploaded in April 2015. Pakhomov was identified by the Myrotvorets [Peacemaker] Center back in November 2014 and listed in the Purgatory database of terrorists.
Note: In April 2015, 'Rossiya' TV channel released a propaganda film by A. Buzaladze named The Pincers covering the situation near Novoazovsk and Shyrokyne. Judging from Pakhomov's photos, upload dates, comments and geotags, he was near Shyrokyne from October 2014 till May 2015.
Other images of Pakhomov include those made in Altay together with his "Donbas comrades", as mentioned above, including Bayramov and Basilashvili (featured below).
4. Davit Basilashvili (photo archive, contacts archive), born in 1990, from Barnaul.
Basilashvili failed to become a ballet dancer so he went on to become a militant. He shows very little information and images, but they suffice, especially given that he is often seen on his comrades' videos and photos. Besides, as far as InformNapalm is aware, Basilashvili was identified by Myrotvorets center and listed in the Purgatory database of terrorists since March 2015.
All of these persons have several things in common: they are a 'volunteer reserve' of the Russian Special Forces; they have recently served in Russian army, thus having military skills and experience; all of them are members of the Barnaul Dobrovoltsy organization branch, having been recruited into Donbas mercenaries from there; they were trained before leaving for the Donbas in the 10th brigade of the GRU; and they were at the east of Ukraine at the same time.