The information for this article has been obtained as a result of a successful operation carried out by the Ukrainian Cyber Alliance hacktivists (FalconsFlame, Trinity, Ruh8, CyberHunta groups) to install special software on the desktop computer of the "reconnaissance commander". Read the first part of the retrieved data analysis here. It revealed some details of the use of Orlan unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) by the Russian command in the Donbas hostilities. The second part dealt with the use of Forpost drones. In the third part, using one of the retrieved reports, the activists identified the location, where a Tachyon UAV of 138th Motorized Rifle Brigade (MRB) with the tail number 141169 was downed. The fourth part was devoted to the analysis of the memo about the commander of the illegal armed group Separate Special Operations Brigade Odesa. In the fifth part the investigators discussed the use of the Russian portable ground reconnaissance stations PSNR-8 Credo-M1 (1L120) by the units of the occupation forces in Donbas.
This publication is closing this series. InformNapalm publishes a picture of the handover note for five Russian military UAVs to the signals intelligence (SIGINT) company commander of the so-called 1st Army Corps of the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic" ("DPR"). It is not clear, why the company commander from the Luhansk occupation force had a photo of the paper document from the neighboring "Army Corps" on his computer. However, let us focus on the facts and the content of the document. Judging by the file name, 20141211_121951.jpg, the note was photographed on Dec. 11, 2014 at 12:19:51. It was issued on Dec. 10, 2014 and was valid until Dec. 20, 2014. The document reads that the so-called 1st Army Corps of the "DPR", represented by the SIGINT company commander Vitaly Pyatnitsa ("DPR" military ID: No. C 988), is ready to receive from the 12th Reserve Command of the Russian Army (Novocherkassk, Rostov Oblast, military unit 89462) the assets per the form No. 12, namely:
- one Orlan-10 UAV system
- two Eleron UAV systems
- two Tachyon UAV systems
It is noteworthy that the Orlan-10 and Tachyon systems are in service with the Russian Army. The Eleron UAV systems are operated mainly by the services of the EMERCOM of Russia (Ministry of Emergency Situations), whereas Eleron-3SV version has been supplied to the Russian Army since 2013. In the summer of 2015, the activists spotted the use of Eleron-3SV drone with the tail number 113 by the 1st AC of the DPR in the area of Olenivka in Donetsk Oblast. Read more in InformNapalm's article Russian Drones in Service of Donetsk Militants.
It is also known that one of the Tachyon drones with the tail number 141202, presumably handed over against a similar note, was lost by a unit of the 1st AC of the "DPR" in the spring of 2015. Photos provided by our colleague Kuzma Tutov.
As for the person specified in the handover notes, his identification proved to be easy: Vitaly Pyatnitsa (archived VK account), date of birth: March 27, 1992, registered address: 7 Wilhelm Pieck Str., apt. 1, Donetsk; personal ID #: 3368900458. Profile on Myrotvorets web site. It is known that he received shrapnel wounds in the head near Donetsk on July 16, 2014 in the clashes with the armed forces of Ukraine. On Aug. 6, 2014, he was taken to a federal hospital in Rostov (known as Vodnikov Hospital at 32 Peshkov Street) in the Russian Federation. After recovery, he returned to the ranks of the occupation forces. He has two combat awards of the DPR. Judging by the new photos on his social network page, as well as by the contacts on his friend list, he continues to serve in one of the armored units of the occupation forces. According to the reports of the Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the commanding officer of the 58th Army of the Southern Military District of the Russian Army, Major-General Andrey Viktorovich Gurulev, was commanding 1st and 2nd ACs through the 12th Reserve Command of the Southern Military District in 2014. Mikhail Stepanovich Zusko, another Russian Army major general, was in command of the 1st AC at the time. He used a cover identity under the last name Orlov, his previous position was the commander of the 34th Mountain Motorized Rifle Brigade (49th Army of the Southern Military District). The investigators believe that the "Commander" box bears the signature of major general M.S. Zusko, specified as M.S. Orlov.
The above information corroborates the authenticity of the handover note, and, in combination with the previous publications based on the data from the hacked computer of the "reconnaissance commander" of the so-called 2nd Army Corps of the People's Militia, leads to the following conclusions: Russian military and political leadership, through the 12th Reserve Command of the Southern Military District, supplies to the occupied territory of Ukraine advanced equipment for conducting aerial, ground, and electronic intelligence. In addition to the evidence base, as well as for those who still doubt the authenticity of the above documents, InformNapalm re-publishes the video from the hacked data of the "reconnaissance commander". It features the desktop of an Orlan-10 system operator, tail number 10258, in service with the 100th Reconnaissance Brigade of the Russian Army, under the control of junior sergeant A.H. Daurov and private V.I. Lazarenko. The video was recorded on Jan. 13, 2015, after 2 p.m., when the drone No. 10258 was performing a reconnaissance flight to the west of the town of Shchastia, Luhansk region.