On Feb. 17, a video about Ukrainian troops' surrender was posted on-line. In the end it shows a man, about 55-60 years old, who tells a story about talks with the Ukrainian security services: "I tried to convince them to surrender to avoid bloodshed and guaranteed their life on behalf of our command." He ended his monologue with 'shocking details' of the 'atrocities of the Ukrainian security forces' in the village of Chorknuhyne neighboring with Debaltseve: "They tied the locals to fences with barbed wire, not allowing us to strike at the enemy."
Image grab from the video
"We hypothesized that this man is not an ordinary militant because he had the authority to negotiate on behalf of the leaders of the self-proclaimed People's Republic of Luhansk and because of a Czech Škorpion submachine gun hanging on his chest. This weapon was first produced in Czechoslovakia in 1961 and is pretty rare in the Donbas," the article notes.
The journalists sent an inquiry to the press service of the "LPR" militants and were told that the person on the video has call sign "Yustas" and the readers helped to identify the militant.
Nurullin in the Orenburg region
This is Nail Nurullin, a 53-year-old retired colonel, who came to the Donbas from Busuluk of the Orenburg region. A distinguishing feature is a scar on his cheek from being wounded in Afghanistan, which is clearly visible on the photo from civilian life and on the image from Debaltseve.
Nurullin in December
A very large loan became the reason for the man joining the terrorists. According to Novaya Gazeta, two years ago the retired colonel was hit with a load of problems. His wife died leaving him with two children. Then his friend died and Nurullin being a guarantor for a bank loan was required to repay the loan in the amount of 3.7 million rubles. On top of that, a contractor did not pay for the work done by Nurullin's company.
He wrote several desperate posts on Odnoklassniki and Facebook social networks stating that sometimes he just wanted to put a gun to his head and pull the trigger.
Nurullin and his friend Mikhalych
In a post dated Oct. 13 he wrote that he was left with an option but to end his life, noting that being a soldier it's either shooting himself or dying in battle.