This is reported by Censor.NET citing Informnapalm.org.
Early May 2015 InformNapalm.org team discovered a UAV sub-unit of the 19th motorized rifle brigade (military unit No. 20634, Vladikavkaz, Republic of North Ossetia, Russia). Servicemen of the unit were posing for photos in Donetsk, Ukraine. More information can be found here: 'Drone Company' of Russian 19th Motorized Rifle Brigade. A story of their Ukrainian 'trip.'
Various sub-units of the 19th brigade involved into the 'Ukrainian assignments' have been disclosed several times already. Сlassic and rocket artillery units were noticed in the Rostov region near the border of Ukraine in October, 2014 (in Russian):
Initial information is provided by the 'Peacekeeper' center.
In particular, a VK social media account of Gennady Zakachurin was found (https://vk.com/id245691600, archive https://archive.is/FUfP9). According to information from his profile, he served in the sniper company of the 19th brigade till late fall of 2014. Zakachurin's photo album also contains a set of pictures with geotags from the Donbas, including the Donetsk airport, uploaded in May 2015. Attention should be paid to other pictures as well, for instance, the group photo of the Russian contract servicemen of the 19th brigade together with the 'Novorossiya' militants from the 'Somali' armed formation.
Among pictures from the previous year there is one dated June 2014, with face hidden, Russian 'Gorka' camouflage uniform and the white arm bands, used by the militants, on. It seems like Gennady currently serves in the 19th brigade (based on information below and validated by pictures and contacts), which has been assigned to Somali terrorist formation. Below you can also see pictures from Donetsk made in an apartment rented by Russian mercenary 'Samyi Schastlivyi' ['The happiest'] from Saint Petersburg, but we will return to him a bit later.
Noteworthy, the 4th (Donetsk airport area) and the 6th (in the apartment) photos show Zakachurin posing with Ilya Rudykh, whose affiliation with the Russian army cannot be questioned. On another group picture, Zakachurin is with Ilya Rudykh and Dmitry Abgadeev at the bus station in the city of Rostov, Russia. The picture is commented by a comrade-in-arms Artur Kudabaev:
The following contacts and comrades of Zakachurin should be outlined:
- Ilya Rudykh (VK profile, archive), closest friend of Gennady Zakachurin, serviceman of the same brigade. Investigating Ilya's photo album we find several interesting slides that confirm his service in the 19th motorized rifle brigade.
The most noticeable photos were uploaded on June 18 and May 8, 2015. One of them was taken at the 19th brigade dislocation place in the village of Sputnik, Vladikavkaz and displayed Rudykh with two other soldiers. The same photo was uploaded to Rudykh's friend Artur Kudabaev's profile on April 30, 2015. Next, Rudyh is pictured in the Russian-Ukraine border area (Neklinovsky district, the Rostov region, Russia) in September 2014. He wears the 'Gorka' camouflage loved by the Russian soldiers involved into 'Ukrainian assignments'.
Let us remind you that Ilya Rudyh was identified in 3 photos from the photo album of Gennady Zakachurin: on May, 16, 2015 at Vzlitna St., Donetsk, Ukraine, on April 23, 2015 at Leninskyi Ave., Donetsk, Ukraine, and on March 12, 2015 at Sivers Ave., Rostov, Russia
The following profiles are interesting as well:
- Dmitry Abgadeev (VK online profile, archive), who has already flashed in the picture of Zakachurin made on the bus station of Rostov-on-Don. Despite the fact that his profile is not that informative and has just a couple of pics, the albums of his friends contain photo proofs of connection between him and 'Novorossiya' armed formations as well as his belonging to the 19th brigade. For example, Abdageev appears in Gennady Zakachurin's profile (picture at the bus station), in the profile of a Somali mercenary 'Samyi Schastlivyi' (picture in the Donetsk apartment), on the group picture from the 19th brigade dislocation (at the 'Старт [Start]' sign), and on a group photo of snipers at a training camp near Vladikavkaz.
- Artur Kubaev (VK online profile, archive), contract serviceman of the 19th brigade, serves in the same sniper company. There is no direct evidence that he took part in the 'Ukrainian assignments' (it seems that he was rejected because of his too uncommon appearance or maybe he had been rotated already). But Artur cheers for his comrades in the Donbas in his comments, including the picture at the Rostov bus station on March 12, 2015: "Take care guys, we are waiting for you". Kubaev also has a group photo from the 19th brigade dislocation place with Ilya Rudykh, uploaded on April 30, 2015. The same pic was uploaded to Rudykh's profile a little bit later.
- Callsign 'Samyi Schastlivyi' [The happiest], (VK online profile, archive), a Donetsk separatists, militant of the Somali illegal armed formation, which has been employing snipers of the 19th motorized rifle brigade. Despite the fact he uses a callsign, Samyi Schastlivyi is more open and honest in his photos and publications. Besides personal photos, Samyi Schastlivyi has pics of all the characters above - Zakachurin, Rudykh and Abdageev.
Besides the mentioned characters, there is a lot of other persons whom we can trace to the 'Ukrainian assignments' and the Russian army if we dig deep enough.
The topic of the Russian contract servicemen which are forced to 'voluntarily' join the 'Ukrainian trips' is not new - Informnapalm published several articles (in Russian) about soldiers from the 7th occupation base in Gudauta (occupied Abkhazia, Georgia):