As reported by Censor.NET, international volunteer community InformNapalm revealed some tricks of a 'chess game' played by OSINT investigators with Russian secret agents that are monitoring their revealing publications about Russian soldiers.
"Late December 2015 InformNapalm team presented its article titled 'Tracking Down the Russian 66th Signal Brigade: from Donbas to Syria.' The article covered contract soldier from the 66th separate signal brigade (military unit 41600, stationed in Stavropol, Russia) Ruslan Skayev. As usual, after the publication the player's social network profile was cleaned by Russian secret services which are closely monitoring our revealing materials. Whatever Russian occupants do, these clean-ups have no sense because all the details of Skayev have been described by us and saved in multiple archives that will be used when needed. We have been following our "subjects" and the process of their transformation from real dudes into faceless babies. As reported, Ruslan Skayev was noticed taking pictures with another soldier from the 66th brigade, Andrey Shulga (links to profile and album archives). Possibly due to our publication of the image showing soldiers being sent from Novorossiysk port on Syrian trip, as well as of the 'palm-tree picture' of Ruslan Skayev, Shulga's profile has been deleted," the authors of the material wrote.
The story goes on.
The investigators recognized Denis Romankov from Budennovsk, remembered by a mole on his right cheek, on one of Shulga's photos with his comrades.
And again, after publication of the material on the 66th signal brigade of the Russian Federation, his profile was deleted, which proves his stay in Syria.
"This is how we reached the winner of "the most concealed coward" nomination from the 66th signal brigade of the Russian army. He is Sergey Gusyev from Saratov (profile archive), who has another profile Sergey Byelov (links to profile, album, and contacts archives)," the article reads.
"Sergey Byelov/Gusyev was noticed not only in Andrey Shulga's friends list, but also on photos with him. Right after our article was published, Sergey deleted everything that witnessed of his service in the 66th signal brigade and personal knowledge of Shulga. But InformNapalm envisaged that - we have everything saved just for the case," investigators note.
Gusyev also deleted his Donbas trip photos from his account - there were several of them taken in December 2014. The point is not in 'novorossia' chevrons that could be identified, but in the building against which Sergey Gusyev was taking his picture.
This building has been identified in a previous investigation, through the picture taken by soldier from the 18th separate motorized brigade from Chechnya Roman Rever. This is a building of a military rescue brigade in Donetsk.
The picture was taken right in front of the entrance, at a checkpoint.
"InformNapalm team wants to thank the wipers from the Russian special services, the 66th brigade, and personally Sergei Gusyev for his chicken-heart, since all of them drew our attention and allowed disclosing another fact of the Russian military presence in the wars in both Syria and the Donbas. As a result of sophisticated schemes we could identify approximate dislocation of the Russian forces quartered in Donetsk, in the territory of the rescue brigade," the authors note.
Related materials: Evidence of Russian aggression in Ukraine