"In most cases, our OSINT investigations are based on pictures of Russians in the Donbas that they boast on their social media accounts. But the most recent case is exceptional - the investigation was triggered by correspondence in the 17th OMSBR, the Chechen Republic, Shali group on VK social media, where Yevgeny Lyazin was discovered. Interestingly, his profile does not contain even a hint of his belonging to the Russian army, although Lyazin himself confirms this in open correspondence of February 2016 that we found in the above group," the investigators note.
"Moreover, Lyazin is quite frank and gives a candidate for contract service a piece of good advice:
"Don't even think about joining this wretched brigade!!! I served there for two years before breaking the contract. But if you still go there, you will see for yourself that I was telling the truth!!!"
The subject of the inquiry: Yevgeny Lyazin
Born Nov. 30, 1984 in Orsk, Orenburg region of Russia, he served under contract in the 17th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the Southern Military District of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation stationed in Chechnya in the recent past. He supposedly left the military service in early January 2016. Yevgeny Lyazin's profile on VKontakte (profile, photo album, video gallery, and contacts archive) and on OK (page with restricted access).
Yevgeny Lyazin has been on the "Purgatory database" of the Myrotvorets project since January 2015. However, he was identified as a "militant of the illegal armed groups" without any reference to his ties with the Russian Defense Ministry.
As noted above, Lyazin's profile contains the following exclusive footage from the Donbas uploaded in January - February 2015 showing him openly posing on camera (the videos are available on YouTube):
• the village of Styla (Starobesheve district, the Donetsk region, Ukraine):
• the town of Dokuchaievsk (the Donetsk region, Ukraine):
• untitled video containing shooting, show-offs, and explicit language: