Friday, May 29, 2015

A fresh batch of BMPs arrived from Russia in Lugansk today

A large Russian convoy has been (secretly) filmed in Lugansk:

It mainly consists of BMPs and trucks, like these:

A mobile kitchen:

At least two ZU-23 airdefense on the back of a truck:

Several trucks with Infantry:

One MT-LB for command and control:

Gas for refuelling:

One truck towing another (because it broke down on the route):

A medical unit?

Civilian buses for transporting personnel:

The consistency of this convoy clearly indicates that this is a complete battle formation that traveled a long distance. In other words: a fresh Russian convoy has entered Lugansk.

Earlier similar troops had been filmed LEAVING the area North of Lugansk:

So it looks like the new ones have been coming in...

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Reuters photographed Russian convoy without license plates heading for Ukraine

 A Russian convoy of Hurricane MLRS without license plates has been photographed by Reuters:
Earlier these 'Hurricanes'  had been photographed on transport by train:

The geolocation is here:
That looks like this:

And from top with upper side north:

The area where they are heading looks like this on the March 25th 2015 map of Google Earth:

A lot of tracks with turns can be seen. This only means one thing: it is used as a temporary overnight camp.
Compare the satellite image from 8-6-2012:

There are more such areas nearby used in a similar way, as this overview shows:

Red encircled area = our current area.
The other light green areas show similar features, but no vehicles can be seen (anymore).
The red areas DO show vehicles.

Like this one on the 23-8-2014 map, including tents and all:

Same date:

The fact that these Hurricanes first have been seen on a train and then heading to this camping site, and the fact that they don't have license plates, means only one thing: they are heading for Ukraine.

The earlier satellite images show that this region has been used in a similar way for the summer invasion of Ukraine.

It's just common practice by now...

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Russian Spetsnaz captured near Shchastya

Ukrainian Security Service released three videos with english subtitles of the Russian Spetsnaz soldiers captured near the town of Shchastya, while they were trying to sneak into Ukrainian positions they thought were abandoned.

Here they are with the translation typed out.


Full name?
I am Alexander Anatolyevich Alexandrov


3rd brigade


Is it 3rd Special Forces Brigade?
[Nods yes]

Say it out loud
3rd Spetsnaz brigade, Togliatti.

Since when have you been in the ATO-zone (Anti Terrorist Operation)?
Since March 6th

What's your commander's last name?
Evgeniy Vladimirovich Erofeev

What's his rank?

What area did you operate in?
Town of Shchastya

How many men were there in your group?
14 men

What where their last names?
The commander is Erofeev, his deputy is Azimov.

Have you been physically coerced [to talk]?
No, I haven't.

Are you an active Russian military serviceman or a reservist?
I'm a Russian military serviceman.

When did you start military service?
December 12, 2012.

Are you a contract soldier [as opposed to a draftee]?
Yes, I am a contract soldier.

What;s your regiments motto?
Any time, any place, any mission.
That's the military intelligence motto.

How many groups do you know to be working in this area?

We mean specifically groups of Russian soldiers. How many groups are working in Shchastya area?
There is one group we rotate with at Shchastya.

Any other groups working in this area?
In neighbouring areas.

Which ones?

Stanitsa Luhanska

I don't know any others.

You don't know your mission either, right?

What was your latest order?
Move out and observe without crossing the contact line.

How did you get wounded? What was your specific mission?
Move out and observe.

What happened next?
We came closer and were spotted.
As we were pulling back, I got wounded in the leg.

Have you crossed the contact line?
No, we did not.

Once again, tell us your specific mission.
To observe and report results.

How many men were there in your group?

For how long do you come here, do you rotate or is this your constant location?
For 4-5 days.

Then you get back to your permanent base?
Yes, to the city of Luhansk.

Do you arrive here on vehicles?

What vehicles?
A Ural truck.

Any armor? IFVs [Infantry Fighting Vehicle]?
[shakes no]

What's your brigades commanders last name and rank?
Colonel Shchepin.

What about your company commander?
Sergeant Major [xxx].

Where's your brigades permanent base?
City of Togliatti.

Describe your contacts with the locals on your side of the line.
We do communicate.

Do you get information of them?
We get no information from them, we get it from the rebels.

Describe your contact with the so-called 'rebels'.
We just have contacts.

Do you do joint operations?
We haven't done any joint operations.

Do you have orders not to contact them?
We do communicate, but we have no joint operations and we don't tell each other about our missions.

I take it your unit is autonomous and does not cooperate with anyone?

How many groups do you know to be operating out of Luhansk?
6 or 8.

Do you know any last names of other groups members?

Any call signs?
Well, there's another sergeant Alexandrov.

Also an autonomous group member?
Yes, he is a section commander.

Where is that group operating now?
It's currently staying in Luhansk.

Where did it operate before that?
Stanitsa Luhanska district.


I am Aleksandrov Aleksandr Anatolievich, born on January 7th, 1987, citizen of Russian Federation, reside at the address: Kirovsk region, Malmyzhskii district.
I am an active duty military of the Russian Federation.
Military rank: sergeant
Position: recon agent/paramedic.
I serve at the military unit #21208, the 3rd Guards Separate Special Purpose Brigade, based at Tolyatti city. The brigade commander is colonel Shchepel Sergey Anatolievich.

We entered the territory of Ukraine on March 26, 2015 as part of the 2nd battalion comprising 220 men.
The battalion commander - Napolskikh Konstantin Nikolaevich, major, citizen of the Russian Federation.
The second battalion which entered the territory of Ukraine comprised three reconnaissance groups, encrypted communications group, drivers, special weapons company. The group included:

  • the commander of the group, captain Erofeev Evgeniy Vladimirovich, citizen of the Russian Federation, call sign: Kit (Russian for whale);
  • deputy commander of the group: warrant officer Azimov Murat Yerbulatovich, call sign: Kazakh;
  • 1st section leader sergeant Yulaev Denis, I don't remember his last name, call sign Iulay;
  • Senior recon agent/machine gunner corporal Kononovalov Vyacheslav, I don't remember his last name, no call sign;
  • recon agent/sniper Kulmukhametov Kirill Dimovich, call sign Pulya (Russian for bullet);
  • recon agent/combat engineer corporal Spiridonov Kirill Alekseevich, call sign Melkiy (russian for small);
  • recon agent/paramedic Grigoriev Vladimir, I don't know his last name, call sign Grishin;
  • 2nd section leader corporal Kutulakhmetov Ruslan Zaurovich, call sign Bashkir;
  • recon agent/machine gunner corporal Krasnov Vladimir Petrovich, call sign Baron;
  • recon agent/sniper Nemov Aleksey Vasilievich, call sign Mordvin;
  • recon agent/combat engineer Gladkov Aleksandr Leonidovich, call sign Babushka (Russian for granny);
  • recon agent paramedic Aleksandrov Aleksandr Anatolievich, call sign Alex;
  • radio operators Byrkin Sergey, I don't know his last name, no call sign;
  • Makorin Vladimir, I don't know his last name either, call sign Mahoney.
The mission assigned to us was to keep the Ukrainian troops under surveillance.

What was the place of deployment in Ukraine?
Oktyabrsk district of Luhansk city.

On the day we were detained the chief of group assigned a task to conduct supplementary terrain reconnaissance in the area of a bridge just outside the Shchastya town. When we moved there and took up positions, we detected a fortified area and started to surveil the area, the two of us, for about an hour. As we noticed no signs of movement or life of Ukrainian troops, we decided to move closer. Having moved closer, we proceeded with observation for some time. Having detected no Ukrainian troops, we decided to move as close as possible, as we decided that this fortified area had been abandoned or people left for another area. When I got to a trench, I went to examine a dugout.

Captain Yerofeev and corporal Krasnov watched my back. When I heard shooting, I turned around and saw a wounded Ukrainian soldier on the ground. Then we received a Retreat!-order, so we ran. We ran about 15-20 meters and I fell, as I was directly shot in the leg - hip fracture. I crawled away as far as I could. I crawled about 50 meters away, took position in a trench and decided to give myself first aid. While I was giving myself first aid, I was detained by militaries of the Ukrainian army.


I am a citizen of the Russian federation Yerofeev Evgenii Vladimirovich, reside in Tolyatti city. I am an active duty officer of the Russian Federation. My military rank is captain, my position is a group commander. I serve in the 3rd Guards Separate Brigade based in Tolyatti city.

What is the ID information of the brigade commander?
Lieutenant colonel Shchepel Sergey Anatolievich. I moved into Lugansk region in early April, I don't remeber the exact date, as part of the 2nd squadron of the 3rd Guards Separate Special Forces Brigade. The acting squadron commander is major Napolskikh, a citizen of the Russian Federation a serviceman.
We were assigned with a task to conduct the reconnaissance by observation of the forward line of adversary troops and elements deployed nearby - units of the resistance naad Cossacks.
The squadron is deployed in Lugansk city. I don't remember the exact address, but it is a private residences area close to the Vavilov quarter.
The squadron comprised three companies, with four groups in each. My group consisted of twelve men: myself - group commander, deputy group commander, two section commanders, two snipers, two machine-gunners, two combat engineers, two reconnaissance agents, two senior reconnaissance agents. All are citizens of the Russian Federation.
  • Deputy commander of the group - warrant officer Azimov, 
  • section leaders - corporal Kutulakhmetov 
  • and senior sergeant Yulaiev,
  • recon agents/combat engineers - Spiridonov and Gladkov Alexandr
  • recon agents/paramedics - Grigoriev Vladimir and Alexandr Aleksandrov.
The mission was to conduct reconnaissance by observation, with at that time order not to cross the contact line, not to open unnecessary fire. Due to the persistent shelling of the positions, I decided to change position and move forward in a group of three in search for a new position.
In the course of searching for new positions, I stumbled upon old trenches and surveilled them. The trenches seemed to be abandoned. We decided to examine them. I ordered two men to check the trenches. I stayed to watch their backs.
When the militaries entered the trenches, the slaps followed and then - they are running shouting Retreat!. We started to retreat when they opened fire at us. I got gunshot wounded into the hand, a comminuted fracture. I fell down and fainted for a while. When I was up I started to crawl, I didn;t creep far away - Militaries came from the trenches. They didn't kill me; they detained me and rendered aid. And now I'm here.

When I was detained, frankly speaking, I thought that they would kill me at once. I wanted to blow myself up with a grenade, but the right hand would not obey, I couldn't reach it. I failed. I could not reach it with the left hand either.
While I was doing that, militaries came from the trenches and detained me. They put me in a stretcher and carried me away. I was taken to a hospital in Shchastya. I was given first medical aid there.

What is your opinion of the Armed Forces of Ukraine?
A lot is being told on our side. As to what I have seen myself - I have no complaints against the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Does that what they say to you on TV in Russia correspond to the reality?
A lot is told on TV. We don't watch everything and don't listen to everything either. I think no one needs this war. While the top circles are skimming the cream, the lower are choking with blood.

This is an excellent example of how Russia's Hybrid Army in Ukraine works. beside the so-called 'militias' which are basically mercenary groups, it also consists of independent Special Forces Units from the 'official' Russian Army that operate autonomous with special tasks.

While these guys say they did not cross the contact line, they obviously did. And while they say they had to observe, they clearly intended to occupy new/abandoned territory. Probably to set traps, lay mines or to ambush Ukrainian troops.

This is the location where they have been captured:

While they talked about a Ukrainian soldier getting wounded, in fact they killed one:
Yerofeev says he was afraid to get killed, so he wanted to kill himself with a grenade. That doesn't make sense. Likely he wanted to defend himself by throwing a hand grenade.
While these Russians get medical help, the Russian themselves kill Ukrainian POWs!

Also see: Russia fights a HYBRID war with a HYBRID army.

UPDATE 22-5 

Also see this translated interview by Russian Novaya Gazeta.

A video taken with the phone of Alexander Alexandrov, full picnic of Russian Spetsnaz on Ukrainian territory:


Russian owned Yandex further exposes Russian invasion into Ukraine in summer 2014

Yandex maps has recently updated several satellite images at the border of the conflict area between Russia and Ukraine on locations that its equivalent Google Maps does NOT show (yet).
As such it reveals many new Russian positions, incursions and artillery attacks into Ukraine

The most important one is the location that shows a battery of BUKs:

MLRS and artillery positions

This one is interesting, because the burned areas are large and there are only two (times two) positions. It means this must have been something (substantially) bigger than GRAD:

Invasion and supply-route to Dmytrivka
A larger map:

In Dmytrivka the Russians established a HQ at a former Ukrainian Border Guard building, where they had tortured and possibly killed Ukrainian POWs. See this blog.

Massive invasion to cut-off Ukrainian troops at Saur-Mogila and Stepanivka
The wide tracks look similar to the tracks of the invasion that ambushed the retreating Ukrainian troops from Ilovaisk. See this blog. Or this one.

Russian field ammunition depot

Note the long white truck that looks like the trucks used for the so-called 'humanitarian aid' convoys.

A photo of this depot:

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Russian military base and trainingscamp at Komsomolske

A Russian army base has been located near Komsomolske:
One tweep described the area littered with armor:

Now the Russian news agency published photos of trainings that can be located there too (Thansk to @GorseFires).
Link to the photos.
Some of the photos:

As can be seen it is in and near a quarry.

This Panoramio photo is from the quarry near Komsomolske. It can be linked to one of the photos like this:

It is hard to exactly tell how many vehicles are located between Komsomolske and Telmanove, but there are a lot and they are getting trained.
They could be used to force a breakthrough south of Volnovakha and north of Mariupol, as to bypass Mariupol and surround it in the next offensive.

This video show a large scale Russian Hybrid Army exercise at another location in Donbas, Ukraine:

And another one at yet another location:

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Another war igniting in Europe? War scenes in Kumanovo Macedonia

On May 9th Victory Day footage if armored vehicles, explosions and burning houses appeared, not from Ukraine, Donbas, but from Kumanovo, Macedonia.
At the end of the day it is still very unclear what is exactly going on and who the government is fighting. Albanians, (Russian-backed) Serbs? Kosovans? Is it a local uprising?
This Reuters article gives the best insight so far.

We DO know that Putin is (almost) everywhere where destabilisation of Europe is going on. Do the Russian (and Serbs) have to do something with this?

This video can be geolocated like this:

On a larger scale:

Google maps link.

More videos:

Troops enter the hot zone:

Houses on fire:

Civilians get evacuated:


Citizens of Kumanovo speaking out:

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Russia shelling Donetsk again and trying to blame Ukraine

The first steps of Russia's new offensive in Ukraine have begun again this weekend. Donetsk residential area has been shelled so they can convince the people there and the public in Russia that Russia's war against Ukraine is justified.

This video shows the aftermath of some of the shelling in Kyiv district:

This map shows most of the impacts shown in the video:

The OSCE look at an impact location that came from the North and COULD have come from Ukrainian side, as well as Russian:

But the other two impacts with the yellows lines indicate the shelling came from North-East direction, which is Russian occupied territory.

Impact 1
There is another video of this impact that is more revealing:

This screenshot will help us to roughly determine the direction of impact:

The rule of thumb here is: direction of impact is perpendicular to the plane through the line on the wall and the impact crater:

(For an extensive explanation and example on this method, see this Volnovakha blog.)

This direction projected on the map looks like this:

The shells came from anywhere in between the direction of the yellow cone.
On a larger scale it looks like this:

Orange line = current frontline according to MilitaryCraps
Read area = 8 km range from which shelling must have come

This screenshot shows that there was an impact tight on the stairs leading to school 58:

This video shows the left (southern) side of the school is still intact:

This streetview from Yandex shows the intact stairs:

It means the whole plateau in front of the door has been blown away by a direct hit.

On the map it can be seen that the direction of impact must have come from the Eastern side, anywhere from almost North to almost South:

On a larger scale it can be seen that this is consistent with the NNe direction of the other impact:

Also it is clear that such an impact never could have come from Western Ukrainian side.

Russia and its propaganda media are playing foul game again. They are deliberately heating up the tension by shelling Donetsk again, like they have done so many times before, and blaming Ukraine for it.

The bad news is that such actions are a prelude to the larger offensives that are coming soon.

Also see: another earlier example of how Russia tries to blame Ukraine for shelling Donetsk.

Here is a Ukrainian language debunking blog about this shelling.
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