The following post originally appeared on the Russian blog of the author Askai707
The following is the English translation of this post (translated by Aric Toler), which involves direct open source evidence of the 200th Independent Motorcycle Brigade (Military Unit 08274) participating in the conflict in eastern Ukraine in the summer and autumn of 2014. The main evidence for this is the following Askai What is provided is that the military equipment in a video clip shot and filmed near Lugansk in 2014 returned to its base in Russia in 2015. The revised identification features (yellow numbers, triangles) remain unchanged because they were in the country. Bath time. The second entry in this survey series can be found here, and the third and final one is here.
In late August 2014, during the fierce battle near Lugansk, Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers faced a group of people composed of various units of the Russian military. The 200th Independent Motorized Infantry Brigade (Military Unit 08275, Pechenga) is one of them. This article will directly prove that this Russian brigade from Pechenga participated in the Donbass War.
On the map, the city of Lugansk is in the northwest, and the city of Krasnorton is in the southeast.
Entering the theater of Donbass, the Russian army painted tactical unit marks on military equipment to avoid detection. Some military units use temporary identification signs. This is done to minimize the chance of accidentally firing on one's own tank if the enemy has the same or similar-looking military equipment. However, it is now possible to identify which Russian troops are fighting in Ukraine through visible identification signs.
In the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, as in the Soviet army before, the military vehicles of each military unit use so-called tactical signs and body numbers. Before the outbreak of hostilities in Donbass, the entire 200th Independent Motorcycle Brigade did not have a tactical sign. Instead, each unit uses its own logo.
The first, second, and third motorcycle camps have their own tactical symbols (respectively circle, inverted equilateral triangle and square inner circle, all painted in white), and their own numbering sequence:
Russian text is not important-see white circles in squares and numbers
The tactical symbol of the 200th Independent Motor Infantry Brigade Tank Battalion is a white diamond in a square, composed of a white line:
The artillery device of a 2S3 Arcadia self-propelled howitzer of the 200th Brigade Artillery Battalion also has its own tactical logo:
The following is an example of the tactical logo of the 200th Brigade Air Defense Rocket Battalion, located on the Strela-10 and Tunguska air defense complex.
In order to hide their participation in the hostilities in Donbass, these white tactical signs and hull numbers were painted. Instead, the new numbers and a small triangular tactical logo are painted yellow. In some cases, the old number was painted, but the new number was not worn.
Obviously, for reasons of confidentiality, the order of the numbers has also changed. The numbers used on the hulls of the armored transport vehicles MT-LB BMK, T-72B3 tanks, and Tunguska air defense complex are unusual for the relevant units of the 200th brigade because they start from 7 and 8.
The following is an example of military equipment of the 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade, with a recognizable yellow triangle, hull number and similar markings (the full set of available photos will be provided later when indirect evidence of the brigade’s involvement in the Donbass War is listed) ).
The Tunguska complex bears many markings and a new yellow number, but they cannot completely conceal the tactical markings of the brigade’s air defense/artillery battalion:
The tactical sign seen below the phrase "За родину!" (For the motherland!). There are also words "For Stalin", "Death of the Military Government" and "Sanctions from Heaven" on the tank.
Instead of the old hull number and tactical logo on the T-72B3 tank, we can now see the new number and a yellow triangle tactical logo:
The side of the tank says "For Stalin"
The side of the tank reads "LNR [Armored Shield of Lugansk People's Republic]" Akatsuya howitzer and the yellow triangle and hull number on the BTR:
The side of the tank says "LNR [Luhansk People's Republic] Armored Shield"
The text on this howitzer is "Death of Fascism"
The armored vehicle with the yellow triangle identification mark actually belongs to the 200th Independent Motorcycle Brigade, as shown in the figure below.
A soldier registered as "Tolik Kondrashov" on the Russian social networking site "VKontakte" posted on his page in March. In this article, he published a vulgar poem about how terrible the life of Pechenga’s kontraktnik (contract soldier) was, the commander’s false promises, and the goal of killing the enemy and saving his Slavic brothers. Trip to Lugansk. Compared with the photo below, this poem has little value.
In Kondraschaf’s photo, some of the military equipment units of the 200th Brigade are located in a village called "19 km" near Pechinga where the unit is located. Dozens of vehicles have yellow identification triangles and hull numbers on the front side of the chassis. There is also an MT-LB BMK in this photo. Its "relatives" are not decorated with white numbers and tactical signs.
Archive: https://archive.is/bm5qN Original: https://pp.vk.me/c621331/v621331320/16439/B4pVxL1Ty8I.jpg
The high-resolution version of this photo allows us to distinguish the yellow hull numbers on the BTR: 786, 800, 804, 810, and 811.
Using other photos from social networks and satellite maps, the location of this group of military equipment can be determined:
Photo of military equipment from VKontakte, which contains four landscape features that can be identified from other sources. Original: https://pp.vk.me/c623126/v623126351/18500/vx0GdJ_0QOI.jpg
Another photo from VKontakte has the same features as the previous photo, including guard towers, tree lines, and telephone poles. Original: https://pp.vk.me/c315418/v315418840/c06b/Rib3QYBpq9s.jpg
The features on the satellite map show guard towers, tree lines, and other feature objects from above.
Looking closely at the image of military equipment, you can see a structure in the background, which will be visible in other photos. Original: https://pp.vk.me/c621331/v621331320/16439/B4pVxL1Ty8I.jpg
This photo from outside the VKontakte area shows the same unique structure as the road, as well as other structures such as yellow buildings. Original: https://pp.vk.me/c306902/v306902488/8fb5/DiahZcNlecg.jpg
In this photo from VKontakte and photos taken from the parking lot, you can see yellow buildings and unique triangular structures. Original: https://pp.vk.me/c10020/u2945181/101363048/x_951ec46a.jpg
From Google Maps, yellow buildings, triangular structures and other objects can be seen from above and provide us with accurate coordinates. 69°30'45.5″N 31°08'37.7″E
MT-LB BMK is the main armored vehicle type of the 200th Independent Mobile Infantry Brigade, used for infantry transportation. Until the spring of 2015, in the brigade, we will find MT-LB BMK with conspiracy yellow numbers starting with 7 and 8 and yellow triangles. They were later repainted, then standard with old numbers and a new tactical symbol for all units in a square with white lines.
Analyzing the accounts of the 200th Brigade on VKontakte, we can find 17 MT-LB BMK photos with yellow numbers. The following list contains the yellow hull number on the MT-LB BMK, as well as the original photo hyperlink and the archive of the VKontakte page where the photo was found.
In addition, the yellow hull number 805 and the yellow triangle MT-LB BMK can be seen in the media reports on the training exercise of the coastal forces of the Northern Fleet in February 2015. Murmansk region". In their training, soldiers practiced amphibious landing using MT-LB BTK numbered 805.
The screenshot below is from RT's video about the Northern Fleet training exercise.
The same car numbered 805 appeared in a photo on the news website SeverPost.ru.
A photo on VKontakte and a photo on Panoramio confirmed the fact that these exercises were held in Guba Gryaznaya in Kolsky Bay.
The comparison between the photo on VKontakte and the photo on Panoramio shows the same coastal architecture.
In the photo below, it is easy to see the yellow number 805 and the identifying yellow triangle on the MT-LB BMK chassis body:
Therefore, we collected a set of photos of "yellow numbers" in military equipment in a village near Pechenga. There are many photos with them on the social network pages of Russian soldiers, as well as photos of them conducting training exercises in Murmansk Oblast. /video'. Obviously, the connection between the Northern Fleet's 200th Independent Motor Infantry Brigade and the vehicle with a yellow triangle and number on the front of the chassis is more than a mere connection.
We will now consider the most direct evidence of the brigade’s involvement in Operation Donbass.
In early September 2014, a video was uploaded to the Internet. The video was shot on September 3, 2015 near Severo-Gundorovsky, a village in the Lugansk region. The video recorder records the GPS coordinates of the vehicle, from which we can determine that the starting point of the video is 48.379461 and 39.874896, driving north. The vehicle parked at 48.380638, 39.875110, and we saw a column of military equipment heading south.
The location and direction of the military equipment convoy in the video.
In front of the column is a disguised jeep'UAZ Patriot'. "Until the moment the video ended, we saw the following vehicles passing by:
Judging from the models of military equipment (T-72B3 tanks, modified MT-LB BMK, Nona-K), it is clear that the column is composed of vehicles of the Russian armed forces. The identification mark on the MT-LB BMK is a small yellow triangle with yellow numbers on the front of the chassis. These two features on the vehicle clearly point to the 200th Independent Motorized Infantry Brigade.
The quality of the video allows us to distinguish the following numbers on MT-LB BMK vehicles: 775, 784, 785, 790, 791, 792, and 797. From these seven (noted in the previous list), we can find photos of MT-LB BMK vehicles with yellow body numbers 792 and 797 on the VKontakte page of the 200th Brigade.
Photos from Maksim Belozerskikh account:
Archive-https://archive.is/wHHOQ Original version-https://pp.vk.me/c625231/v625231735/9130/jSrXUbZf88E.jpg
In addition, please see here (archived) for the second photo of Maksim Belezersky's MT-LB BMK number 792, and another similar photo (archived) on the page of the 200th soldier "Zenka Nechayev".
The MT-LB BMK transport vehicle with the yellow hull number 979 appeared in a photo of a Russian soldier named "Kolya Liba" registered with VKontakte, and on the page of a soldier named Yury Shcherbakov.
Archive – https://archive.is/01Zmy Original – https://pp.vk.me/c625531/v625531135/1dcc6/eBiOs8MJ-e4.jpg
Archive – https://archive.is/BCWmf Original – https://pp.vk.me/c623126/v623126351/18500/vx0GdJ_0QOI.jpg
The pro-Russian channel ANNA-News released a video in September 2014 about the armored vehicles of the 200th Independent Motorized Infantry Brigade. In the fragment that tells the story of how the brave "militias" of Donbass liberated Lugansk Airport from the mythical Polish and Georgian mercenaries, we can see an MT-LB BMK in the fifth minute. The video tells how to "evacuate wounded militia from the airport." Due to the blurred image, the face of the attendant in the car was hidden.
In fact, ANNA-News is showing one of the Russian MT-LB BMK of the 200th Independent Motorized Infantry Brigade. In the video, we can clearly see the yellow number 784 and the identifying triangle on the chassis body, on the right side of the armored door.
The video from ANNA-News shows a piece of military equipment from a Russian military brigade.
The MT-LB BMK number 784 was taken at 48°28'44.9″N 39°21'44.2″E on the northern edge of Lugansk. This section of the road can be viewed on Yandex Panorama (similar to Google Street View).
The road segment seen in the ANNA-News clip of Yandex panoramic image.
The sign "LUHANSK" is written on the northern edge of the city.
The same "LUHANSK" logo can be seen in the Yandex panoramic image.
The MT-LB BMK with hull number 784 can also be seen in the column near the village of Severo-Gundorovsky:
The same car with a yellow hull number was seen in two different videos in Ukraine
In addition to the outskirts of Luhansk, we can also find photos of armored vehicles of the 200th Brigade at Luhansk Airport.
An LNR fighter from Izhevsk is a member of Vityaz' Battalion, registered under the name Pavel R on VKontakte. On September 3, 2014, he released an album titled "Luhansk Airport 03.09.14" on his account. In this album, various photos of Lugansk Airport are published. On two of them, we can see the MT-LB BMK vehicles of Russia’s 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade.
These photos were taken at 48°25'20.5″N 39°22'46.4″E on the front of the airport building. Next to the military truck is an MT-LB BMK. On its front chassis, we can see a yellow body number.
Archive – https://archive.is/3oNqC Original – https://pp.vk.me/c623620/v623620811/906/cpkX-yZORaM.jpg
Below is a comparison between the features of this photo and the video from "Novaya Rus" at Lugansk Airport:
In another photo, we can see part of the right rear of the armored vehicle, where we can see a small yellow triangle:
Archive – https://archive.is/kPjx3 Original – https://pp.vk.me/c623620/v623620811/960/URBZmOo8oKM.jpg
We also saw this mark on most of the MT-LB BMK vehicles of the 200th Brigade, including many vehicles from the 200th Brigade Factory.
This photo of Pavel P was also taken at Luhansk Airport, located at 48°25'22.3″N 39°22'37.4″E.
With the help of the video "IGCP. Luhansk Airport (September 30, 2014) over 18 years old."
At the end of our investigation into direct evidence of the involvement of the 200th Independent Motorized Infantry Brigade in the military aggression against Ukraine, we had photos of Russian soldier Sergey Kalashnikov. Kalashnikov did not specify in his profile where he served; however, there are good reasons to believe that he is a sergeant in the 200th Brigade.
In a photo uploaded in April 2015, Sergey Kalashnikov (Sergey Kalashnikov) is wearing a Russian military uniform with the V-shaped pattern of the Northern Fleet:
Archive – https://archive.is/yauY9 Original – https://pp.vk.me/c624328/v624328959/2c2fb/Yic3A2Af9ik.jpg Photo of Kalashnikov (far right) in military uniform in summer 2014 – https:// /archive.is/2eK0E
In a photo released in November 2014, Kalashnikov poses in front of a T-72B3 tank with the yellow hull number 830 on the reactive armor block on the right side of the turret. In addition, there is a KMT-6 minesweeping plough in the front of the tank.
In 2014, a T-72B3 tank in the 200th brigade was marked with a yellow number 830 on the reaction armor plate on the right side of the turret, and was equipped with such a minesweeping plough:
Archive – https://archive.is/mWhpe Original – https://pp.vk.me/c625131/v625131939/2cda0/8QSnto0xp7o.jpg
Archive – https://archive.is/WwSGE Original – https://pp.vk.me/c630831/v630831627/4bd7/YhJwkqCccTQ.jpg
In addition to the above evidence, Kalashnikov also uploaded a photo of military equipment of the 200th brigade with identifying yellow triangles and a photo of the ruins of Luhansk Airport. In these photos, we can see the elements of the MT-LB armored transport vehicle chassis.
Archive – https://archive.is/7D4NW Original – https://pp.vk.me/c622521/v622521959/8e3a/9SyFvk1R5GM.jpg
Archive – https://archive.is/87WGC Original – https://pp.vk.me/c622521/v622521959/8e98/D8Q84Vg8tEQ.jpg
Thanks to the photos on Kalashnikov’s account, we can find two other locations in Lugansk Oblast, where military equipment from the 200th Motorized Rifle Brigade passed.
A line of military equipment of the 200 team is located in the village of Khryashchevatoe, which is close to Luhansk and about 10 kilometers from Luhansk Airport. The photo below was uploaded in November 2014, but it is likely to be taken around the end of August or early September.
Archive – https://archive.is/gqzLt Original – https://pp.vk.me/c622521/v622521959/8ea1/0yGzNW0kj4w.jpg
The column begins with "UAZ Patriot" in disguise-just like in the video of the Severo-Gundorovsky village.
The video was taken at the coordinates of 48°30'31.3″N 39°25'43.4″E. We can easily match the elements of this photo with those in the video "Road from Lugansk to Pridorozhnoe on September 14, 2014".
Archive: https://archive.is/pvNNm Original: https://pp.vk.me/c622521/v622521959/8edb/5He0ptTiwiw.jpg
Below, we can see the highlighted objects in the area and the direction of the column on the satellite map:
In the photo of Sergey Kalashnikov below, a column of military equipment (MT-LB BMK and Strela-10) is passing through the city of Krasnoden along Artyoma Street (located at 48°17'18.0″N 39°44'19.1″E) ).
Archive – https://archive.is/kRUPQ Original – https://pp.vk.me/c622521/v622521959/8e8f/seR7R8-wOZg.jpg
With the help of the video "Journey to Krasnorton through Lugansk, Ruined New Vitrovka", we can find the matching elements in the photo.
Below, view the direction of the highlighted objects and columns in the area on the satellite map:
In this summary, we reviewed the direct evidence of the involvement of the 200th Independent Motorcycle Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in the military activities in the Donbass in the summer and autumn of 2014. The evidence is presented in the form of photos and from open source videos, including social networks, videos on YouTube, and reports from the mass media. Another part of the circumstantial evidence about the 200th Donbass Brigade in 2014 will be presented in the second part, which will continue.
Translator's Note: Bellingcat will publish the second part of this survey as soon as the author finishes his work.
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