Anybody who denies Russia has invaded Ukraine is denying reality.
Some are saying Russia is preparing to invade Ukraine, in the meantime, Russia is rotating units in and out of Ukraine.
Russia has been actively deploying electronic warfare (EW) systems in the Donbas war. Russian EW specialists supported the Russian invasion of Ukraine: they blocked GSM communication channels, jammed electronic management systems, etc. As of March, 29, 2017, InformNapalm revealed 44 types of Russian army weapons and equipment in the Donbas. Among them were 9 kinds of EW systems: RB-341V Leer-3, R-378B Borisoglebsk-2, R-934UM, R-330Zh Zhitel, Torn, Rtut-BM, RB-636AM2 Svet-KU, 1RL243 Rubicon, R-381T2 Taran.
Detecting a EW specialist is harder than catching a scout
It is easier to film Russian tankmen, scouts, snipers or artillery men, than EW specialists. The last ones get awards quite rarely and they do not directly participate in military clashes. So only pictures accidentally posted in social media let us get a glimpse of their activities, the consequences of which we can observe in the course of this war. In this OSINT investigation we reveal a group of specialists from the EW Company of the 19th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade (the 19th SMRB, military unit 20634, based in Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia, the Southern Military district of Russia). These specialists in the summer-autumn 2014 within a battalion tactical group (BTG) were relocated to the Ukrainian border to facilitate support of the invasion of the Russian army.
General analysis of photographs
Analysis of photo albums of below-mentioned servicemen from the EW company of the 19th SMRB shows that in May-June 2014 they were receiving pre-deployment training on Prudboy training area (Volgograd Oblast, Russia). By the end of June 2014 the brigade soldiers had been deployed to Rostov Oblast next to the Ukrainian border. Among other photos you can see pictures uploaded in August 2014. The majority of them were taken in a forest camp. We often documented similar Russians training camps since summer 2014. Camps near the Ukrainian border were used for covert concentration and further transfer of troops to the Donbas. The soldiers in the field camps look rather like “partisan militants” than the regular servicemen, but do not be fooled by this fact. Non-statutory appearance is an element of the mimicry of the hybrid Russian army. In the picture you can also see small tents and outlines of the EW system RB-301B Borisoglebsk-2. Let us take a close look at the subjects of this investigation and their equipment.
Servicemen from the EW company of 19th Motorized Rifle Brigade of the Russian Army
- Yevgeniy Moiseyev
Date of birth: December 28, 1992. He was born in Gusary village, Uysky District, Chelyabinsk Oblast. A social media account: VK (profile, album, contacts archives). Entered military conscription service with the Russian Army in autumn 2013. By the time of discharge in autumn 2014 he was a driver in the second EW platoon of the EW Company, the 19th SMRB (marked by a red arrow).
- Gennadiy Sedykh
Entered military conscription service with the Russian Army in autumn 2013. After graduating from an EW junior specialists training center (military unit 61460, Tambov), he was allocated to the EW unit of the 19th SMRB.
Among Sedykh’s photos there are pictures from the same series as Moiseyev’s taken in August 2014 in which the EW Company servicemen are posing in the invaders’ training camp. (He is marked by an orange arrow).
- Dmitry Ponkratov
Drafted to the Russian Army as a conscript in autumn 2013. After graduation from EW junior specialists training center (military unit 61460, Tambov city) he was allocated to EW subdivision of the 19th SMRB.
Ponkratov’s photos album contains pictures from the same set as Moiseyev’s, particularly – August 2014 pictures, in which EW Company servicemen are posing in the invaders’ training camp. (He is marked by a blue arrow).
- Artem Voropayev
Drafted to the Russian Army as a conscript in autumn 2013, served in an EW unit of the 19th SMRB.
Voropayev’s photos album contains pictures taken in August 2014 from the abovementioned training camp and also a “partisan-style” picture, uploaded in November 2014. (He is marked by a white arrow).
- Sergey Dolmat
Dolmat’s photos album contains pictures from August 2014 (uploaded later, in 2015) from the abovementioned training camp. (He is marked by a green arrow).
Here is what we know about the R-378B Borisoglebsk-2
According to InformNapalm data, HF and VHF jamming system RB-301B “Borisoglebsk-2” has been in service with the Russian Southern Military District since 2013. One part of this system, a control center R-330KMV, was spotted in summer 2015 in Rostov Oblast while being transported by civilian vehicles. In February 2015 these EW systems were spotted in the city of Bryanka in Luhansk Oblast, and in March 2015, directly in Luhansk. In May 2016, InformNapalm published an article about utilizing a Russian automated jamming station R-378B of Borisoglebsk-2 EW system on the very front line, in the vicinity of Stakhanov (now Kadiivka) on November 05, 2014.
288 of 418: Where are others?
Let us re recall the observation reflected in the invesigation that revealed a composition of the battalion tactical group of the 7th Military Base, which was on alert duty in Rostov Oblast at the border with Ukraine. Only 288 servicemen out of 418 of this BTG from the 7th Military Base were receiving food rations. It means that at that BTG base there were actually 288 troops, including only one serviceman from the EW platoon. We assume that the remaining 130 troops from this BTG were on the other side of the board, supporting terrorist formations of the “Donetsk / Luhansk People’s Republics” (D/LPR) which are 70% manned by Russian military personnel and mercenaries.
Here is our information about the Russian 19th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade
The 19th SMRB has appeared in eight OSINT investigations by InformNapalm. These publications are related to the invasion of Ukraine in summer-autumn 2014 and to participation of the servicemen from this brigade in the Donbas war afterwards.
- Combat crews of Grad MLRS of 19th MRB identified along the border with Ukraine 2014-10-01
- 2S19 ‘Msta-S’ Self Propelled Mortar from North Ossetia at the Border with Ukraine 08/04/2015
- ‘Drone Company’ of Russian 19th Motorized Rifle Brigade. A story of their Ukrainian ‘trip’ 05/25/2015
- Snipers of the Russian 19th Brigade Enlisted in ‘Somali’ Terrorist Battalion 07/27/2015
- Hawkish course: new airborne reconnaissance companies for the Russian infantry 09/06/2016
- War criminals of 19th Motorized Rifle Brigade of the Russian Army detected 12/14/2016
- “We are traveling from Ukraine to Caucasus”. The conscript gave away “Ukrainian mission” of the 19th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade. 12/14/2016
- Donbas: Russian army sniper masquerades as “Novorossia” and “DPR” militant. 05/22/2017
The structure and weapons of the 19th SMRB.
The 19th, Voronezh-Shumlin, the Orders of Red Flag, Suvorov and Red Labor Flag, Motorized Rifle Brigade (military unit 20634, based in the village of Sputnik, Vladikavkaz), of the 58th Combined Arms Army of the Southern Military District.
Structure: the Command, three motorized infantry battalions, special forces battalion (Troitskoye village,Ingushetia), a separate sniper company, a tank battalion, two self-propelled howitzer artillery battalions, a rocket artillery battalion, an antitank artillery battalion, an antiaircraft missile battalion and an antiaircraft artillery missile battalion, a reconnaissance battalion, a UAV company, an engineer battalion, an NBC protection company, a control (communication) battalion, an electronic warfare company, a control and artillery reconnaissance battery, a control and radar reconnaissance platoon, a control platoon, a recovery battalion, a logistics battalion, a headquarters company, a medical company, a military instructors platoon, a training simulator platoon, a training range, and a brass band.
Armament: 40 pcs. T-90A tanks, 1 pcs. T-90K tank, 120 pcs BMP-3 infantry combat vehicles, 9 pcs. BTR-82A, armored personnel carriers, 27 pcs. BTR-80, armored personnel carriers, 6 pcs. GAZ-233014 Tigr, infantry mobility vehicles, 15 pcs MT-LB multi-purpose light armored towing vehicles, 18 pcs combat vehicles 2B17-1 Tornado-G Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, 36 pcs 152mm 2S19 “Msta-S” self-propelled howitzers, 18 pcs 2S12 Sani 120 mm heavy mortar systems, 12 pcs MT-12 Rapira 100mm anti-tank guns, 12 pcs Shturm-S self-propelled anti-tank missile systems, 4 pcs BRDM-2 combat reconnaissance/patrol vehicles, 12 pcs combat vehicles 9K330 Tor, short-range surface-to-air missile systems, 6 pcs 9A34(35) Strela-10 surface-to-air missile on armored vehicle mounts, 6 pcs 2S6M Tunguska self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, 27 pcs 9K38 Igla man portable surface-to-air missiles.