InformNapalm Review: Black January of the Russo-Ukrainian War

Volunteers of the international community recalled the perpetrators of war crimes among Russian invaders

In 2020, Ukraine and the world remember many black anniversaries on the calendar of the Russo-Ukrainian war. 5 years have passed since most of these tragic dates, from the days of bloody acts of terrorism and war crimes committed by Russian hybrid troops: mercenaries, collaborators, and military personnel of the RF Armed Forces. In the wake of these tragedies, research materials have been published on the website of the InformNapalm International Volunteer Community, which shed light on important circumstances, provide evidence and report on the perpetrators of these crimes. All of these publications have been translated into dozens of languages ​​around the world and, through their dissemination, volunteers remind the international community of the true face of the Russian Federation. They are reminiscent of the brutal actions of a country waging hybrid wars and carrying out terrorist attacks against civilians. Unfortunately, the perpetrators of these terrible acts of terrorism and those 

On January 13, 2015, Russian terrorists fired at a civilian bus near Volnovakha. The attack killed 12 people, injured 18.

2017, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine established the organizers of the shelling. Investigators of the Security Service of Ukraine sent reports of suspicion of committing a grave crime by a citizen of the Russian Federation, Colonel of the Armed Forces of Russia Anatoly Sinelnikov (called Zakhar), who gave commands to the artillery units of pro-Russian terrorists.

On January 22, 2015, Russian terrorists fired at a public transport stop at Donetskmiskmash (Boss) in Donetsk. As a result, 8 people were killed and more than 20 were injured.

Immediately after the firing, the militants used the tragedy for the purpose of information and psychological pressure, they brought to the scene of the tragedy 17 Ukrainian prisoners of war, publicly humiliated and beat them, and filmed it with a video camera. Then the prisoners were forced to load the bodies of the dead.

Based on photos and videos of the tragedy, volunteers conducted
several independent OSINT investigations, which indicated that the attack was carried out by terrorists from the so-called 82 mm caliber mortar. Thanks to a photo of Christopher Miller, who took a close-up shot of a compass phone near a funnel at the scene of a bus attack, he also managed to capture the direction from which the firing took place, he coincided with the OSCE’s findings and indicated that the firing was close and Ukrainian artillery, which was more than 15 km from the affected area, not involved.

People surround a damaged trolleybus in Donetsk, January 22, 2015. At least six civilians were killed on Thursday when a shell or a mortar hit a trolleybus stop in the rebel-controlled city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, a Reuters witness said. The Reuters cameraman said he saw six bodies on the ground near, and inside, a trolleybus in a southern district of the city. Windows of shops nearby had been blown out by the blast. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko (UKRAINE – Tags: DISASTER CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT TRANSPORT)

Two days after the shelling, human rights watchdogs said that the burial sites at the site were bombarded with orders from “local authorities”, making further inspection and research impossible.

In addition to analyzing the photos and videos from the site of the shooting, volunteers from the InformNapalm community monitored social media messages from the locals on the day of the tragedy and found that most of them reported mortar rather than artillery fire and indicated that the mortar had “worked” from the quarters Donetsk. And the time when the residents heard the shots of the mortar roughly coincided with the time of the tragedy.

At the same time, Russian propaganda tried to distort information about this tragedy and shift the blame for it to the Ukrainian side. However, on January 28, 2015, DNR militants themselves reported the detention of a group of three saboteurs who were moving around the city by car with a mortar, all three were Russian citizens.

On January 24, 2015, Russian military and collaborators fired shells at the Vostochny neighborhood in Mariupol from rocket launchers. More than 92 people were killed and more than 92 injured, including children and teenagers.

The investigation into this large-scale terrorist attack took a long time, and only on May 7, 2018, the Press Service of Ukraine presented evidence that the firing of Mariupol was carried out by personnel of the Russian military. From the territory of Russia the operation was directly directed by the chief of missile troops and artillery of the Southern military district of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Major General Stepan Yaroshchuk. In the temporarily occupied Donetsk, the shelling was led by Colonel of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Alexander Tsaplyuk with the call sign “Highlander”. The coordination of the Russian jet divisions was carried out by Lieutenant Colonel of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Maxim Vlasov with the call sign Yugra.

In 2019, to mark the anniversary of the Mariupol shelling, volunteers from the international community InformNapalm collected information and additional data on Russian military based on open-source intelligencewho were involved in the war crime and the murder of dozens of civilians. Volunteers found that after the terrorist attack in Mariupol, following the experience gained in the massacres of the Russian Armed Forces colonel, Alexander Tsaplyuk, in June 2015, he was appointed chief of the Penza Artillery Institute, and in 2017, Vladimir Putin personally awarded him a military rank.

It is also interesting that another military offender involved in the tragedy, Colonel of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Oleg Tsekov personally, by his private order, appointed the Deputy Commander of the 8th Army of the Southern Military Forces, and also conferred on him the rank of Major General.

Other Russian officers who have been promoted for aggression against Ukraine by the general ranks are listed in the InformNapalm study materials. The Russian media even wrote that officers of the command of the 8th Army were selected especially carefully, with the preference given to “combatants”. This particular approach was due to the fact that the 8th Army and the 150th ISD that were part of it were deployed in a strategic direction for Russia – near the border with Ukraine.

And in 2020, when the 5th anniversary of the terrible acts of terrorism and war crimes against the people of Ukraine, committed under the direct leadership of the Russian military, has come to an end, the Russian Federation itself does not atone for its guilt, Vladimir Putin continues to make allegations that the Russian Federation is not a party to the conflict, he continues to stay in international forums, EU leaders, the President of the United States and the President of Ukraine, who also gave Putin a Happy New Year greetings, continue to shake his hand. Such a thaw in perceiving and humiliating the aggressor not only does not help end the war in the Donbass and de-occupy Crimea, but also encourages the perpetrator to further implement his plans using the hybrid military and terrorist potential of the Russian army and intelligence services.

(c) Tyzhden


  1. The last paragraph sums up the situation perfectly. There is not a leader in the world who will slap Putin down. I’ve never seen such a bunch of spineless, gutless creatures in my life.

    • Putler jackboot licker Peter Hitchens has today used his column in the Mail on Sunday to trash the owner of Bellingcat: Elliot Higgins, a very good friend of Ukraine whose findings about M17 were confirmed by the official Dutch investigation. Higgins is a brave guy who is likely high up on putler’s kill list with Bill Browder. I would guess that Hitchens has been ordered to put some pressure on this guy.

  2. Also, yesterday was 5 years since Mariupol; an unprecedented act of savagery that got no response from the international community. See my earlier post:
    From FB ‘news from and about Ukraine in English’.

  3. people need to quit using the term “Russian Proxy” in reference to the Russians in the Donbas. The “separatists” have long been displaced by Russian troops and mercenaries.

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