7 FEBRUARY 2023
Whilst fleeing the city of Balakliia in Kharkiv Oblast, the Russian occupiers left behind a flash drive containing hundreds of various documents. Thanks to them, it was possible to identify several FSB officers who supervised the actions of the Russian army in the occupied city.
Source: Radio Liberty project Skhemy
Details: Journalists assume that the pen drive belonged to one of the deputy commanders for propaganda work of the Balakliia military group.
Thanks to him, the officers of the Russian military who tried to recruit the local population and sought out victims for torture during the occupation of the city were exposed.
The journalists also investigated the composition of Balakliia, an informal group of troops which operated during the occupation of part of Kharkiv Oblast, and compiled a list of units of the Russian army, Internal Troops of the Russian Federation and armed formations under their control, which were part of this group.
In particular, 46-year-old colonel Nikolai Klimanov from Voronezh was identified. He was deputy commander for military-political work of the 11th Army Corps of the Baltic Fleet of the Russian Federation.
At the end of March, he organised the work to identify persons with a negative attitude towards the Russian army in Balakliia, Savyntsi and surrounding villages.
Another military man who carried out “work with the civilian population” is 45-year-old Vladimir Chernev, commander of a rifle company in the Luhansk 202nd Rifle Regiment, which belongs to the Southern Military District of the Russian Federation. Since 2018 at least, he has been an adviser to the so-called head of the Luhansk People’s Republic group.
He also organised the work to identify and detain persons with a negative attitude towards servicemen of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the “People’s Militia of the Luhansk People’s Republic”.
The journalist also identified Major Dmitryi Meleshenko, the senior operational officer of the FSB from the Baltic Fleet and the troops of the Kaliningrad Oblast. They also found a physical document with the signature of 36-year-old Meleshenko at one of the enterprises in Balakliia, which turned into a command HQ during the occupation by the Russian army.
Pavel Kashirskyi was another identified FSB employee from Balakliia. The found documents prove not only his presence in Balakliia, but also to how he treated the local population.
It is known that Kashirsky provided protection against provocative and terrorist threats, as well as information and propaganda support. He identified 8 gunners and artillery observers of the defense forces of Ukraine, 6 people who “promoted nationalist ideas” and were aggressively opposed to the Russian army, as well as 12 assistants of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who transmitted data on the location of units of the Balakliia group. There is information on the flash drive that “after carrying out safeguard measures, their activities have been suspended.”
30-year-old ensign Sergey Pashkeev from the city of Sochi is also mentioned. According to the documents on the pen drive, he is the chief of the secret unit of the 9th Motorised Rifle Regiment of the 18th Motorised Rifle Division of Russia’s 11th Army Corps.
He ensured the management of secret records of the Balakliia troop grouping.
Journalists also published data about who commanded the Balakliia group, and therefore is responsible for the atrocities committed there.
This is Major General Andrey Ruzynskyi. He is officially listed as the commander of the 11th Corps of the Baltic Fleet; in Balakliia, he directly managed the group. Since May 2018, he has been under Ukrainian sanctions as a participant in the war against Ukraine in Donbas; the Main Intelligence Directorate calls him a war criminal.
The original of the flash drive forgotten by the occupiers is now in the investigation of the Kharkiv Oblast Security Service Office and is being examined as part of criminal proceedings.
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