In leaked documents, clues of Russian presence in Ukraine
The hackers collective Ukrainian Cyber Forces uploaded and made available to all 1.7 gigabytes of documents leaked from the Russian Interior Ministry. MVD. Among the thousands of pages, largely unexplored, lurk a series of clues of the presence of Russian troops in Ukraine. But also valuable information on the number of Ukrainian refugees in Russia. Let's see.
- Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Yevgeny Dokunin is a hacker. A few days ago, Yevgeny managed to get into the MVD, the Russian Interior Ministry, forcing several accounts and steal a mountain of documents. Something like 1.7 gigabytes of reports, decrees, notes and communications between central offices and MVD branch offices in the region of Rostov on Don, a few kilometers from the border with Ukraine. Yevgeny has made available all the documents on a Google server.
Among the thousands of pages, much of it still not thoroughly investigated, evidence emerges of the presence of Russian troops on Ukrainian territory. Let’s make it clear now, they are not evidence, there is no smoking gun, and the authenticity of the documents is far from certain. Nevertheless, there are some clues.
The report of August 26, 2014 by Lieutenant Colonel I.I. Trofimenko, is about the evacuation of three Russian soldiers from Ukrainian territory on the previous day, on board a Mi-8 helicopter. "During their duty service, M.V. Polstyankin, O. Ju. Volgin, Ju. A. Alekseev and A.A. Gerasimenko, in service at the Unit 51182 based in Millerovo, were injured during clashes with the forces of the National Guard of Ukraine, 10 kilometers west of Prognoy", the report says. The Russian village of Prognoy is located less than five kilometers from the border with Ukraine, from which it follows that 10 kilometers west is already abundantly on the Ukrainian soil, in the direction of Shchastya. In the same days, in the same area, there were violent clashes between the troops and the Ukrainian separatists. On the same day, the the Ukrainian border guard, have reported clashes on the border right in the same area. "Attackers suffered significant personnel losses”, the report reads. “Dead and wounded were evacuated to the territory of Russia under cover of fire of BTRs and helicopters." The two reports coincide.
The tragedy in numbers
In the folds of other documents interesting details are hidden. The Decree nr. 1352 of September 11 gives instructions on the use of special teams Omon from Rostov on Don to "prevent the transport from Ukraine of firearms, ammunition, weapons and explosives." Among other things, the special forces have to be provided with special food rations guaranteeing at least an autonomy of three days.
There are also very interesting reports on the reception of refugees from Ukraine. Like the report of 28 September 2014 which states that "the date hereof, the Rostov on Don Immigration office registered 60,622 Ukrainian citizens, including 14,986 children." Numbers are not absolute, but it give an idea of the tragedy of Donbass. The refugees are housed in temporary accommodation near the border, before being housed in various locations in Russia.
True or false?
The documents are authentic? Checking the metadata, files show data that match the content. The dates of creation and last modification match the dates indicated in the documents themselves, as well as the names of the creators at times with those of the MVD officers. It must be said that, having been released by a collective of hackers, one might expect everything. Even that metadata were modified.
We can make another try, then. Take for example the report of Colonel Khabakhov dated 3 October 2014. If true, is another indication of the Russian presence in Ukraine. It is reported that in Novoshakhtinska, Russia, three injured were hospitalized, including "Belyakov Vasily, born on 04.13.1984, Russian citizen residing in Dzerzhinsk, Nizhny Novgorod region, (Donbass militia) with shrapnel wounds, during the bombing of Donetsk, Ukraine, on 21 September 2014". Searching on Vkontakte, the Russian social network, appears a Vasily Belyakov from Nizhny-Novgorod, born on the same date, whose profile is no longer updated since August. Just one more clue.
The leaked documents are available to anyone who know Russian and has plenty of time to read through.