Russian GRU agents masquerading as press for Russian propaganda outlet LifeNews, film Russian Spetsnaz soldiers deceptively ambushing, then killing and torturing Ukrainian soldiers in Donbas, East Ukraine
On September 5th, LifeNews' GRU agents were embedded with a Russian Spetsnaz unit, called "Fast response unit 'Batman," who are under the command of the self-styled "Republic of New Russia" ("RNR") - a Kremlin controlled pseudo-state organization (a recent amalgamation of "DPR" and "LPR") and subsidiary of Russian intelligence.
|LifeNews 'reporting' from scene of ambush aftermath. Note: 'press' wearing military fatigues.|
Vesla Hora, Luhansk Region, Ukraine (click image to enlarge)
LifeNews filmed the ambush, ensuing 1.5-hour firefight and aftermath, including forced and degrading treatment and interviews with injured and dying soldiers - a clear violation of the Geneva Convention. "RNR" video stills:
Warning 18+: Very graphic
Initially, two short videos were published by Russian 'media' outlet LifeNews (here and here), but on September 17th an extended 25-minute cut (in two parts) were published by "RNR" on their YouTube channel. However, after only 2-days they mysteriously vanished, but WarLog has provided copies below for reference.
Warning 18+: The videos are very graphic
The bodies of up to forty Ukrainian soldiers killed during the battle were reported recovered on 8th September by Euromaidan Press, however it's believed eleven soldiers were killed, according to a report by Novoe Vremya.
According to army eyewitnesses, the ambush began with a deception, the enemy flying the Ukrainian flag as they encountered the column."
The Russian spetsnaz "fast response unit 'Batman'" who deceptively ambushed Aidar Battalion have become notorious in the Luhansk region during the last few months of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine - for killing Ukrainian forces loyal to Kiev. Indeed, its commander, Alexey Milchakov from Saint Petersburg, has been operating in Ukraine since at least June. Furthermore, it was his 'reference of fitness' document that proved Moscow has been deploying semi-covert Spetsnaz (special forces) under the guise of self-declared (and Kremlin run) "Luhansk Peoples Republic" ("LPR") for months in the Donbas region of Ukraine. (War Log piece here)
Moscow has attempted to maintain the false pretence that no Russian forces have been deployed in Ukraine, however since February President Vladimir Putin has waged a semi-covert campaign in Ukraine, a Special War as termed by Professor John R. Schindler (a strategist, author and commentator; formerly an NSA intelligence analyst and counterintelligence officer.)
"Over the past six months, inspired by Crimean success, Russian strategy has focused on creating and preserving Kremlin-controlled pseudo-states, the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk “People’s Republics,” which are in fact subsidiaries of Russian intelligence."