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Russian artillerymen are the bloodiest war criminals of this war. They shell peaceful cities, killing thousands of Ukrainians. Russian shells and missiles target the direction of long-suffering Mariupol, Kharkiv, Chernihiv and other cities daily. The artillerymen themselves are hundreds of miles away, hoping to avoid hitting back, at the same time.

Therefore, it was important for us to find and show the faces of Russian artillerymen who are shelling Ukraine. “Slidstvo.Info” has worked on the list of the Bryansk Artillery Regiment, which was published by the Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine before. According to intelligence officials, this Regiment is involved in waging the war in Ukraine.

The Bryansk 856th Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment is located just hundreds of kilometers from Chernihiv oblast. Self-propelled howitzers are in service there, in particular, modern MSTA-S installations.

We identified both commanders and rank-and-file soldiers of this Regiment. We also confirmed the fact that this Regiment is directly involved in waging the war in Ukraine. Most artillerymen turned off their phones a few days before the full-scale invasion started. The captured Russians have repeatedly said that the Russian military leadership took phones from those soldiers who were sent to fight in Ukraine right before the war. We also have evidence that parents of Bryansk artillerymen are already looking for their missing children.

19-Year-Old Occupier

The rank-and-file soldier Pavlo Bortnikov is 19 years old. He is from Nizhny Novgorod. Last summer, Bortnikov had taken the oath of office in the Russian Armed Forces, then he signed a contract.

We have found his parents. The mother of the Russian occupier Yulia has looked for her son since March 1. She posted to the group of the military unit in the social network called “Vkontakte”, asking for help to find a 19-year-old soldier.

Despite this, the woman continues to support the Russian occupation army, publishing propaganda pictures with Russian soldiers captioned: “Sons, the whole Russia stands with you, bless and keep you.”

Pavlo Bortnikov’s father is a former soldier. He has also probably participated in the occupation wars, because he mentions that he fought during the Second Chechen War in the North Caucasus as part of Russian troops. You can find photos from feasts, barbecues, as well as from some situational part-time jobs on his page now.

It is significant that Pavlo Bortnikov’s father is following the group “Dedicated to guys fallen in Chechnya and Ukraine”. Maybe he’s already realizing something.

Artillery Officers

The main task for us was to find and identify the commanders of the Artillery Regiment. They are exactly the ones who give orders and direct the fire of deadly artillery.

Lieutenant Bogdan Meshcheryakov is 24 years old. He was born in Samara and has several brothers. On his page in “Vkontakte”, he indicates his main goal in life as “improving the world”. The last time Meshcheryakov was online was February 10, which is two weeks before the invasion.

We found the father of the Russian artilleryman. He supports the militants of the so-called «Donetsk People’s Republic», as well as reposts propaganda videos where Russian invaders are looking for “Azov” signs from captured Ukrainian soldiers.

Captain Ruslan Zubkov is 38 years old. He comes from Novgorod oblast, has a brother and two children. Every few years, Captain Zubkov and his children go to the seaside. His page is full of photos from post-Soviet “resorts”, as well as alcohol feasts.

Captain Ruslan Zubkov (on the Right)

Lieutenant Ilya Yeryokhin is 28 years old. Before joining the army, Yeryokhin used to have the ordinary life of a Russian teenager. He spent time in the company of friends, took photos of himself with his parents. Then Ilya had entered the St. Petersburg Cadet Rocket and Artillery Corps, after which he started serving in the artillery troops.

According to Ukrainian intelligence, lieutenant Yeryokhin is now commanding a platoon of artillerymen of the Russian occupation forces. And the wife of the occupier seems to be waiting for her husband to come back home. She has even chosen a picture with the letter “Z” and the propaganda caption “No one left behind” as a user icon.

Lieutenant Rustam Muhambetov is 31 years old. He is also the Commander of a platoon of artillerymen. According to his social networks, he had studied at the Ivanovo State University of Chemical Technology, then went to the Russian army.

While Rustam is fighting in Ukraine, his father publishes propaganda pictures of “God bless you, guys”, and he also misses the Soviet Union.

The Captain Tagir Hajikurbanov is the Jet Battery Commander in the Bryansk Regiment. He is 31 years old. He has been serving in the Russian army for more than a decade. He has many brothers and sisters. We also found his pages on some Russian dating sites, where he is nicknamed as a “heavenly angel” or “tiger”.

The last time the Captain Hajikurbanov was online was on February 22, two days before the invasion of Ukraine.

And finally — the Senior Warrant Officer Roman Kazakov, who is 46 years old. He has been in the Russian army for more than 20 years. He publishes photos from alcohol feasts, from the military unit. We also have found photos of the same howitzer from which Ukrainian cities are now likely to be shelled on his pages.

The Senior Warrant Officer Kazakov pointed out his life creed as “I am alive, has not yet died”. By the way, he is nearly the only one who was online these days. There are two possible options: either he somehow returned to Russia, or he took a mobile phone from one of the Ukrainians with the access to the Internet.

Earlier, «Slidstvo.Info» identified Russian bomber pilots from the Rostov Air Regiment. According to Ukrainian intelligence, these pilots are dropping the bombs on peaceful Ukrainian cities. We also found out that some of the pilots have relatives in Ukraine.