Ukrainian investigative reporters of InformNapalm.org published new proof of Russian regular army soldiers taking part in a military conflict on the East of Ukraine. The military unit of the soldier was identified. That is 205th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade. There is also a photo of him with modern 9K338 Igla-S (SA-24) SAM taken near Donetsk. That type of surface-to-air missile is manufactured in Russia and never been used by Ukrainian Army. The place where the photo was taken was also geo-located.
Sergey Polkanov uploaded this photo to his profile on October 7, 2014. Here is a link to his profile https://vk.com/id271294630 He hasn’t been online since May 15, 2015, so there is a big chance that he has been killed in one of the battles on the East of Ukraine.
One of our readers from Donetsk recognized the place you can see in the background of the photo and gave us exact coordinates. We used the help of 2 independent experts in geo-location in order to confirm that the information was correct. Special thanks to Ukraine@war. This photo of Sergey Polkanov was taken at these coordinates 48.002345, 37.944311 you can see here on Google Map
The photo of the same place with those coordinates is available here http://www.panoramio.com/photo/37656023 This is an old coal mine “Glubokaya” (“Глубокая” – in Russian it means “deep”) located in the suburbs of Donetsk (between Donetsk and Makeevka).
We took 4 buildings and marked them in the photos and on the map. Below is step by step method used to confirm geo-location.
Step 1. Zoom in and mark objects that can be seen in the photo of Russian soldier.
Step 2. Zoom in and mark same objects on the panoramic photo at the same coordinates.
Step 3. Put marks on the map. We also put the location of the soldier on the map and the view angle that we analyzed.
On the photo below we also marked the position of this Russian soldier on panoramic picture. The red arrow points to the visible angle that we analyzed.
So there is no doubt that the photo of this soldier was taken in Ukraine close to Donetsk. The weapon used by this soldier was identified as 9K338 Igla-S (SA-24) SAM, that’s the latest model of that type of SAM and Ukraine never had it, so it could only arrive from Russia. The easiest way to identify it is the battery. It is marked #6 in the scheme below.
At the same day Sergey Polkanov uploaded another photo with two 9K338 Igla-S (SA-24) SAM.
On October 5 2014 he uploaded the photo with a sign in Russian language that says “ATTENTION! State border of Ukraine. No crossing”. On his hand you can also see white bandage used by Russian soldiers in Ukraine for identification.
Also on October 5 2014 he posted a photo with his friend. Both have white bandages on their legs. They are sitting on Russian armored car “Tiger” never used by Ukrainian army, but used a lot by Russian soldiers in Crimea.
There is also a photo in his album of insignia that says “Air-defense troops of Novorossiya”
On March 13 2015 he uploaded a photo of the medal that he got from the Ministry of Defense of Russian Federation. According to this document the order was issued on December 10 2014. In the order you can see his military unit #74814. The order is signed by the commander of his brigade Maj.-Gen. Yuriy Donskikh. The full name of his brigade is “205th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade”. Yuriy Donskikh is the commander of this Brigade since 2012. You can see more details about this Brigade on Wikipedia here Obviously this was reward for his “service” in military operations on the East of Ukraine and this is another proof that Regular Russian Army units are fighting in Donetsk and Lugansk Regions against Ukrainian Army.
The photo of the medal he got also had geo-location tag that links to Novocherkassk very close to Ukrainian border.
On March 13 2015 he uploaded the last photo also with geo-location mark. It is Oktyabrsky District, Rostov Region in Russia, also close to Ukrainian border. There is big military training ground there at these coordinates 47.517141, 40.228856. See it on Google Map here. On March 10 2015 it was reported on the local news website of Shakhty city that people heard explosions http://www.shahty.ru/news/news_8403.html As it is explained in the news article there were military exercises with the use of heavy artillery, tanks and infantry units. This means that Sergey Polkanov was not vacation, he was in Ukraine near Donetsk with modern Russian weapon during the military conflict in 2014, got a medal in December 2014 and continues to serve in the Russian Army taking part in military training in Russia on the ground close to Ukrainian border.