Denis Sidorov, a soldier from Moscow who had been arrested September 9 in Donetsk region, testified against Russian officers who have been fighting against Ukraine in the temporarily occupied areas of Donbas.
”September 10, the soldier of the reconnaissance company of the 3rd separate motorized rifle brigade (based in Horlivka) of the 1st Army Corps (based in Donetsk) of the Russian Armed Forces, a Russian citizen Denis Vladimirovich Sidorov, born August 04, 1981, registered at 16a Dikogo Str, apt. 91, Moscow; who surrendered to the ATO forces on September 9 near the settlement of Shyroka Balka, provided information, including on the presence and activities of the Russian military personnel, as well as the units of the Armed forces units in the temporarily occupied areas of Donbas.”
According to Sidorov, it is only the Russian military officers that are in command positions at the 3rd SMRB.
He also said that in mid-August, a new officer of the Russian armed forces was appointed to the post of commander of the 3rd SMRB, but he was assigned an old call sign of the brigade commander ”Brest”. During a photo-identification, the soldier confirmed that confirmed that the post of commander of the 3rd SMRB is now held by Colonel Alexei Berdnikov, who arrived in August, succeeding Major-General Igor Timofeyev.
Sidorov testified that Berdnikov has been recently visited quite often in Horlivka by the Russian officers from defense Armed Forces, and ”recognized by the photographs the officers of the 60th SMRB of the 5th Army of the Eastern Military District of the Russian armed forces: Chief of Air Defense, Chief of Air Defense Branch of the Staff of 60th SMRB Colonel Sergei Alexandrovich Tupichenko; Commander of Air Defense Missile Battalion of the 60th SMRB Major Yuri Vladimirovich Kochinskiy; Chief of Staff, Deputy Commander of the Air Defense Missile Battalion of the 60th SMRB Major Aleksei Yevgenyevich Kireyev.”
The Ukrainian military intelligence has noted that in July, the General Staff of the Russian armed forces deployed in the temporarily occupied areas of the Ukrainian Donbas an Anti-Aircraft Missile Division of the 60th SMRB (based in the town of Monastyryshche-2, Primorsky region of Russia) of the 5th Combined Army (Ussuriisk) of the Eastern Military District of the Russian Armed Forces: 168 officers and contracted soldiers, 21 units of military equipment (including anti-aircraft missile launchers Tor-M2U), and 30 vehicles. ”The deployment of the units has led to an increase in the air terrorism threat for all air targets, including civilian aircraft, taking into account the well-known Russian terrorist act that led to the tragedy with the passenger plane of Malaysian airlines flight MH17,” the report says.