Propagandists Solovyov and Makarenko call for HIMARS fire on ammunition depots, Molfar confirms destruction of warehouses

The ability of Russian propagandists to influence the battlefield is phenomenal. They film the ammunition depots and the frontline positions of terrorist groups so closely that they burst into flames and burn to the ground. Perhaps it is a "lens effect" or a "safety violation" – we'll leave these excuses to the Russians. The truth is that the attentive eyes of Ukrainian defenders saw the enemy's depots. And then they destroyed them, skillfully and precisely. Now we will tell you how it all happened.

Previous publications in the series: 

Molfar in social networks 👉 Molfar Global

Russian propagandists seek a faster end to the war and a change of government in Russia

Since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the OSINT community Molfar has received dozens of requests for cooperation from Russian propagandists. Most of them are locally well-known journalists who have a Russian audience and name, but secretly help the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The scheme of cooperation is very simple: propagandists send out videos and photos in a massive way, and among the recipients are email addresses of the SSU, the GUR, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Molfar and other Ukrainian OSINT investigators.

It is interesting to note that some propagandists list identical email addresses among the recipients of the emails, written in the same order as in the emails from other propagandists. Most of the recipients refuse to communicate, while some propagandists contact us personally. Among them is former agent Petr Lundstrem.

Russian propagandist Sergei Makarenko, who during the summer of 2022 helped to adjust Ukrainian artillery on Russian positions, the author's main Telegram channel has now been deleted

Then the same videos, only cropped and partially edited (blurring, framing, adding a logo), appear on the channels of titled Kremlin propagandists such as Vladimir Solovyov.

We cannot confirm whether major Kremlin figures are directly sabotaging Russia's "special military operation in Ukraine," but we do know that some war correspondents and local propagandists are openly helping the Ukrainian Armed Forces to launch artillery and missile strikes against troop and equipment concentrations, ammunition depots, command posts, and other important targets.

What objects were damaged?

Objects damaged as a result of successful identification of enemy positions

At first glance, the two marked squares do not look different from other sectors, but fortunately, we have enough video evidence to accurately identify enemy fortifications and supply depots. All thanks to the work of Russian propagandists!

Next, we will describe step-by-step how the terrorists' combat positions and warehouses were identified.

How were found the warehouses of the 185th "dpr" battalion?

At the end of July, on 27-28.07.2022, a series of videos were posted on the Solovyov Telegram channel: the first, second, and third. In these videos, Russian war correspondent Sergei Makarenko filmed his experience at the military location of the 185th "dpr" battalion.

👉 The Molfar OSINT community received these and other videos by email 3–4 days before they appeared on the Solovyov channel.

1️⃣ Video #1, posted at 21:18, shows the launch of a quadcopter from the battalion's stronghold.

Under video #1 it is written: "The village of Spartak (a satellite of Donetsk) is the real gateway to Avdiivka for us. For the enemy, it is the gateway to Donetsk. From here, the allied forces will break into the city. The 185th rifle battalion of the DPR army is holding the defense in this section of the front."

Thanks to this video, it was possible to identify the strongholds, trenches and blindages used by the militants of the "dpr" terrorist group as advanced positions during battles with the Ukrainian Defense Forces.

2️⃣ Video #2, published at 17:32, shows the path to the positions through a forest zone along a stone fence.

In this video, typical fences were seen, which helped to identify the route followed by the "dpr" militants and the war correspondent from the building with the ammunition depot (from the third video) to the frontline positions from the first video.

3️⃣ In video #3, published at 15:05, one of the battalion's soldiers shows a military commander a homemade grenade launcher.

The location of this video is a long brick room, similar to a basement or hangar, with no light. In the background of the video, light is coming in either through a doorway or through basement windows at the bottom of the building. This location could be used as a weapons and ammunition storage facility.

In this video, we identified the filmed basement as a weapons storage facility. The events that followed fully confirmed our guess. Let's take a closer look at the evidence.

Step-by-step location identification by photos

Screenshot of the video from the quadcopter: T-intersection
The T-shaped crossing on Google Maps
Screenshot of a video from a quadcopter: two buildings with distinctive silver and brown roofs, and a lake behind them
Two buildings with a distinctive silver and brown roof, the lake behind them on Google Maps
Screenshot from a video showing preparations for the launch of a quadcopter at a support position in a trench: a silver-colored building in the background
Silver-colored trenches and buildings
Screenshot from the video showing the path through the forest zone past the stone fence to the position for launching the quadcopter
The route to the position for launching the quadcopter and the forest zone where the video was filmed
The location of the fence that was captured on video on the way to the positions
Screenshot from a video in which a soldier of the 185th Battalion shows a Russian military correspondent a homemade grenade launcher. The location of the video is a long brick room, similar to a basement or hangar, with no light. In the background of the video, light comes in either through a doorway or through basement windows at the bottom of the building. This location could be used as a weapons and ammunition storage facility.
According to the direction of the military correspondent and the soldiers of the 185th battalion movement, only 3 buildings, each about 50 meters long, remain behind them, which fall under the description above and can be used as the location of the 185th rifle battalion and ammunition depot
The approximate distance between the alleged location of the 185th battalion and the place where the Russian trenches and blindages begin is about 400 meters. This distance was covered by the military correspondent and the soldiers on foot in the video.

❗️ Next, we need to assess how close the identified objects are to civilian buildings. Usually, Russian troops try to hide behind civilian buildings from shelling, so we should carefully calculate all the risks even if we use precision weapons.

On the left: the distance from the stronghold to the nearest building is ~360 meters, the risk of damage to civilian objects is low.
On the right: the distance from the objects to civilian buildings is ~100 meters, the risk of damage to civilian objects is medium.

👀 We also offer you to see what the terrorists from the 185th battalion of the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic" look like. 

Photo of 12 militants unit of the 185th "dpr" battalion

Evidence of destruction to identified objects

After the successful identification of the terrorists' positions and warehouses, we wait long enough for two full packages of HIMARS rockets (6 rockets in one salvo) to do their precision work! After this happened, the Molfar OSINT community ordered a medium-resolution satellite image of the identified square at our own expense.

Results of damage to identified objects after additional reconnaissance of the area: the satellite image clearly shows 12 localized damage, 6 of which hit the building with the largest amount of ammunition

In the previous article, we also used the phrase "additional reconnaissance of the area". Now, we would like to provide more explanation: additional reconnaissance of identified objects is carried out by regular operational and tactical UAVs. With the help of drones, the military observes objects for some time to confirm, for example, a specific room or even a part of it being used as an ammunition depot. Firing precision-guided missiles is an expensive and responsible business. That is why a multi-stage reconnaissance is carried out. To ensure that the target found fully justifies the resources used.

In this case, everything ended happily: the warehouse was destroyed, the buildings were destroyed, and the 185th battalion soldiers were never seen in propaganda videos again. We hope that the terrorists were eliminated along with the ammunition.

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