Russian Airborne Colonel Gratov detained in Ukraine

gratov valery, a russian colonel who fought for the Russian terrorists in the Donbas

Chieftains of the Russian-hybrid army in the Donbas Igor 'Bes' Bezler (at large in Russia for now) and Arsen 'Motorola' Pavlov (died in an elevator bomb explosion) with Valery Gratov, a Russian citizen, colonel of Russian Airborne Troops. Probably, end of 2014 or early 2015, occupied Donetsk. Photograph: 

More, Ukraine, War in the Donbas

Valery Gratov, a Colonel of the Russian Airborne troops, was detained by the Border Guard Service of Ukraine while he tried to cross the state border heading to the Russia-controlled Transnistrian region of Moldova. He had been participating in the Donbas war opposing Ukrainian government forces since 2014. The colonel was detained on the Ukrainian border over a month ago, but the State Border Guard Service has revealed this fact just yesterday, on 9 July.

On 10 July at a briefing in the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center, the ATO spokesperson Col. Andriy Lysenko said that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) detained Valery Gratov , a Colonel of Russian Airborne Troops who had been actively involved in activities of Russian occupational contingent in Donbas since 2014, according to Lysenko.

Ukrainian diplomat Olexander Scherba wrote that Gratov was arrested while crossing the Ukrainian border with a fake passport:

Ukrainian State Border Guard Service spokesman Oleh Slobodian provided more details in his post on Facebook. In early June, the Ukrainian border guards detained a man who tried to cross the state border heading to Moldova. The man had photographs of separatist rallies in his phone. During the further personal inspection, border guards found a sheet with contacts of Russian and Transnistrian officials, a flash stick with personal photographs of the man posing with Donbas warlords, videos of attacks on Ukrainian territory.

Who is Mr.Gratov?

Russian national Valery Gratov participated in a few post-Soviet conflicts, according to the database records of Myrotvorets, a website gathering information on individuals and entities supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine.

  • In 1992, Gratov took part in military action against government forces in Moldova’s region of Transnistria.
  • Amid the constitutional crisis of 1993 in Russia, he was one of the defenders of the Parliament from President Yeltsin’s forces.
  • Also in 1993, Gratov fought against government forces in Georgia’s Abkhazia.
  • Since August 2014 by now, the colonel took an active part in the Donbas conflict on the Russian side, Gratov fought against Ukrainians in Luhansk, Donetsk Airport, Alchevsk, Horlivka, Makiivka, Debaltseve, Vuhlehirsk.

In 1990-1996, the Russian colonel established and led the security service of Igor Smirnov, the Russia-backed president of the breakaway “Transnistrian Moldovan Republic.”

AAccordingto journalist Andriy Tsapliyenko, Valery Gratov left Transnistria as the “era of Smirnov came to its end” (in 2011 Smirnov lost elections) and moved to Moscow.  From 2014 the colonel emerged in the Donbas officially as a head of Union of Donbas Paratroopers.

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Gratov’s detention

Border Guard Service spokesman Oleh Slobodian reported that in early June a suspicious person tried to exit Ukraine about midnight heading Transnistria, a region uncontrolled by the Moldovan government since 1990. The man produced a Ukrainian domestic passport in the name of Valery Voitenko, born 1954. A border guard officer doubted the purpose of his visit as Valery produced a telegram stating that his mother was ill and gave confusing information about his passport data.

The Border Guards asked the man to show the content of his pockets and luggage. His cell phone contained photographs of separatist rallies held in Luhansk and Donetsk. The further detailed examination revealed a secret pocket with a sheet of paper with phone numbers of Transnistrian top officials and contacts in Russia, the Russian Order of the Red Star, a smartphone and flash sticks. The man’s data storage items contained the photo and video materials proving that he visited so-called LNR and DNR and met with top warlords there.


The border guards had identified the man as Valery Gratov, a colonel of the Russian Airborne Forces, born in 1952, whom the Russian special services planned to name to a post of the so-called deputy state security minister of the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic, Slobodian said. The detainee was handed over to the operatives of the Ukraine’s Security Service.

  • Transnistria played a significant role in the 2014 clashes in Odesa.
  • On 24 June 2017, Ukraine’s 93rd separate mechanized brigade captured a contract Russian soldier in Luhansk Oblast and killed a Russian officer in a battle.
  • From 14 April 2014 to 15 May 2017,  the OHCHR recorded 34,056 casualties among civilians, the Ukrainian military and members of armed groups in the Donbas, 10,090 people killed, including 2,777 civilians, and 23,966 injured.
  • In late 2016, Gratov accused Putin’s “gray cardinal” Surkov of the crash of the Russian military Tu-154 shortly after take off from Sochi while en route to Russia’s Khmeimim Air Base in Syria on 25 December 2016. Gratov believed that it could be “Kadyrov’s guys who brought a bomb aboard” and Surkov was their mastermind. Officially, the investigators downplayed the possibility of a terrorist attack. The investigation is still underway.

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  1. Avatar Screwdriver says:

    First of all Valeriy Gratov is not in active Russian military service for very long time.
    Second, most of his friends abandoned him, after he started a campaign against Givi, falsely accusing him of treason. As far as I know, Gratov suspected to be an SBU agent, many his former friends unfriended him on Facebook, I could not find his FB page any more, looks like he closed his FB account. Would be interesting to watch what happens next, Russia or DPR do not need him, he will not be exchanged, but I can bet he will not end up in Ukrainian prison.

    1. Avatar Brent says:

      The only thing that is interesting is watching you Russo Nazzi’s turn on each other, “Screwball”. If you’re not killing each other, now you’re “unfriending” each other on Facebook!!!

      Too f*cking funny “Screwball”!!! I hope all of these Russo Nazzi scum end up at The Hague just like the Serbian scum who also committed war crimes.

      1. Avatar Screwdriver says:


        1. Avatar Brent says:

          i thought you mindless Russo sheeple went “Baaah. Baaah. Baaah”???

    2. Avatar veth says:

      Kill him, thrown him in an unmarked grave, like Russia does with the dead meat returning in Rostov Oblast.

    3. Avatar Quartermaster says:

      He’s likely to be a GRU operative. To state he’s suspected to be SBU is truly grasping at straws.

      1. Avatar Screwdriver says:

        He is an old idiot, not GRU operative. GRU operative would never go to the hostile airport with incriminating stuff with him. TWICE !

        1. Avatar Quartermaster says:

          GRU types have done stupid things before. And they’ve done it more than twice. He’s certainly not SBU. Asserting that is simple minded stupidity.

          1. Avatar Screwdriver says:

            “GRU types have done stupid things before. And they’ve done it more than twice” Like what ?

          2. Avatar Quartermaster says:

            Get out some, although I doubt you are so inclined. If facts were what you were interested in, you wouldn’t be here trolling.

  2. Avatar Screwdriver says:

    2016 information on Gratov from “separatists” source:

    1. Avatar Brent says:

      In other words, your source is “lies from liars”……when have your beloved terrorists ever told the truth before? All lying Russo Nazzi scum.

  3. Avatar veth says:

    The biggest fish so far arrested. On his way to the Haque prison………….Let he explane why Russian invaded Donbass and Crimea, and all the terror of fascist Russian crimes………

    1. Avatar Screwdriver says:

      None of the POW were sent to Hague prison. Most of them exchanged for Ukrainian soldiers, Some who still in Ukrainian jails waiting for the exchange of captured Ukrainians nazis who are in custody of DPR/LPR.

      1. Avatar Oknemfrod says:

        First, remind me who said a while ago that “Gratov is not in active Russian military service”? If you’ve forgotten already, that was you. If so, he isn’t a POW but a mercenary. Second, since there’re no “Ukrainian nazis” in custody of ORDLO, he’ll have to wait for his exchange for eternity.

        1. Avatar Screwdriver says:

          Well.. that was a general statement about POWs. Gratov will not be exchanged, he is suspected to be an SBU agent. And I do not think that SBU will take they agent to Hague. Nonsense.

          1. Avatar Oknemfrod says:

            First, why make general statements utterly unrelated to the context? You could’ve just as well said that 2+2=4. It contributes nothing to the discussion except for an irrelevant truism.

            Second, what is nonsense is that he is supposedly an SBU agent. There’s nothing in his well-known history to remotely indicate that, nor does it make any sense for the SBU to have detained their own operative and make a high-profile case out of it. None of this adds up.

          2. Avatar Screwdriver says:

            General statement was related to the stupid idea that captured “Russian officer” will be taken to Hague.
            Second, I believe you do not know much about this person. I was familiar with him, long ago before he was “captured”. There are number of well known “separatists” who were accusing him for the last couple of years.

            Another funny thing about this story, that he was already “captured” before under the same circumstances by Moldova border guards. And he also had “photos” on his phone, etc.. So Ukrainians just instead of being more creative, copied old information from 3 years ago. Total BS, let me resume..

          3. Avatar Oknemfrod says:

            If so, it wasn’t a “general” statement. Come to terms with yourself.

            Whether you were “familiar” with this cutthroat or not makes no more difference than any anecdotal evidence about nothing. Nor does it matter whether some separatists have accused him of anything. They accuse each other all the time – just look at the feud between Plotnitskiy and Zakharchenko.

          4. Avatar Dale Davies says:

            Screwydriver had a few too many screwdrivers.

          5. Avatar veth says:

            He is FSB

      2. Avatar Victor Victory says:

        You still did not fix your brain… take a screwdriver and shove it inside your head perhaps ask your babushka to help.

  4. Avatar Dirk Smith says:

    Wow, this primate should have been hung by the neck days ago.

  5. Avatar Dagwood Bumstead says:

    Throw the book at the thug- illegal border crossing, travelling under false identity, using forged papers, espionage and everything else you can think of. Should be good for at least 15 years in the nick. And no time off for good behaviour of course.

    1. Avatar Dale Davies says:

      Add in a couple of seperate murder charges and he should never see daylight again!