40 troops of Russia’s “UN peacekeeping brigade” helped occupy Crimea, Donbas

Servicemen of Russia's 15th Brigade, the only one taking part in UN peacekeeping operations, participating in covert combat missions in eastern Ukraine. Photo: Informnapalm 

Russian Aggression, War in the Donbas

That Russia’s regular troops, military equipment, and money are the reason its puppet “republics” still exist in eastern Ukraine is an open secret. However, less known is the fact that these troops are also part of the UN’s peacekeeping forces.

The Ukrainian open-source intelligence community Informnapalm has been documenting the evidence for this over seven years of Russian aggression. Based on social media posts and videos source from the occupied “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics,” their database of Russian involvement in Donbas to date includes more than 2500 identified soldiers, 101 military brigades, and 54 pieces of equipment only in service in the Russian army.

However, what is less known is that some of these servicemen are part of Russia’s only peacekeeping division, the 15th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade, which Russia’s Ministry of Defense describes as being formed to “to take part in operations to maintain international peace and security,” which can be detached to peacekeeping contingents “in the interests of the Commonwealth of Independent States, UN, OSCE, NATO-Russia Council and, if necessary, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.”

Troops from this brigade are also sent as military observers to UN missions. Its most recent actions included deployment to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and they are also present in Transnistria. But its full geographic scope includes South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Transnistria, Tajikistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Metohija, Angola, Chad, Sierra Leone, and Sudan.

Despite its international credentials, the only interests this brigade is serving in Ukraine is Russia’s. Informnapalm has released proof of the participation of 40 men from this brigade in hostilities in eastern Ukraine, where Russia claims Donbas locals with no external support are waging war against the Ukrainian government for the seventh year in a row.

40 servicemen of the 15th Brigade identified by Informnapalm as taking part in covert operations in Eastern Ukraine. image: Informnapalm

This, of course, is a lie, as was Russia’s lie that the Russian army did not take part in the occupation of Crimea. And this brigade was at the forefront of this Russian operation, as well – under the command of Colonel Vitaliy Gerasimov, the 15th MRB participated in the operation to seize Crimea and, later, in the hostilities in the east of Ukraine, Informnapalm writes.

The extended proof of each of the servicemen’s presence in eastern Ukraine is available in Informnapalm’s database.

It remains a mystery why, after a proven history of participating in armed invasions and proxy wars, this brigade is listed among the UN’s peacekeeping forces.

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