How it all began
On February 28, 2014, a military IL-76 with tail number RA 76599 took off from the Chkalovsky airfield. The plane flew to Novorossiysk, and on board were 200 members of the RSVA and bikers from the Night Wolves motorcycle club. The air passengers were armed with five Kalashnikovs, knives, brass knuckles and baseball bats. Some did not have time to properly pack, and on the plane they were given new jackets, sneakers and baseball caps. In Novorossiysk, the group was loaded onto an auxiliary vessel of the Black Sea Fleet KIL-158 and taken to the Crimea.
The temporary headquarters was placed in the Yalta sanatorium, it was headed by the chairman of the RSVA Franz Klintsevich, and the pro-Kremlin political scientist Sergei Markov assumed the role of political instructor. They announced to the arrivals that Western intelligence agents had flooded the Crimea, the militants of the Right Sector were going to attack from the land, and a US military landing was being prepared from the sea.
After the ideological pumping, the special tourists were divided into several groups and sent to different cities of Crimea to study the operational situation and gather pro-Russian rallies.
The protection of the rally in Yalta was entrusted to ex-FSB Alfa fighter Dmitry Galochkin (on the award list No. 49). Later, Galochkin recalled how Klintsevich summoned him and Oleg Ptashkin , a party member from United Russia, to the State Duma and gave two hours to get ready to be sent to the Crimea. “And we gathered 200 people of tourists,” Galochkin boasted .
Late 90s Galochkin worked as a bodyguard for the owner of NTV, Vladimir Gusinsky, and after the dispersal of the television company, together with former colleagues from the FSB, he began to lobby for the creation of a trade union for non-state security companies. At the time of his arrival in Crimea, the former Chekist was on a special record of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for hooliganism in the office with the use of firecrackers. At a rally in Yalta, Galochkin's detachment beat up a young guy chanting: "Crimea is Ukraine!" For active participation in the capture of Crimea, Putin awarded the student of the Ministry of Internal Affairs with a medal and a certificate of honor, and his career went uphill. Galochkin became a member of the Central Council of United Russia supporters, managed to be a member of the Public and Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, an expert of the State Duma, and now he is a member of the leadership of the Russian Officers organization. In addition, according to The Insider in the security structures of the capital, ex-fsbeshnik "protects" about fifty private security companies.
Oleg Ptashkin mentioned by Galochkin (No. 6) in February 2014, he headed the directorate of the Central Council of United Russia supporters. Previously, he worked as a journalist for NTV and a creative producer for Channel One. But "Mr. Exclusive" did not work out of him, and in 2009 he was laid off. Then Ptashkin and another dismissed journalist of Channel One, Elkhan Mirzoev, barricaded themselves in the studio of the Ostankino television center and demanded that they be reinstated. Otherwise, both threatened to set themselves on fire. The court reinstated Ptashkin, but soon he was invited to head the agitation and propaganda department in the pro-Kremlin Young Guard movement, and then he went along the party line.
In Crimea, Ptashkin led a group that was engaged in anti-Ukrainian propaganda and spread rumors about the imminent approach of the Right Sector detachments. His zeal was noticed, and upon returning home he headed the representative office of the Ivanovo region in Moscow with an office on Novy Arbat. Now the failed journalist occupies the chair of the first deputy head of the city of Dzerzhinsky, Moscow Region.
After a special trip to the Crimea, Ildar Rezyapov, a militarized security fighter from Sterlitamak (No. 123, call sign "Politician"), also went uphill. The politician founded the Party of Veterans of Russia and participated in several election campaigns. True, without much success. But Rezyapov became the star of the propaganda TV show "60 Minutes" with Yevgeny Popov and Olga Skabeeva and comments on the invasion of Ukraine in the light necessary for the Kremlin. Along the way, the former Vokhrovite scribbles denunciations to the FSB and the Ministry of Internal Affairs about cultural figures and the oldest Moscow theaters, looking for signs of LGBT propaganda in their repertoires. When asked by journalists who is financing him, Rezyapov said that they were some sympathetic businessmen.
In addition to Rezyapov, three more militants went into politics: Ivan Dorogikh (No. 85) was elected a deputy in Podolsk, former policeman Vyacheslav Stegalov (No. 144), who knocked down a pedestrian to death, became a member of the Public Chamber in Dolgoprudny, and biker Konstantin Karakovsky (No. 147) headed the elite village of Snegiri in the Istra district of the Moscow region. Moreover, no one was embarrassed that Karakovsky was a defendant in a criminal case on a fake university diploma. In addition, it turned out that Karakovsky, a principled fighter with the West, every summer with his wife rests in the Latvian Daugavpils, where they own an apartment.
A native of Afghanistan, Khostai Mubarak Shah (No. 47), received the cherished "crust" of a member of the Public Chamber of Kaluga. In his youth, he was an underground worker and put up anti-government leaflets at night. Then Mubarak was transferred to the USSR, where he studied to be a teacher and was recruited by the GRU. After the entry of Soviet troops into Afghanistan, Mubarak betrayed his fellow countrymen who sympathized with the Mujahideen to the local "gebukh", and the peasants were going to execute him for treason. After the fall of the pro-Soviet regime, he fled to the USSR and settled in Kaluga, where he got a job as a mathematics teacher at Lyceum No. 48.
He was helped to settle in a new place by the chairman of the RSVA Franz Klintsevich, who served in Afghanistan as a military translator in the sabotage detachments of the GRU. During a trip to the Crimea, Mubarak Shah conducted explanatory work among the Crimean Tatars, urging them not to resist the invaders. Now he is a frequent guest in the Kaluga media and campaigns during elections to vote for Putin and United Russia. Curiously, in an interview with Nika TV, Mubarak said that he strongly condemns when one country attacks another. Although on his jacket was the medal of the Ministry of Defense "For the return of the Crimea."
Prior to his special trip to the Crimea, individual entrepreneur Roman Matsulevich (No. 7) rented a small beer pavilion in Moscow. And now he sits in the chair of the assistant to the first deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers of Crimea and oversees relations with local security forces. During the capture of the Crimea, Matsulevich was engaged in the food supply of the regiment of the people's militia and knew how to properly cover the clearing for the authorities. The agile business executive was noticed and invited to the government, and there he quickly gained weight in the apparatus.
Lawyer, judoka, customs officer and writer
Under number 83 in the award list is Evgeny Kurilov . At rallies in Crimea, he wore camouflage and chanted: “Nazism and NATO will not pass!” Kurilov now wears an expensive suit and works at the Justice and Security legal board . In the most prominent place in his office hangs a letter from Putin. “The presence of rich experience in pre-trial settlement of conflict situations in various areas of law enforcement allows Yevgeny Kurilov, as an experienced human rights activist, to fully defend the interests of his principals,” the board’s website states. Meanwhile, sources in legal circles call Kurilov almost the first judicial "decisor" of Moscow.
The judoka Ilya Razumov (No. 169), who stormed the parliament in Simferopol, also carefully keeps the Putin letter. Returning from the Crimea, he, as part of the Russian national judo team, went to a tournament in Prague. Then, together with a team from the capital's head office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, he went to the United States for the World Police and Fire Games and won silver there - although Razumov never served in the police and has a certificate of a freelance officer of the Moscow Department of Internal Affairs. The Ukrainian authorities informed the Europeans that the athlete was among the invaders of the Crimea, but there was no reaction.
Two years ago, Razumov moved to the Crimea and now heads the Alushta branch of the military-patriotic club Grifon, created by GRU veterans.
Another special tourist Valery Galubauskas (No. 139) worked at the Bryansk customs in 2014. On his account, he posted a photo of Kalashnikov assault rifles, which the tourists took with them to the Crimea. The journalists turned to the prosecutor's office with a request to find out where the customs officer got the firearms from. However, the prosecutors ignored the request, and Galubauskas himself, at the lessons of courage, told schoolchildren how he saved Crimea from Nazism.
In 2017, the customs officer was retired and separated from the medical center, where he was provided with free outpatient treatment. He sued the medical center and during the meeting presented a medal and a letter from Putin. But the judge sided with the doctors.
But the general director of the Casting and Mechanical Plant (LMZ) in Noginsk, Karen Arutyunyan (No. 184), was sidetracked by a special trip to Crimea: in March 2020, at the Kiev Zhuliany airport, border guards did not let him into Ukraine. And a profitable commercial deal with Ukrainian partners fell through. Although Arutyunyan’s enemies claim that he did not appear in Crimea in 2014, he was included in the award list for sponsoring the AFRC.
Another 56 special tourists went into business. Someone started selling liquor, others took up garbage collection, funeral services, and others established fight clubs. True, most of the "heroes" did not work out with business.
For example, Alexander Karpukhin (No. 15), who calls on the officers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to surrender without a fight, headed 11 companies in the capital region, but in 2019 almost all of them went bankrupt. In the same year, Yuri Shorban (No. 45) went down the drain, having founded Waste.Ru, a garbage disposal company in Kaluga. Vitaly Khromenkov (No. 118), who portrayed a grateful Crimean at a rally in Yalta, founded Biznesprom LLC and New Cleaning Company LLC in Moscow. However, he quickly went bankrupt, in addition, he was sued for overdue loans. Khromenkov's "fellow soldier" Konstantin Rachkovsky (No. 172) took up the funeral business in the capital, but could not stand the competition. Egor Fedortsov (No. 185) founded the Vityaz Martial Arts Center in Noginsk, but due to a lack of customers, the “rocking chair” had to be closed. Now the Noginsk jock has switched to raising money for the Russian army in Ukraine and is buying quadrocopters, warm socks and shorts.
In 2015, Vadim Ufaev (No. 6) headed the Factory House dry-cleaner in Tver, but a year later it went bankrupt. Yevgeny Shubenkin (No. 27) founded the Legend security company in Penza, but it did not last even two years. And the former paratrooper Mikhail Tchaikovsky (No. 119) imagined himself a banker and established the Keshalot microfinance organization in Moscow. Things went well at first, but in 2019 the tax office discovered financial irregularities and the credit office was closed.
It should be added that a regular GRU officer Yevgeny Kuzmenko (No. 4) was attached to the detachment of militants in Bakhchisarai. He graduated from the Military University of the Moscow Region, and then served in military unit 36184. Kuzmenko was from Bakhchisaray and knew the city like the back of his hand. At the headquarters of the RSVA in the boarding house "Yalta" there was another native of the GRU - reserve colonel Vladimir Koshelev (No. 5). In Afghanistan, he was the deputy commander of the 411th separate detachment of the GRU special forces, which blocked caravan routes from Iran. After retiring, Koshelev took up writing. Everyone expected from him a book about the heroes of the annexation of the Crimea, but, apparently, he did not find a suitable texture and nature.
Burglar, raider, robber and murderer
At a pro-Russian rally in Yalta, biker Viktor Keller (No. 142) “put out” the protesting Ukrainians together with the FSB officer Galochkin. In the late 90s, he moved from Kazakhstan to Pyatigorsk, and then settled in Moscow. In 2004, Keller, together with Pyotr Jungers, a resident of Pyatigorsk, robbed the apartment of Tatiana Paukhova, deputy general director of the Kultura TV channel. Thieves carried out a collection of antiques of the XVIII century in the amount of 21 million rubles. The accomplices were caught and sentenced to 8 years in prison. In penal colony No. 6 of the Stavropol Territory, Keller willingly cooperated with the administration and four years later he was released on parole. In freedom, he founded the public organization "For the Truth!" and became close to the leader of the "Night Wolves" Alexander Zaldostanov (Surgeon). For participation in the capture of the Crimea, Keller was awarded a medal and a certificate of honor from the president, and life began with a clean slate. Judging by social networks, now the former burglar is visiting Ramzan Kadyrov and founded the public organization "Motherland without Corruption" in Kaliningrad.
A native of the village of Bolshoe Gryzlovo near Serpukhov, Denis Podymkin (No. 40) distinguished himself during the capture of the Crimean parliament in Simferopol. By that time, he had a suspended conviction for beating a man and was a defendant in a criminal case for an armed attack on the Moscow church of St. Gregory of Neocaesarea. According to the materials of the investigation, on October 15, 2013, Podymkin, a native of Moldova, Alexander Dikusar, and Timur Ishmukhamedov, who arrived from Uzbekistan, broke into the temple and put a gun to the head of a young priest, Mikhail Golubev. Then the raiders took several selfies in front of the altar and beat a beggar at the entrance. The raid on the Orthodox church received wide publicity in the media, and the press service of the Russian Orthodox Church even made a special statement, saying that the raiders acted on instructions from Islamist centers abroad.
The "Islamists" were quickly detained, but were soon released on bail. While the investigation dragged on, Podymkin left for the Crimea and returned from there with gratitude from the president and a medal. The investigators had no choice but to release the "hero" on all four sides. A few years ago, Podymkin signed a contract with the Wagner PMC and fought in the "LPR". And recently he was allegedly seen among the Wagnerites recruiting prisoners in the colonies of the Pskov region.
When a member of the RSVA, Andrey Ivonin (No. 48), boarded a military aircraft in Zhukovsky, he was on the federal wanted list "for embezzlement committed on an especially large scale using his official position and abuse of official authority." A criminal case was brought against Ivonin when he headed the Prioksky Reserve, where bison live. In Simferopol, together with Igor Girkin, he commanded a detachment that blocked the deputies in the parliament building. After returning from the Crimea, Ivonin appeared before the court, he was threatened with 10 years in prison. But an amnesty arrived in time, and the criminal case was closed.
Another Crimean tourist, Gennady Nikulov (No. 143), worked as a bodyguard for the Surgeon. In his biography, he had a criminal record for robbery, and in 1997 he was detained for extortion with a gun in his pocket. In the Tver region, the security guard founded the Night Wolves Motorcycle Club and carried out patriotic work with young people. However, in 2015, a court in Kalyazin, at the request of the regulatory authorities, liquidated the motorcycle club. The biker did not lose his head and went to the security structures to the former FSB officer Galochkin. Now Nikulov spends most of his time in the Crimea and creates self-defense units.
Another "hero" of the capture of Crimea , Vyacheslav Pechersky (No. 41), managed to rewind a prison term for murder and malicious hooliganism. In Alushta, he campaigned to vote for Russia in a referendum, and promised local old women a pension of $1,000 a month. Where Pechersky lives now, it was not possible to find out. It was rumored in the criminal circles of the capital that in 2014 he allegedly went to fight in the "DNR" and came under mortar fire along with biker Sergei Koptev. We found a mention of Koptev's death on the Night Wolves website, but who else died with him is not reported there.
Another “fighter against Nazism” Valentin Korshunov (No. 96), who headed the Spartak fan club, also got into the criminal reports. True, after the Crimea. In October 2021, during a football match between Spartak and Leicester, he beat RBC journalist Alexander Shchegolev. For an attack on a journalist, Korshunov was threatened with up to 6 years in prison, but the Tushinsky court took into account his services to the Motherland and sentenced him to 2 years probation.
Another 56 "liberators" were brought to administrative responsibility for drunk driving and petty hooliganism. And the biker Sergei Rzhemovsky (No. 156), after a special trip to the Crimea, ended up in prison for the murder of a steward. According to the verdict of the Tver Regional Court, he was sentenced to 8 years and 10 months. A source in biker circles told The Insider that Rzhemovsky is now fighting near Bakhmut as part of the 2nd battalion of prisoners of the PMC Wagner, but this information could not be verified.
Our other source from the AFRA said that about 30 of the first invaders of the Crimea are already in the next world. Some were killed in Syria, others in Ukraine, others died of a drug overdose or died while drunk while driving. The Insider accurately determined the death of 12 militants.
How did the invaders die?
For example, in November 2014, a member of the AFUA Pavel Sarkisyan (No. 177) crashed in a car in Anapa. During the funeral of Sargsyan, traffic cops blocked half of the city, and a memorial sign was installed in the square named after him. In 2015, Tver deputy Dmitry Lisichkin (No. 161), who had come to Crimea to open a regional branch of the Combat Brotherhood, died of a heart attack. Во время захвата полуострова он составлял списки неблагонадежных крымчан и передавал их в ФСБ.
В 2017 году в Сирии попал в засаду белорус Алексей Ярошевич (№ 160, позывной «Гусеничка»), после Крыма воевавший в рядах ЧВК Вагнера. В 2018 году в Брянске умер Александр Фетисов (№ 3), возглавлявший местный филиал РСВА. А в Туле скончался бывший старшина войсковой разведки Евгений Кутепов (№ 106). В Крыму он руководил группами наблюдателей на фейковом референдуме по присоединению полуострова к России.
Штаб Клинцевича в Ялте охранял ранее судимый за кражу Роман Хопер (№ 82). После Крыма он стал номинальным учредителем восьми фирм-однодневок, через которые шла обналичка. 19 октября 2019 года недалеко от города Струнино Владимирской области Хопер погиб под колесами трактора.
В июне 2020 года от сердечной недостаточности умер «ночной волк» Иван Каранов (№ 158), организовывавший байк-шоу в Севастополе, а в той же Сирии подорвался на мине Кирилл Сало (№ 106), подписавший контракт с 45-м полком ВДВ. В том же году от пневмонии скончался самый пожилой из списка награжденных Тагир Чекушин (№ 126). В последние годы он ходил по московским школам и рассказывал детям о героях, вернувших Крым в родную гавань.
В августе 2021 года в смертельное ДТП попал боец разведроты ВВ МВД «Витязь» Сергей Зацаренко (№ 33), занявший после Крыма должность заместителя начальника службы безопасности Федерации хоккея России. В феврале 2021 года после продолжительной болезни умер Тимур Боронов (№ 134), руководивший боевиками РСВА в Балаклаве. А в сентябре того же года в Брянске скоропостижно скончался Игорь Новиков (№ 109), которого взяли в Крым как профессионального сапера. Всего через несколько месяцев после этого началось уже полномасштабное российское вторжение.