Journalists found a secret Russian army unit aiming missiles at targets in Ukraine - Ukrainian news, Politics

Journalists found a secret Russian army unit aiming missiles at targets in Ukraine – Ukrainian news, Politics

Russian missiles are aimed at targets in Ukraine by a special unit within the Main Computing Center (MCC) of the Russian Armed Forces. To this conclusion came a group of investigative journalists led by Christo Grozev from Bellingcat.

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Bellingcat, The Insider and Der Spiegel analyzed data from thousands of graduates of specialized military universities to find out which structure in the Russian Armed Forces is responsible for determining targets and flight trajectories for guided missiles.

The main computer center, where some of them went to serve, seemed to the investigators to be exactly the place where they could be engaged in calculating trajectories for missiles.

To test this hypothesis, they studied the metadata of telephone conversations of the head of the center, Major General Robert Baranov.

An analysis of his calls from February 24 to the end of April 2022 showed that each time before launching cruise missiles, he received calls from one specific number belonging to Colonel Igor Bagnyuk, registered at the MCC address.

Then the journalists studied the metadata of the calls of Bagnyuk himself and found that he communicates intensively with more than 20 military engineers and IT specialists from the MCC. Based on repeated call clusters, they identified a team of 33 military engineers who report to Colonel Bagnyuk.

All of them are registered at the same address – Znamenka, 19 in Moscow, where the building of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces is located.

Most of them are young men and women with a background in information technology and even in the development of computer games.

The MCC division discovered by journalists consists of three teams, each of which programs the flight trajectories of one specific type of precision-guided missiles:

→ ZM-14 (“Caliber”, sea-based) – Ivan Popov, Matvey Lyubavin, Roman Kurochkin, Ekaterina Chugunova, Sergei Ilyin, Yuri Nikonov, Georgy Starostin, Dmitry Tikhonov, Nikolai Tarasov and Igor Groza;
→ 9M728 (R-500, Iskander tactical missile systems, ground-based) – Alexei Mikhailov, Pavel Obukhov, Elvira Obukhova, Nikita Poplavsky, Viktor Yaskelainen, Alexander Grigoryan, Vladimir Petrov, Artem Vedenov;
→ X-101 (airborne) – Artem Chernov, Alexey Betekhtin, Andrey Ivanyutin, Anton Chulikov, Olga Pismenskaya, Pavel Vasiliev, Alexei Volkov, Anton Shatun, Stanislan Minkov.

The gunners themselves categorically deny that they work in the MCC and have anything to do with the shelling of Ukraine.

Andriy Vodyanyi

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