Officers of «Sudoplatov Battalion» Disclosed

Commanders of «battalion named after Sudoplatov». Photo:

The Center of Journalist Investigations identified heads of headquarters, tactical medicine, commanders of companies and individual soldiers of Russian BARS-32, known under its self-name as «battalion named after Pavel Sudoplatov». We found Ukrainian policemen-traitors, Russian paratrooper and doctor-beekeeper, Crimean raider and briber etc.

«Battallion named after Pavel Sudoplatov» or BARS-32 is the Russian military unit fighting Ukrainian Armed Forces in Zaporizhzhia region. In 2022, it appeared as «pocket army» and «PR platform» of Russian Zaporizhzhia «governor» Yevhen Balytsky. We covered activity of this unit named after «terminator of Stalin» several times. Since then, personnel, subordination and tasks of the unit have changed. Since summer 2023, it has been subordinated to the 58th Army of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

We uncovered the personality of current commander of BARS-32 Dmytro Pogrebnyak, former member of Luhansk office of special police rapid response «Sokil» of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, in our investigation «Policeman-Traitor: Commander of Russian «Sudoplatov Battalion» Identified».

As Pogrebnyak said, residents of Donbas were the majority of the personnel of battalion. There were a few residents of occupied Zaporizhzhia region. He said that Zaporizhzhia residents were afraid of the revenge of Ukrainian intelligence services. We believe they do not want to fight against Ukraine.

There are former members of Ukrainian special police forces, residents of occupied territories of Ukraine and Russian soldiers in the battalion. The Center succeeded in identifying key persons of BARS-32.

Head of headquarters Sobko-«Shmel»

We identified Pogrebnyak on the video of Russian propagandist Solovyov. The video presented several soldiers. Pogrebnyak recalled the time when he guarded Luhansk airport as member of «Sokil» and asked another soldier about details. We understood that he has also served in «Sokil». Poor quality of video did not allow us identifying him.

But we found him on high quality photo from Luhansk club «Geometry». It led us to the LinkedIn account of Volodymyr Yuriyovych Sobko (his data can be found here).

Volodymyr Sobko (second right) and Oleksandr Sokolov (left) with wives in Luhansk club «Geometry», 2021. Photo: storage.yandexcloud

Photo from «Geometry» presents Sobko’s friend – Oleksandr Sokolov, soldier of the «4th separate motor rifle brigade of the 2nd Army Corps» of so-called Luhansk People’s Republic. It has been stationed in occupied Alchevsk. Sokolov has been captured by Ukrainian soldiers but in 2017 he has been exchanged for Ukrainian PoWs and came back to occupied Luhansk region. Sokolov told in his interview to Russian media that he refused to cooperate with the State Security Service of Ukraine and that he was proud of his call sign «separatist».

Volodymyr Sobko is the graduate of Luhansk State University of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine. As Dmytro Pogrebnyak, he has served in the special rapid response police unit «Sokil» in Luhansk region.

Volodymyr Sobko (extreme left) with other students of the University of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in Luhansk. Photo: avifobot

Until 2017, Volodymyr Sobko studied law in occupied Luhansk University named after V.Dal. In 2019, he indicated himself as web developer and member of Russian IT training network Elbrus Coding Bootcamp.

Perhaps, he copied the career path of his brother and IT guy Mykhailo Sobko who has lived and worked in Kyiv since 2914. Finally, Volodymyr Sobko joined BARS-32.

It should be noted that Dmytro Pogrebnyak and Sobko are close friends.  Their wives attended together nightclubs in Sochi, Russian resort city.

Khrystyna Taranova (left), wife of Volodymyr Sobko («Shaman»), with Anastasia Ershova, wife of Dmytro Pogrebnyak («Shmel»). Photo: vklybe

Propagandist video, published by Solovyov in September 2023, titles Volodymyr Sobko under his call sign «Shmel» [Bumblebee] and position – the head of headquarters of BARS-32.

Volodymyr Sobko, call sign «Shmel», 2023. Photo: screen of video

He tells about fighting near Pyatykhatky and how Russian artillery stopped counteroffensive of Ukrainians in so-called «Zherebyanka trap».

It is unclear whether Sobko had any military experience before joining BARS-32.

Deputy Abdulkerimov-«Kurakh»

Deputy head of battalion BARS-32 is 44 years old Major Abdulkerimov Magomed Bagautdinovych, call sign «Kurakh» (his data can be found here). 

Magomed Abdulkerimov, deputy commander BARS-32. Photo:

He has large military experience. Before Russian full scale invasion into Ukraine, he has participated in war conflicts in Nagorny Karabakh and Syria. He has also participated in the Russian occupation of Crimea in 2014. He received awards from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation «For the return of Crimea» and «For participation in military operation in Syria».

Magomed Abdulkerimov has served in the 727th separate battalion of marines of the 77th separate brigade of marines in Russian Caspian Fleet.

According to the Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the 727th battalion of marines (military unit # 20264) committed war crimes against civilians in Ukraine. The list of personnel of the battalion, published in March 2022, includes deputy commander Major Abdulkerimov.

He stated in his interview that he has participated in so-called «special military operation» since June 2022. He has already received two awards for his fighting against Ukraine – Order of Honor of medal «For courage». In accordance with Russian mass media, he has been promoted to the Lieutenant Colonel.

It is funny that photo of Abdulkerimov has been used for the cover of video called «Officer blocks Putin!» but Abdulkerimov is not presented in the video.

Deputy commander Makarov-«Angara» and high status Dozhdikov

In September 2023, Russian newspaper «Moskovsky komsomolets» published an article titled «Commanders of Sudoplatov battalion disclose how it fights». The article revealed that there were a few Zaporizhzhia residents in the battalion. It mentioned call sign of deputy commander of BARS-32 – «Angara».

We identified him. 34 years old Makarov Oleg Andreevich is the fighter with glasses on the photo (second from right). His data can be found here.  

Commanders of «battalion named after Sudoplatov». Photo:

Oleg Makarov was born in Siberian city of Angarsk (from river Angara).

«Angara» tells in his another interview that he has served within Russian special forces. Account of Oleg Makarov in Russian social media «VKontakte» informs that he has served in military unit 32364, it is the 11th separate paratrooper brigade, stationed in Ulan-Ude. The photo below shows Oleg Makarov celebrating the Day of conscript conducted in 2019 in his brigade in Ulan-Ude. 

Paratrooper Oleg Makarov, 2019. Photo: nature-i-bur

In 2020, Makarov has had problems with payment of his credits. It is likely that he joined the Russian aggression against Ukraine, in order to cover these debts. Three procedures, related to his indebtedness, were closed in 2022-2023.

In February 2024, Yevhen Balytsky, Russian governor of occupied Zaporizhzhia region, reported about meeting with commanders of «Sudoplatov battalion». Material support of battalion and and support of families of soldiers were discussed. As Balytsky wrote, «many families of members of Sudoplatov battalion would like to move to Zaporizhzhia region, to be closer to their husbands and fathers».

We know where they will be settled: there are already thousands of apartments and houses expropriated by Russian occupants.

Photo of the meeting with Balytsky presents commander Dmytro Pogrebnyak and unknown soldier. We assumed that he held high rank position in the battalion.  

From left to right: Roman Dozhdikov, Yevhen Balytsky, Dmytro Pogrebnyak, February 2024. Photo: Telegram

We found photo of this man with his son Timur on the website of Luhansk club «Geometry». The photo of the same boy was found on Instagram account of his mother.

As a result, we identified name of his father. It is Dozhdikov Roman Aleksandrovich from Russian city of Stavropol (his data can be found here).

Roman Dozhdikov with son Timur, 2019. Photo:

Before Russian invasion into Ukraine, Roman Dozhdikov has managed private security company «Bagration» in Stavropol. It has been partner of Russian large companies (Rostelekom, Transneft, Bibank etc.). The founder of «Bagration» and 20 other private security companies has been Aksyonov Anatolii Nikolaevuch. In 2018, the company was closed and Dozhdikov joined «Sudoplatov battalion».

Heads of tactical medicine

Rafael Ramiljevich Yakubov, call sign «Rafa», has been the head of tactical medicine of «Sudoplatov battalion». He was born in Tryokozerki village in Nizhny Novgorod region of Russian Federation.

On December 21, 2023, he has been killed in combat, as reported local association of Tatars in his native region.

Now the head of tactical medicine is Matveev Aleksei Sergeevich, born in Sankt Petersburg. He has worked in the emergency and trauma assistance «Coris» (his data can be found here).

Aleksei Matveev, head of tactical medicine of BARS-32, 2024. Photo: Telegram

Matveev tried to conduct business. In 2018, he registered individual business; he has been beekeeper and sold honey at his website.

Finally, Aleksei Matveev joined «Sudoplatov battalion» with call sign «Moskit».

Commanders of companies of BARS-32 and others

55 years old Ukrainian citizen Golikov Igor Volodymyrovych , call sign «Metis», is the commander of the 2nd  motor rifle company. He has been member of illegal military unit «Crimean self-defense» and participated in the Russian occupation of Crimea (his data can be found here).

Igor Golikov, member of occupation city council of Bakhchysaray, 2020. Photo:

Before the Russian occupation of Crimea, Golikov has been director of Bakhchysaray district office of Ukrainian association of hunters and fisherman. He has registered his individual business in Simferopol.

Later Golikov headed the executive committee of Bakhchysaray regional office of Russian political party «United Russia». He has been member of occupation city council of Bakhchysaray.

In 2015, Golikov, with help of dozens of self-defendants with chevrons «Lions of Crimea», seized assets of Bakhchysaray consumer cooperation association. The largest market of the city, premises of shops and enterprises of the association were «nationalized» around district.

After illegal seizure, Igor Golikov headed «Bakhchysaray trade production enterprise», set up on the basis of stolen assets. In four years, he has been detained by local office of the Russian Federal Security Service under suspicion of taking bribes (150 thousand Rubles) and paying salaries to «dead souls».

As Crimean mass media reported, Russian «court» imprisoned Golikov for two years and obliged to pay penalty of 1,5 million Rubles.

In 2022, he appeared on the photo of «governor» Balytsky on which soldiers of «Sudoplatov battalion» greeted children with New Year in Melitopol.

Igor Golikov, soldier of «battalion named after Sudoplatov», 2022. Photo:

In April 2023, telegram channel of BARS-32 mentioned Golikov as commander of the 2nd company of battalion with call sign «Metis».

We know that the commander of the 1st company has call sign «Saimon». We found photos where he stood together with Oleksandr Medvedev, former employee of Donetsk office of General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine and member of council of «Union of Volunteers of Donbas». After Russian occupation of Donbas, Medvedev took the position of «senior officer of special operations of prosecutors of DNR».

Commander of the 1st company BARS-32 «Saimon» (right) and Oleksandr Medvedev, member of Council of «Union of Volunteers of Donbas». Photo:

As photo database of «Myrotvorets» demonstrates, commander «Saimon» attended the 5th meeting of «Union of Volunteers of Donbas» conducted in Moscow in 2020….

«Saimon» (right) at the 5th meeting of «Union of Volunteers of Donbas» in Moscow, 2020. Photo: Миротворець

After we published investigation about Pogrebnyak-«Shaman», our reader recognized the third «separatist» on the photo of propagandist Solovyov.

His name is Vlasov Vladyslav Vladlenovych, Ukrainian citizen. In 2014, he joined Russian occupants (his data can be found here). He has been bodyguard of Kateryna Gubareva, wife of traitor and occupation «mayor» of Donetsk Gubarev. She has held various positions in occupation authorities of «DNR» and occupied Kherson region. She disappeared after scandal over misuse of budgetary resources in Kherson region.

From left to right: Dmytro Pogrebnyak, Vladyslav Vlasov, Vladimir Solovyov, 2023. Photo: Telegram

We do not know position and call sign of Vladyslav Vlasov. We assume that he is either close to Pogrebnyak or bodyguard of Russian propagandists attending front line.

Center of Journalist Investigations will keep identifying occupants and traitors fighting against Ukraine. They should be found and brought to responsibility. We are looking for the assistance of our readers.