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Tuesday, February 2, 2016



Arseny Pavlov, aka Motorola

            I will post information about the Sparta Battalion Commander, Arseny Pavlov AKA Motorola from Wikipedia and other links.

Arseny Pavlov, aka Motorola.

2 February 1983 (age 31)
Ukhta, Komi ASSR, Soviet Union
Donetsk People's Republic
Russian Naval Infantry
United Armed Forces of Novorossiya
Years of service
2014 – present
Sparta Battalion
Second Chechen War
War in Donbass

Arseny Sergeyevich Pavlov (Russian: Арсе́ний Серге́евич Па́влов), better known as Motorola (Моторо́ла), is a Russian citizen leading the Sparta Battalion, an armed group fighting the Ukrainian government, in the ongoing War in Donbass. Previously he was a car cleaner in Russia and it was his main source of income, before he went to Ukraine.

Personal life

A Russian citizen, Pavlov was born in Ukhta, Komi ASSR. He lived in Rostov-on-Don and spent some time in the Russian army. He publicly married Yelena Kolenkina on July 11, 2014, in a wedding amid the war. The wedding was attended by Igor Girkin and Pavel Gubarev. In a June 2014 interview to Russian newspaper Zavtra, Pavlov stated that they were already married and had a five-year-old son. He and his bride were featured in a caricature by Donetsk artist Serhiy Zakharov, who was subsequently held prisoner and tortured for several months by pro-Russian separatists. According to a newspaper report by Georgian Journal he had serious problems with Rostov’s police while working there at a car wash, since he allegedly went on a drunken joyride in a car stolen from there. Instead of going to prison he chose to go to fight in Donbas. He rented an apartment in Donetsk for 2,500 hryvnias per month and owns a Lada Niva that was gifted to him by Russian MP Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

Motorola during the 2015 Victory Day Parade.
Activities in Ukraine

On March 16, 2014, he participated in protests in Kharkiv, Ukraine that called for Russia's intervention. He was caught on camera in video footage of the events by the city's internet news publisher. Calling himself 'Motorola', he became the leader of the Sparta Battalion, a pro-Russian armed group fighting in the war in Donbass against the Ukrainian government. He declared the region to be "Russian land".

Pavlov led his battalion in both the Battle of Ilovaisk and the Second Battle of Donetsk Airport. The government of Ukraine placed him on its wanted list for the creation of illegal paramilitary and military formations (Article 260, part 5). In February 2015, the European Union added him to its list of sanctioned individuals.

On October 2, 2014 Pavlov threatened to go to Poland after the plane of Russian defense minister was not allowed to fly over Polish airspace on August 29, 2014.


A Russian-backed rebel soldier allegedly has confessed of killing 15 Ukrainian soldiers,who were prisoners of war. YouTube Screenshot
War crime allegations

In April 2015, the Kyiv Post released a recording in which a man alleged to be Pavlov discussed killing fifteen Ukrainian prisoners of war. Amnesty International said it was a "chilling ‘confession’", which alongside other evidence, "highlights the urgent need for an independent investigation into this and all other allegations of abuses". After Ukrainian soldier Ihor Branovytsky had been captured near Donetsk and was in custody of Pavlovs group, Pavlov is accused to have deliberately killed the prisoner on 21 January 2015 with two headshots.

Separatist commander "Motorola": The executioner from Donetsk Airport

Arseniy Pavlov is one of the faces of the war in eastern Ukraine, a small man with short red hair and devoted troops. Pavlov has a Russian passport.

As protesters in Kiev President Viktor Yanukovych fell, he sat down on the train in order "to protect Russians against Nazis" in the Donbass, as he says. Pavlov commanded a unit that is called "Sparta". But most Russians know him as "Motorola". His fighting name is probably a reference to his time as a radio operator in the Russian army. "Motorola" is one of the darlings of the Russian media. The other day he had one of his performances again. Pavlov stood smiling in front of a armored personnel carrier. People of the pro-Kremlin web portal "Life News" had pushed him a postcard in his hand. He should send it to US President Barack Obama, a salute to the "Day of Victory" over Nazi Germany. Russia celebrated the victory in World War II on May 9 with a grand parade, Obama but the solid remained demonstratively away. Moscow retaliated with a Shitstorm in the form ironically intentioned postcards.

The camera of "Life News" caught like Pavlov smirking signed, the beret pushed boldly on the ear. A casual sonny boy, but also daring - so show Russia's media the commander of the battalion "Sparta".

He said he "cares itself"

He also has a different face. Pavlov and his "Sparta" troupe are considered brutal. Amnesty international has now collected evidence of war crimes in eastern Ukraine. The human rights activists have questioned dozens witnesses in the conflict zone and documented atrocities committed by both sides. The most prominent role in the report but plays "Motorola". Pavlov would be responsible for the shooting of prisoners. One of the executions described by several witnesses. They occurred after fighting around the airport Donetsk. There the Ukrainian soldier Ihor Branowyzky of Pavlov's "Sparta" -Kämpfern was captured on January 20. On January 21 he was dead.

The witnesses, a total of twelve Ukrainians would have arisen. "There is a video of the moment, as the defenders of the airport arise," says Krassimir Jankow of Amnesty International. Later show the video Branowyzky with bloodied face. The prisoners had been "severely beaten", says the Amnesty report. Later've commander Pavlov entered the room. He showed the Ukrainians Branowyzky and said that he would "take care of him." Then he shot him twice in the head.

"If I want to, I will kill"

The testimony is supported by videos. One shows Branowyzky in captivity, before being struck. Another shows his body. Coroner found that he had been killed by a "gunshot wound to the head."

Pavlov "Sparta" unit should be involved in other war crimes. After the battle at the Airport Donetsk came separatist fighters on severely wounded Ukrainians in the airport building. At least one of them, a man named Andriy Hawriljuk, was executed with a headshot. A witness reported "three shots".

Pavlov denies the allegations not expire. "If I want to, I will kill," he said when Ukrainian journalists confronted him on the phone with the allegations. He even boasted of his deeds: "I shot 15 prisoners."

According to Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions prisoners subject to a special protection. The Amnesty International report paints a picture of a brutalizing conflict. We're talking about torture by electric shocks, hanging from the ceiling, sleep deprivation or sham executions.

On both sides of the front were fighting organizations, which were involved only in loose command structures.
On the Ukrainian side, the human rights activists particularly include
volunteer battalions, including the Nationalist Guard "Right Sector". The "Right Sector" entertain as a private prison. Prisoners would be kept there before they were handed over to authorities.

Drunk as a wannabe cop

Not always are prisoners safely in the hands of official bodies. This shows an example of three construction workers.
They were stopped in November at a Ukrainian checkpoint in Volnovakha,
which was controlled by men of "rights sector" and the volunteer unit
"Dnipro 1". The three civilians were accused of being "terrorists". A nose was broken, torn his passport. They were then handed over to the secret service SBU. One of the workers remembers that "the boys from the SBU were drunk". They connected the prisoners eyes and kicked her. Later, they stacked a prisoner of plastic bags over his head. They threw him blindfolded in a foxhole. They acted as if they would bury him alive: "I wanted to sit up, but a stand on my head and the other cast earth on me."

After he was released, he spent three weeks in the hospital.


03.29.15 6:45 PM ET

Real Talk With Russia's Fake Super Soldier

We interview the fighter supposed to be behind the Russian-backed victories in Donbass and find him less than convincing.

By Jambul Tsulaia, Georgian Journal


#Givi & Motorola - Soldiers of #Novorossia-Images by Leonid Kiparisov

DONETSK, Ukraine — Those who keep an eye on such developments are no doubt familiar with the clashes between the Ukrainian Armed Forces and Russia-backed separatists that have taken place in Ilovaisk, Debaltseve, Uglegorsk, and, of course, the Donetsk Airport. They were some of the bloodiest of the war.

And if you read the Russian press you might think the man who wrested all those sites from the Ukranian military is Arseny Pavlov, a.k.a. “Motorola,” along with his “Sparta” militia. Despite heavy losses, this armed group remains the largest, most organized, most experienced and most well armed of all the separatist formations roaming eastern Ukraine.

Today “Motorola” has a lot of auth­ority and influence, both as a combatant and a member of the separatist “government.” He has fans among the local population who consider him a hero. But, in fact, he is mostly a creation of the Russian media, who have turned him into something of a super-hero.

How did Arseny Pavlov end up in Donbass and how did he rise to prominence?
Interestingly, Motorola emerged as a public figure precisely after the Russian Special Forces began removing or relocating the first generation of rebel leaders like Girkin, Bezler, Kozitsyn, Babai, and other notables in what they called “Novorossiya.” Indeed, they disappeared as quickly as they appeared. Apparently, their superiors in the Kremlin decided that they accomplished their objectives and were no longer needed or useful.

Motorola used to fight under the leadership of Igor “Strelkov” Girkin, and he claims he has no political ambitions. He says he is in Ukraine only to “protect the peaceful local population from “genocide” by Ukrainians and he considers the Donbass region to be a “rightful part of the Russian World.”

We asked him to tell us about himself. Who is the man behind the nickname? 

“Name is Arseny Pavlov,” he replied. “I was born in Ukhta, Komi Republic”—deep in the Russian heartland about 1,000 miles northeast of Moscow—“on February 2, 1982. My parents died when I was 15, and then my grandmother oversaw my upbringing. I failed to get an education, so I enlisted in the army. Today I lead the Special Forces Battalion ‘Sparta’ of the Donetsk People’s Republic’s armed forces.” 

Why “Motorola”?

“I served for four years as a wireman in the army and worked with Motorola-manufactured equipment, hence the nickname. It stuck to me during the anti-terrorist operation in Chechnya.”

How did you end up in Donbass?

“What do you mean ‘how’? [he laughs] I just got on a train and came here.”

Why did you decide to come?

“After these fascists at Maidan declared that they would kill 10 Russians for every combatant they lose, I decided that instead of watching all this unfold on TV, I’d rather come here and make a difference.”

You mentioned the Chechen War. Do you see a difference between what was happening there in the 1990s and early 2000s and what is happening here?

“Of course. In Chechnya, there was fighting between two sides, while here Ukrainian fascists try to exterminate the peaceful Russian population and want to cleanse Donbas of Russians. Donbass is Russian land, it is part of the Russian World, and we are here to protect the peaceful population from Ukrainian fascists that are supported by the West.”

But this is internationally recognized Ukrainian territory.

“Ukrainians live in Russia and no one tries to exterminate them, while here they try to exterminate the Russians. This is the reason why the local population has decided, through a referendum, to live independently from fascist Ukraine. This is no longer Ukraine; this is the Donetsk People’s Republic, the people of which have elected their own government.”

What is your final goal?

“We already control 40 percent of Ukraine’s territory and will fight until it is completely cleansed of Ukrainian occupants. We have more than enough resources and ambition for that.

By “resources,” you mean Russian troops and military vehicles?

“Russia helps us neither with vehicles nor with soldiers. All Russians here are volunteers. All you have heard about is merely a part of information war waged by Ukraine and the West. If we were assisted by Russia’s regular army, we’d be in Kiev already, the war wouldn’t become so stretched out and there would be less civilian victims. Nowadays, Russia is the only country in the world that acts to protect children, women and the elderly of Donbass. It is the only country that provides the region’s peaceful population with humanitarian aid. You will not hear anything about these people in the rhetoric of Western countries that support the Ukrainian government—all they talk about is money, territory and power. This is what their politics are about. They do not care about the fates of the people who live here, while we do.”

You were blacklisted by the European Union. Can you comment on that? 

“I do not have a bank account abroad and I do not plan to visit the countries of the EU, so their sanctions against me are misplaced and pointless.”

How long do you think military activity in Donbass will last?

“War here will last for a long time, a very long time. Maybe even five or more years, but it will inevitably result in our victory because truth is on our side. God is with us.

Where do you think the border will be drawn, then? Do you plan to assume control of the entire Ukraine?

“I can’t comment on that. We live by the will of the people; we aren’t ukrops [a slur for Ukrainians] to impose anything on anyone. People themselves will decide what their country will look like.”

What are you planning to do after the war? Do you have any skills applicable outside the military?

“I’ll work as a rescuer [laughs]. Just kidding, I actually won’t. I am going to raise my children after the war; I want to have six sons and a daughter.” 

And so the interview ended.

It took some time to discover what “Motorola” did before coming to Donbass. He offered virtually no reliable information. But with the assistance of some Russian colleagues we were able to pull together what appears to be an accurate, if brief, sketch:

It turned out that he had been living in Rostov near the Ukraine border for the last few years, working at a car wash. He had serious problems with Rostov’s police after he went on a drunken joyride in a car stolen from the car wash. Given a choice between going to prison and going to Donbass, he chose the latter. Virtually all the information about his subsequent adventures in the war appear to be myths cooked up by Russian media: “Motorola” is merely a brand created by the Special Forces.

Today “Motorola” rents an apartment in Donetsk for 2,500 hryvnias (currently about $106) a month and moves around in a Lada Niva that was gifted to him by right-wing Russian parliamentarian Vladimir Zhirinovsky. 

P.S.—Right before the interview was published, Ukrainian media declared that “Motorola” was killed by a Ukrainian sniper. We relayed that information to his wife, Elena, since separatist leaders themselves did not comment on the reports. She said that information of his death was merely a rumor released by Ukrainian media, adding that this is hardly the first time they claimed that he was dead. Indeed, the next morning “Motorola” was sighted attending a meeting.

This article is adapted from one originally published in Georgian Journal.

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