Tag Archives: unit

Revealed: The battle-hardened Spetsnaz Brigade special forces unit that trained Skripal 'hitman'

Revealed: The battle-hardened Spetsnaz Brigade special forces unit that trained Skripal 'hitman'The special forces brigade in which Anatoliy Chepiga served carried out secret missions in Ukraine for which it is believed he was awarded Russia’s highest honour. Colonel Chepiga – the Salisbury nerve agent assassin travelling under the false identity Ruslan Boshirov – had graduated in 2001 from his military academy in far eastern Russia on the Chinese border, 5,000 miles and a five-day train journey from Moscow. Passing out with honours, he was assigned to the 14th Spetsnaz Brigade, stationed in Khabarovsk, again in the far east of Russia and 20 miles from the Chinese border. From there, Col Chepiga served three tours in Chechnya in the brutal second Chechen war. Russia’s Spetsnaz special forces brigades are run by the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence unit of which Sergei Skripal, the target in Salisbury, was also a colonel. Colonel Sergei Skripal also served in Russia’s military intelligence unit Spetsnaz units have a reputation for ruthlessness and are highly regarded by their British equivalents – the SBS and the SAS. The units are highly trained and well-equipped. Its bat-and-globe symbol embodies an ethos for shadowy operations that are not confined to Russian soil. Two Spetsnaz units were based in Chechnya during the second war until they were disbanded in 2008. Salisbury suspects named by British authorities as Ruslan Boshirov (left) and Alexander Petrov Credit: AFP/Getty It is not known what role Col Chepiga played in Chechnya, but he will have emerged battle-hardened amid reports he has received more than 20 separate military awards for his service. A year later in 2009, with the war in Chechnya largely over, Col Chepiga was withdrawn to Moscow. It is there he was given his fake identity, Ruslan Boshirov, by his GRU paymasters. Each Spetsnaz brigade consists of about 1,000 special forces troops. Brigades were deployed in Ukraine in 2014 as Russia began military incursions that led to the annexation of the Crimea and an ongoing war with Ukraine in the east. Read more | Salisbury Novichok poisoning A report on Russian troop movements claimed that the 14th Brigade had been secretly deployed on the eastern border with Ukraine in late 2014, a couple of months before Col Chepiga was given his Hero of the Russian Federation medal. Units of 14th brigade were transferred to southern Russia in August and then moved to Millerovo airport in the Rostov region, close to Ukraine by the autumn.  The 14th brigade was established in 1963 and fought in the war in Afghanistan in the decade from 1979. Sergei Skripal profile Col Skripal served with an airborne regiment in Afghanistan before being recruited by the GRU. The brigade fought in both Chechen wars.



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US sanctions Chinese military unit for buying Russian jets, missiles

US sanctions Chinese military unit for buying Russian jets, missilesThe United States expanded its sanctions war against Russia to China on Thursday, announcing punitive measures against a Chinese military organization for buying Russian fighter jets and missiles. Stepping up pressure on Moscow over its “malign activities,” the US State Department said it was placing financial sanctions on the Equipment Development Department of the Chinese Ministry of Defense, and its top administrator, for its recent purchase of Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 surface-to-air missiles.



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How Did Six Willem de Kooning Paintings End Up Forgotten in a Storage Unit?

How Did Six Willem de Kooning Paintings End Up Forgotten in a Storage Unit?They are expected to be worth somewhere between $ 10,000 and $ 10 million when they head to auction



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How Did Six Willem de Kooning Paintings End Up Forgotten in a Storage Unit?

How Did Six Willem de Kooning Paintings End Up Forgotten in a Storage Unit?They are expected to be worth somewhere between $ 10,000 and $ 10 million when they head to auction



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Kim Jong Un's Jogging Bodyguard Unit Make Another Appearance in Singapore

Kim Jong Un's Jogging Bodyguard Unit Make Another Appearance in SingaporeNorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Singapore Sunday for a historic summit with President Donald Trump — and running alongside his motorcade were his detachment of bodyguards.



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Venezuela seizes Kellogg unit after company halts operations: Maduro

Venezuela seizes Kellogg unit after company halts operations: MaduroVenezuela’s government seized control Tuesday of the South American country’s Kellogg subsidiary after it halted operations, President Nicolas Maduro announced. Maduro said the company had been “handed over to the workers” to continue production after the US-based cereals manufacturer said it was ceasing operations. In a statement, the US multinational cited Venezuela’s crippling economic crisis as the reason it was ending its operations in the country.



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Venezuela seizes Kellogg unit after company halts operations: Maduro

Venezuela seizes Kellogg unit after company halts operations: MaduroVenezuela’s government seized control Tuesday of the South American country’s Kellogg subsidiary after it halted operations, President Nicolas Maduro announced. Maduro said the company had been “handed over to the workers” to continue production after the US-based cereals manufacturer said it was ceasing operations. In a statement, the US multinational cited Venezuela’s crippling economic crisis as the reason it was ending its operations in the country.



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Names of members of Japan WWII 'germ warfare' unit to be released

Names of members of Japan WWII 'germ warfare' unit to be releasedA group of Japanese scholars is set to reveal the names of the members of a Japanese World War II germ warfare unit that infected and starved Chinese and allied POWs in a series of gruesome experiments. Katsuo Nishiyama, professor emeritus of Shiga University of Medical Science in western Japan, has told local media his team is analysing a list of 3,607 members and plans to publish it online to encourage further historical study of the unit. “This is the first time that we see a list of the names of nearly all its members being released in the form of an official document,” the Mainichi Shimbun daily quoted Nishiyama as saying.



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Japan launches Marines unit amid China's growing presence

Japan launches Marines unit amid China's growing presenceJapan’s military on Saturday launched its first Marines unit, tasked with defending remote islands in the face of China’s growing maritime presence in the region. The Self-Defence Forces’ amphibious fighting unit staged an exercise with US Marines at Sasebo in western Japan following the inauguration ceremony. The 2,100-member brigade, based in Sasebo, will be responsible for defending remote islands and retaking them if they are invaded.



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British woman Anna Campbell who joined all-female fighting unit killed in Syria

British woman Anna Campbell who joined all-female fighting unit killed in SyriaA British woman fighting with a Kurdish armed unit has died in Syria, her father has said. Anna Campbell, 26, from Lewes, East Sussex, died on March 15 in Afrin while with the Kurdish Women's Protection Units, the YPJ. It is feared she was killed by Turkish airstrikes. Ms Campbell – who had dyed her fair hair black so she would not stand out - is the first British woman to have been killed in Syria with the Kurds and the first Briton to be killed in the battle for Afrin. Seven other Britons have died in the country while fighting alongside the groups. Ms Campbell's father, Dirk, told the BBC she "wanted to create a better world and she would do everything in her power to do that". Anna Campbell, centre, with YPJ fighters stationed in northern Syria Credit: YPJ He added: "I told her of course that she was putting her life in danger, which she knew full well she was doing. I feel I should have done more to persuade her to come back, but she was completely adamant." The YPJ is an all-female brigade of the Kurdish People's Protection Units YPG, which has around 50,000 Kurdish men and women fighting against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) in northern Syria. The group has been defending the Kurdish-majority city of Afrin from Turkish forces backed by Syrian rebels after they launched an offensive in mid-January.  Ankara considers the YPG a terrorist group, an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which has led an insurgency in Turkey for decades.  Ms Campbell had been qualified plumber living in Bristol before she left to join the Kurdish militia in Syria.  Her friends and commanders are thought to have tried to dissuade her from going, saying it was too dangerous.  İngiliz BBC haber kanalı, İngiliz Anna Campbell isimli kadının, Afrin'de terör örgütü YPG'nin kadınlardan oluşan kolu YPJ saflarında öldürüldüğünü duyurdu. pic.twitter.com/c4noQgbNJL— Son Kale Türkiye (@SonKaleTurkiye2) March 19, 2018 He said his daughter was an "incredibly principled, brave, determined, committed woman" whose death had left him "in pieces". "She was determined to live in a way that made a difference to the world and she was determined to act on that and do whatever it took," he told the BBC. "She was prepared to put her life on the line. There aren't many people who do that. "In retrospect I think that I probably should have done more to dissuade her (from going to Syria) but I also knew that she would never have forgiven me if I had actively prevented her from going. "I couldn't affect or try to influence her own perceived destiny. It was the most important thing in life for her." Britons killed after joining Kurdish forces in Syria Macer Gifford, a British volunteer with the YPG, said: "I travelled into Rojava with Anna in May 2017. She was kind, funny and brimming with energy. She had heard about the bravery of the YPJ and they inspired her to come out to fight for democracy, equality and peace in Syria. "She wanted to fight ISIS and to rid Syria of the evil that has ripped the country apart," said Gifford, who uses a pseudonym. "Anna then bravely volunteered to join the defence of Afrin. She bravely fought alongside her YPJ sisters, they opened corridors for civilians to leave and delayed the invaders long enough to save thousands of lives." About | Women's Protection Units (YPJ) Mark Campbell, co-chairman of the Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign, said: "Anna is a woman who seemed to have more humanity in her little finger than the whole of the international community. "She is an inspiration and a hero." He said Ms Campbell, who is no relation to him, was killed alongside two Kurdish women amid the air strikes. He added: "I did not know her but I met with her father this morning. I have the utmost respect and condolences for her family." A Turkish-backed Syrian rebel drives past a burning shop in the city of Afrin, in northern Syria, on Sunday Credit: BULENT KILIC /AFP In a statement, YPJ commander and spokeswoman Nesrin Abdullah said Ms Campbell's death was a "great loss". She said: "Campbell's martyrdom is a great loss to us because with her international soul, her revolutionary spirit, which demonstrated the power of women, she expressed her will in all her actions. "On behalf of the Women's Defence Units YPJ, we express our deepest condolences to (her) family and we promise to follow the path she took up. We will represent her in the entirety of our struggles." Conflict between Turkey and Kurdish groups has been inflamed since January. Over the weekend, Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the country's military had captured the town centre of Afrin, which was previously controlled by the YPG. Video: Afrin is under 'total control', says Erdogan Nearly two months after launching an offensive on the Kurdish territory, he announced that the Turkish flag and that of Syrian opposition fighters had been raised in the town.



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