In the bag. The sadist who tortured the Ukrainian prisoner of war turned out to be a mercenary from the Akhmat battalion Ochur-Suge Mongush

On July 28, two videos of the torture and execution of a Ukrainian prisoner of war were circulated on pro-Kremlin social networks. The videos were first posted on the Russian Telegram channel "Gruz 200", dedicated to the losses among Ukrainian soldiers, and then were on the Telegram channel "Rosich", run by a group of nationalist mercenaries.

The videos were initially welcomed by the channel's administrators and most of the commenting users, until a few hours later they were suddenly abandoned as "probable fakes" allegedly thrown into pro-Russian channels by Ukrainian agents in order to discredit the Russian army.

The footage shows soldiers in Russian military uniforms stabbing a bound Ukrainian prisoner of war, mocking him, and then executing him with a shot in the head. Various media have already tried to find the main participant in these tortures, flaunting in a cowboy hat, but their attempts to identify were erroneous.

Sadist in a hat

The footage of the torture and execution of a prisoner of war consists of two videos from which it is difficult to determine the location and time, but there are many other details analyzed in detail by the Conflict Intelligence Team. First of all, the hat of the criminal with a pattern in the form of seashells and tassels over the brim is striking:

Fragment of a hat caught in the frame on the first video

In addition, the second video shows a black bracelet on the killer's left hand:

The same bracelet is visible in the footage where the sadist, wearing surgical gloves, cripples the prisoner:

He is wearing a Ukrainian military shirt (not uncommon for poorly supplied Russian mercenaries in Ukraine). An equally important detail in the background is a white car with a black "Z" spray-painted on the passenger door. The car model is IKCO Samand, a four-door sedan made in Iran.

Both this man and this car can be found in other videos. In at least five videos you can see the same “cowboy” with a bracelet, and in a much better resolution ( RT , RIA Novosti , Patrick Lancaster , Investigations and Portraits , Kadyrov 95 ).

Two screenshots from a video report published by RT of Akhmat fighters at the Azot plant in Severodonetsk.

For example, on June 27, RT and RIA Novosti published their videos filmed at the Azot chemical plant in Severodonetsk. The facility, on the territory of which there were hundreds of civilians fleeing the invasion, on June 25 came under the control of Russian mercenaries, including those from the Chechen Akhmat battalion. When an Akhmat fighter with a Chechen flag patch on his shoulder speaks to the camera, the same cowboy in an identical hat can be seen in the background pulling out ammunition.

Another freeze frame shows the same black bracelets as in the torture video.

In a video posted June 28 by pro-Kremlin American blogger Patrick Lancaster, the same group of Akhmat fighters are seen in Severodonetsk, along with a sadist in a hat. In the same video, an IKCO Sarmand with a spray-painted letter “Z” gets into the frame.

Finally, on July 11, the Investigations and Portraits YouTube channel published a half-hour video filmed in the area of ​​the Donets River west of Lysychansk, then under Russian control. In these frames, the “cowboy” bracelet is especially clearly visible, that military shirt with the same bandage on the left arm is clearly visible.

But, of course, the main thing that made it possible to identify the criminal and compare him on various videos is his face.

sadist face

It was possible to identify the "cowboy" sadist using face search sites. The search4faces website found a profile in Odnoklassniki of a person named Ochur-Suge Mongush, but showed an insufficiently high degree of confidence - 55%.

Screenshot from search4faces showing the profile of Ochur-Suge Mongush

Then, using Findclone, which searches for faces on the VKontakte social network, we identified one of the members of the killer group, his profile was registered in the name of Zhenya Zibrov, and his friends, judging by their profiles, fought against Akhmat in Ukraine. Exploring Zibrov's wider network of contacts, we discovered a group photo of Akhmat fighters in Chechnya.

In the center of this photo (wearing a cap) is a man who looks very much like a sadistic "cowboy", and when searching for this face on FindClone, Ochur-Suge Mongush's "VK" profile appears again, but this time with a much higher degree of certainty - 73% (in practice, figures above 70% in this service mean that there is no doubt that this is the same person).

Most of Ochur's publicly available photographs are approximately six years old, but more recent photographs can be found on his Facebook page. Using his Facebook profile photo posted in 2019, we tried to find additional photos on Pimeyes that could help with identification. Several results included footage from original RIA Novosti and RT videos:

Sadist's phone and new photos

After searching for the name Ochur-Suge Mongush on VKontakte, we found an announcement in the Tuva group about a lost driver's license, where he left two of his phone numbers:

Screenshot from a public VK group for residents of Tuva, where two Mongush phone numbers are listed

A search through these numbers resulted in links to two VKontakte profiles used by Mongush, allowing new photos to be found and confirming that these phone numbers were indeed used by Mongush.

Judging by one of these photos, Mongush used to work in the Ministry of Emergency Situations:

Conversation with a sadist

We managed to talk with Ochur-Suge Mongush, and although he denied his involvement, his testimony finally confirmed his guilt. He stated that he did not torture anyone and never held a weapon in his hands, but simply accompanied Russian journalists, and the video with his participation was simply edited. He also claimed that immediately after the video appeared, he received a call from his journalist friends. He told them that the video was fabricated, and they advised him to report to the FSB and show the travel lists, from which it is clear when he arrived and left. Mongush claims that he was held in the FSB for two days, they made sure that the video was fabricated, and then they said that, in fact, this video was uploaded by the Armed Forces of Ukraine and fell into the hands of Ukrainians when they found the criminal who raped a 10-year-old child. Ochur-Suge also said that a lot of people have a hat like his, and he has never seen a car that appears on the torture video. At the same time, Mongush admitted and repeated several times that in the video published from the territory of the Azot plant, he really was.

Thus, thanks to the call, it was possible, firstly, to establish that the person with the RT video is really Ochur-Suge Mongush. It is also clear that Mongush was lying when he denied that he had ever seen the car with the letters "Z", as it is clearly visible in Lancaster's video, the authenticity of which Mongush does not deny. Mongush himself admits that his friends, the journalists whom he accompanied, immediately called him after the release of the material with the words “look what x .. that was published about you”, that is, according to him, his friends immediately recognized him on the video. If you believe Mongush, it turns out that the fighters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine found some kind of video where a certain rapist mocks a Ukrainian soldier, and then for some reason edited it so that the rapist looked like Mongush, and with all the small details, including patterns on the hat and bracelets. Even if one imagines that the Armed Forces of Ukraine really wanted to defame the unknown Tuvan for some reason, it is not clear how the car from the torture video appeared on the video of the pro-Kremlin blogger Lancaster, because no one edited the video.

Mongush also claimed that the FSB told him that the video had been filmed in Privolye, the name of a sanatorium on the eastern bank of the Sevrny Donets. Indeed, by comparing some footage from the torture footage with photos from the sanatorium, Bellingcat was able to find a spot near the sanatorium where, as in the video, there is a manhole and a forked tree nearby.

There is a similarity in the characteristic cracks on the curb:

Finally, in one of the videos , the “Akhmatovites” together with the “sadistic cowboy” appear against the background of this sanatorium:

Mongush on the background of the sanatorium "Privolye"

The video of the Investigations and Portraits channel with the participation of the Akhmatovites was filmed literally tens of meters from the place of torture, installed by Bellingcat:

Thus, speaking about the crime scene, Mongush apparently accidentally told the truth. But on many other occasions he has blatantly lied, and not only in the case of a car he allegedly did not see. For example, he claims that he has nothing to do with the Akhmat battalion, but is present in the photo with the Akhmatovites, including those from the territory of Chechnya. He claims that he never held a weapon in his hands, but on his VKontakte page (now deleted) he posted a photo with a weapon:

He also claimed that he had come “home”, where he was calmer, that no one would find him, but at the same time repeated several times that he was now in Moscow. However, he had never lived in Moscow before - as can be seen from open data and the registration database, he lived in Kyzyl and St. Petersburg.

One way or another, Mongush’s confessions are very important: before talking with him, it was precisely established that the person in the video of the “Akhmatovites” from the Azot plant is the same person who appears in the video with torture, and also that he is very similar to this torturer, a man named Mongush fought in Akhmat, but there was a hypothetical possibility that two very similar people of Mongoloid appearance were fighting in Akhmat. However, Mongush's admission that the man in the hat in the video from the Azot plant is him eliminates all last doubts.

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