Ukrainian partisans on Thursday published high-res photographs of the high-security base for Russia’s 126th Separate Coastal Defense Brigade, a formation deployed by the Kremlin to protect Moscow’s military facilities in the Crimea Peninsula from commandos and sneak attacks.

Images and text data made public by the umbrella Ukrainian partisan agency ATESH on the information app Telegram showed pro-Kyiv agents approaching within a few hundred meters of the Russian unit’s base near the village Perevalne, in a mountainous region of south Crimea.

The ATESH statement claimed its operatives reconnoitered the Russian brigade defenses and security thoroughly and left the scene without being detected.

“We managed to find out the brigade’s quantity, condition and range of military equipment. We have become convinced that fuel tanks are being actively used by the enemy. We also studied the patrol pattern around the military unit in detail,” the statement said in part.


ATESH said the grids of the Russian base were N44.851830, E34.318620. The location named by the partisan group matched past geolocations associated with the unit. Kyiv Post was unable to confirm other ATESH claims independently.

The Perevalne reconnaissance of the 126th Brigade’s home base was the second claimed by Ukrainian partisans in a public space. On Oct. 30 an ATESH statement said its operatives had managed to infiltrate agents inside 126th Brigade facilities and found the unit to be at 25 percent strength and individual soldiers suffering from poor morale.

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OSCE condemned it as "a grave violation of participating states' commitments under international law" and called for the immediate release of Vadym Golda and two other jailed OSCE officials.

A security unit with the primary mission of defending Russian navy shore installations in Crimea from raids and assaults, the 126th Brigade, a tank- and artillery-armed unit numbering nearly 2,000 men at full strength, found itself thrown into months of intense combat in Ukraine’s eastern Kharkiv region and later Kherson regions. Russian state media reported the formation had returned to Crimea in March 2023.


Russia invaded Ukraine’s Crimea region in 2014 and annexed it after a local “independence” election held at gunpoint. Since then, the Kremlin has asserted Crimea is a full-fledged part of the Russian Federation, a claim rejected overwhelmingly by the entire international community save Moscow allies like Cuba, North Korea and Syria.

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