Deanon of “psychos”. How the Russian IPSO works and who is behind it
The “evocation.info” team received documents from the headquarters of the occupation troops “Dnipro” from the hacktivist group “Kiber Sprotyv”. The IW task force has been spotlighted in them. We found every officer on its roster and more.
A favorite technique of Russian propagandists is to brand any information inconvenient to them as IPSO. They attribute those who publish and disseminate such facts to some mythical “CIPSO” (centers of information-psychological operations).
What’s funny is that in this case, the Rashists are talking about a system that actually exists, but in Russia itself. There is a whole network of PSO units there, the so-called “psychos” (here for more details). In simplistic terms, their main task is to conduct psychological operations against the enemy, swaying it from within, and to influence how other countries perceive what is happening.
In reality, they often fool their own citizens. In fact, the myth about the Nazis who have taken over “brotherly Ukraine” and are destroying the “peaceful people of Donbas” is precisely their handiwork. Thanks to it and the public opinion distorted for 8 years, the Russian dictator “legitimized” the open invasion.
The Rashists are actively using information operations during the “full-scale operation” as well, both in social networks and media, and on the battlefield. This is handled by a number of entities, not always Army. For the purposes of this material, we focus on military units – IW (information warfare).
Using one IW task force as an example, we describe how the Russian IPSO works online and “on the ground”. And of course, we disclose the personnel and the grid of controlled media resources. Special thanks to Major Dmitry Chusovitin for his help in deanon of his colleagues.
Colonel Usoshin’s IW group
The evocation.info team contacted the disclosed IW officers before publishing the article. They were offered a choice: to cooperate with the Ukrainian Defense Forces or to appear in our database with further transfer of the collected data to the international investigation.
We intentionally only publish information on those who responded with a waiver. If the “gentleman’s agreement” is not honored, the names and files of the others will also be made public. At this stage we deliberately do not name all the channels that are included in the IW grid and their owners – we are preparing a separate “surprise” for them.
Let’s start with the documents that came into the possession of the “evocation.info” team. The IW task force (composite) appears there. Such groups are established within troop groupings. They may include officers from different units for specific tasks. Their primary functions are:
create and disseminate propaganda materials and fakes;
demoralize the enemy so that they refuse to follow orders and surrender;
to discredit the enemy command;
simulate troop movements and create false positions to mislead the enemy;
Combat order for the IW group of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation
The documents leaked from the headquarters of the JTF “Dnepr” are about one of such groups of IW. As you can see from the text, the group is tasked to shoot photos and video of the fighting actions of the 2nd battalion of the 28th regiment, which fights on the left bank of the Dnipro river in the Kherson region.
Thanks to OSINT specialists, we were able to identify all the members of this group. In this piece, we publish a brief version of the deanon. To see full dossiers on IW officers and their relatives – click on the character’s full name.
IW team commander. He was born on January 10, 1978 in a military family. Graduated from the Krasnodar Military Institute with a degree in Information Protection Organization and Technology. In 2007, he left the army and took up the family business – a service station; he also worked as an information security specialist at Rostovenergo.
Usoshin then returned to the Russian Armed Forces again and found himself in the information warfare unit. Actually in the phone books of his coworkers he is so signed “Roma Inf Warfare”. In social networks he uses the nicknames “Roman Hilo” and “Roman Shilov”. Administers a number of channels and groups from the IW grid. More about them later in the text.
IW Task Force Officer. Born May 22, 1996. He studied at the Military University of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. Several times participated in parades on Red Square. He was then sent to occupied Crimea.
Participated in the 2021 “victory parade” in Simferopol. Held in a box of “the best commanding officers of the 22nd Army Corps (AC)” – now reformatted as the 18th CA. He was part of the Russian “peacekeepers” in Karabakh. Uses the nicknames “Yuri Malinin”, “Flexpushka”, “Ferz” and others. He speaks Ukrainian thanks to his wife, a native of Crimea.
IW Task Force Officer. Born June 11, 1991. Graduated from the Yekaterinburg Artillery School and the Mikhailovsky Academy. Served in the 1st Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 2nd Taman Motorized Rifle Division. At least from spring 2023 onward, is engaged in IW. In social networks he uses the nicknames “Dmitry Chus”, “Dmitry Dmitry” and “Arkady”.
Chusovitin is the main “hero” of our material. It is thanks to him that the “evocation.info” team has found a large grid of IW channels, their admins and distributors. It’s all about the Major using a personal phone number for service purposes. After de-anonymizing one of his accounts and contact list, we was able to mine a lot of interesting information.
IW Task Force Officer. Born in the family of a paratrooper on March 10, 1996. His father served in Bolgrad, Ukraine. Gurin graduated from the Ryazan Higher Airborne School (RVVDKU). Participated in the parade on Red Square.
Served in the 331st regiment of the 98th Airborne Division. He was on a “business” trip to Kazakhstan in the fall of 2019. In social networks he uses the nicknames “Firestarter_24”, “MrBDR96” and “Andrey Nikolaev”.
Officer of the IW task force. Born on October 12, 2000 in the family of a prison special forces officer and a “beauty queen” from Siberia. As a child he watched the TV series “Cadetship” and entered the Omsk Cadet Military Corps. He then graduated from the A.F. Mozhaisky Military Space Academy.
Released in the summer of 2023 and immediately went to war against Ukraine. On social media criticized his command for running away from Kherson. In social networks he uses the nicknames “Nikita”, “nickdendor”, “nik1tka_d” and others. Initially collaborated with the “Winged” paratroopers IW channel. Distributed their posts and thanked the admins for publishing “our stuff”.
Grid of IW channels and groups
As we mentioned above, we managed to find a whole network of fake accounts, as well as IW channels and groups. This happened thanks to Major Chusovitin and to a certain extent Colonel Usoshin. More specifically because of their utter disregard for digital security.
Several of their subordinates, after being contacted by the “evocation.info” team and explaining how they had been identified – agreed to cooperate with the Ukrainian Defense Forces. In exchange, we agreed not to publish their data for the time being.
Among the “refuseniks” we will single out two characters. Evgeny Mikhailovich Zhulidov and Vorobyev Anton Nikolayevich. We’re giving you one last chance to come to your senses and make contact.
In addition, we will disclose some of the media resources controlled by the IW. The main channel of Colonel Usoshin’s specific task force in Telegram – Front life. It used to be called “Kherson Region without Fakes”, under this name it still exists today in VKontakte.
Usoshin’s subordinates, as well as their counterparts in other IW groups, divisions, offices and centers, administer and disseminate materials from a whole grid of resources. Among them:
Lastly, let’s show some examples of how IW officers “work” on social media. Spoiler: axed and boring.
What is noteworthy is that they often try to enter our infofield, even creating pseudo-Ukrainian channels (example below in the screenshots). But they are quickly exposed, despite their attempts to pass themselves off as “outraged civilians” or “frustrated military personnel”.
Therefore, for the most part, IW officers are engaged in “processing” their own population. They are also trying to create the public opinion desired by the Rashists in the temporarily occupied territories.
A brief analysis of the posts and comments they write allows us to identify a few main areas of their work. In the language of their manuals, these are what they call “narratives.”
The main messages are: demonization of Ukrainians, justification of so-called “SMO”, inflating the losses of the AFU, staged interrogations of PoW, calls for surrender, glorification of their own troops, inflating the “successes” of the Russian military-industrial complex and discrediting unwanted media that criticize the authorities and the military leadership.
Examples of Russian IPSO created and disseminated by IW officers:
The “evocation.info” team handed over all the collected materials, which were included in this text and remained outside of it, to the Ukrainian law enforcers. The international investigation will also soon have access to them. All those involved in crimes against Ukraine and its people will definitely be found and brought to justice.