Weapons Used by the Russian Volunteer Corps
The Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK), a far-right dissident paramilitary organization fighting within Ukraine’s ranks, claimed responsibility for the cross-border attack in the Bryansk region on March 2. According to Russian intelligence, small units of armed men crossed the border from Ukraine, engaged in firefights with security forces and attacked civilians, allegedly killing two and taking some hostage for a brief period. The FSB also claims that the attackers blew up and planted mines in civilians’ food stores, and Russian television ran footage of civilian vehicles riddled with bullet holes and with dead bodies inside their cabs. The unit’s leader, Denis Kapustin, denied that his men took any hostages during the operation. He and his fighters did however post videos during the operation, in which they stood in front of Russian signage to corroborate their raid, and held up flags with their unit’s insignia on them.
Four days later, Russian intelligence claimed that they thwarted an assassination attempt on the life of a powerful businessman, similar to the bombing that killed Darya Dugina. According to the FSB, the attack was to consist of another remote-detonated bomb attached to the undercarriage of the Russian tycoon’s vehicle. They also say that the assassination plot was orchestrated by Kapustin. The target of the attack was Konstantin Malofeev, chairman of the board of directors of the Tsargrad group—a media company whose Tsargrad TV champions both Russian irridentism and the Russian Orthodox Church, and which had Aleksandr Dugin as its chief editor for a brief period after launching in 2015. Malofeev is himself a controversial figure and an outspoken supporter of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Militant Wire offers regularly published research and analysis accessible to paid subscribers. Recent exclusive articles include:
• Operations and Weapons Profile of Russia's Controversial Rusich Reconnaissance, Sabotage, and Assault Group
• Detention of Former Serb Police Officer Brings Kosovo Back to the Brink
• Key Cartel Leader's Arrest Spurs Chaos and Violence in Culiacán, Mexico
• Islamic State Khurasan's International Target Strategy: Suicide Bombing Aimed at Taliban Foreign Ministry and Chinese Diplomats
• Islamic State Khurasan Criticizes Taliban-China Relations, Alleges IEA Complicit in Suffering of Uyghur Muslims
• Weapons Analysis: Russia's Wagner Organization and Its Combined Arms Operations in Ukraine
• In-Depth Analysis of Islamic State Iraq's Degradation, Operational Capabilities, and Weapons Arsenal
• Islamic State West Africa's Vast Weapons Arsenal
• Russia's BOAK Partisans Act to Undermine Moscow's War on Ukraine
• Analysis: Islamic State Khurasan Releases New Detailed History of Uyghur Plight in China
• Islamic State Khurasan Declares Liberating Uyghurs "One of Our Greatest Objectives", Threatens Attacks on American, Russian, and Chinese Interests in Afghanistan
• Militant Groups Gain Greater Access to Soviet and NATO Weapons Smuggled from Afghanistan
• The Autodefensas and Armed Criminal Groups of Chiapas, Mexico
•MW/TKD: Islamic State Khurasan (ISKP) Continues to Vilify Turkey’s Role in the Middle East and Afghanistan
Weapons of the Russian Volunteer Corps
The "Russian Volunteer Corps" operates as a group allied with the Ukrainian army. They became more prominent after the alleged infiltration and attacks on Bryansk on March 2. When examined in general, the weapons used by the RDK are the same as those used by the Ukrainian Army.
First, the weapons used by the RDK units who allegedly infiltrated Bryansk and carried out various attacks are detailed below.
The infiltrator group apparently used 5.45x39mm AK-74 assault rifles (some of them loaded with 45-round RPK-74 magazines, suppressors and custom furniture, including a FAB Defense PDC Railed top cover on at least one rifle). One of the combatants also carries a stand-alone 40mm GP-25 under-barrel grenade launcher (UBGL).
These four combatants use weapons and equipment that are frequently used by both Ukraine and Russia. Still, other armed members of the group also use different weapons.
From time to time, the group is seen using both weapons that can be obtained from Ukrainian civilian markets and weapons transferred to Ukraine from Western countries.
In addition, rocket launchers, various machine guns, and ammunition used frequently by the two countries are among the weapons in the RDK’s current arsenal. Just like the AK-74 rifles mentioned above, these weapons (and in some cases ammunition) appear to have various modifications.
Since the Bryansk attacks on March 2, multiple western sources have either reported or suggested that RDK itself is either a construct of the Russian government or that recent attack claims are at the very least “false flags” intended to escalate the war in Ukraine. However, facts show that members of the group have been operating alongside the Ukrainian Army for quite some time, its weapons are identical to the arsenal used by the Ukrainian Army, and they have been active on social media throughout the war.