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What is Task Force Rusich? Inside Russia's most vicious neo-Nazi mercenary unit

The Task Force Rusich might have accidentally revealed plans of entering Ukraine on social media.
The Task Force Rusich during a training session (Instagram)
The Task Force Rusich during a training session (Instagram)

The Task Force Rusich is one of the most feared and dreaded paramilitary groups of Russia. They have been earlier accused of committing war-crimes in Ukraine. The Task Force Rusich is a Russian mercenary unit that seems to take pride in their reputation as 'neo-Nazi' group, known for merciless brutality. 

The Task Force Rusich first came into the public limelight back in 2014 when they were deployed in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine during the peak fighting period between Russian separatist forces and the Ukrainian military. Their deployment, which also happened to be their first, spread terror and fear in the populace, claim witnesses, as the unrest spread. 


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After their first deployment, the Task Force had allegedly set their sight on Kharkiv, a mostly-Russian city in Eastern Ukraine that has also been labeled as a 'red zone' in the war that Putin has declared on Ukraine. The city of Kharkiv faces a twin threat from the Task Force and the Russian military because of its close locational proximity to the Russian borders. 

In the recent past, Milchakov and Rusich’s lead military trainer, Yan Petrovsky, had been spotted in Syria after their brutal contribution to the Ukrainian unrest during their first deployment. According to many sources, the members of Task Force Rusich had allegedly tortured and 'dismembered' a Syrian prisoner, the reason for which is yet unknown. 


In light of the ongoing war that Putin just declared on Ukraine, concerned netizens have started talking about a post from the contingent's public Instagram account that was made last year.

The said post talked about the Task Force training for military exercises, along with a photo of the members of the force seated in a Russian armored vehicle. Shortly after this post was made, netizens have thrown light on another post from 28th of October where a comment appeared to suggest that the mercenaries had plans to return to Kharkiv.

People on the internet are asking questions as to how 'premeditated' the Russian attack on Ukraine might be, especially after rumors surfaced about Putin recording the declaration of war almost three days prior to the actual declaration. Task Force Rusich's posts seem to indicate that plans to attack Ukraine has been in the pipeline for a while — certainly months if not one year ago.

In September 2014, Rusich had attacked a column of Ukrainian volunteer fighters near the Donbas town of Metallist, killing dozens, according to Ukrainian news reports. Local sources also said that the Rusich had mutilated the corpses and set fire to them. Images of the shocking event later went on to become part of the group's mythos. 


Throughout their 2014-2015 deployment, Milchakov, Petrovsky, and other Rusich members courted infamy, posting images of atrocities and selfies with dead bodies, according to Ukrainian media. Human Rights groups in Ukraine accused the Rusichs of brutally torturing prisoners of war. The Rusichs withdrew from Ukraine in 2015 and reappeared in Syria to protect Russian-owned oil and gas infrastructure. Posts made on their Instagram account showed group members posing with a Nazi salute in front of central ruins located in the Palmyra region of Syria.