Ukrainian OSINT group identifies Russian soldier who stole AirPods in Bucha
It was possible to find out the identity of the criminal thanks to the stolen headphones (Photo:Molfar)
Members of the Molfar OSINT community have identified the name and address of a Russian soldier who allegedly stole a set of Apple AirPods, along with other items, from a house in Bucha, a town in Kyiv Oblast that was occupied for several months by Russian forces, according to an investigation published on Molfar’s website on Feb. 9.
According to the investigators, a resident of Bucha contacted them to ask if they could identify a soldier who stole his headphones and other belongings. With the help of the Apple Find My service, Molfar members traced the way of the AirPods from Ukraine to Russia. After the retreat of Russian soldiers from Kyiv Oblast in April 2022, the AirPods and their new owner made 1,000 km, firstly following the line of the Ukrainian border before settling down in the town of Valuyki in Russia’s Belgorod Oblast.
Molfar continued to trace the headphones, which moved farther to the south, to the town of Gelendzhik, where the alleged looter might have visited a school. The device stayed there for a mere a day and then made a 57-hour-long trip to the east, towards Siberia, where it stopped in Kemerovo, an industrial city in Russia’s Kemerovo Oblast.
The researchers managed to narrow the location of the device to one of two residential buildings in the city. Then they used images with geolocation data from VK, a Russian social networking service, to get the names of people living in the building. One of the images was shared by a Russian woman whose son was spotted in a list of names of a hacked Russian military base.
The soldier, named Roman Nureyev, was a member of the 27th detachment of the Kuzbass Joint Forces, where he served as a "shooter and paramedic." According to media reports, Nureyev's unit was actively participating in the occupation of Bucha.
With all this information available, the investigators matched the picture of the soldier's house posted on social media with a picture from Google Street View.
His social media profile also had photos from Ukraine, which became another proof of the investigators' theory.
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