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The Curious Case of Batman Fighting in Donbas

About a month ago, a video appeared in the Russian Telegram ecosystem that depicted a man dressed as Batman and fighting alongside Russian forces in Maryinka. The video was obviously filmed as a joke and it was shared a fair bit around social media.

The Russian Batman.

However, information surrounding the video was sparse.

But amused and curious, Atlas and I decided to try and uncover as much information as we could on the Russian Batman.

Atlas went about geolocating where the video was filmed.

While most of the video was filmed indoors, there were some shots that showed damaged apartment buildings. Maryinka has few tall residential structures, so it was quite easy for us to focus our attention to an apartment buildings in the southern part of the city.

Using publicly available imagery through Google Earth Pro, we were able to pinpoint parts of the vide to an apartment building located at 47°56’8.34″N,  37°30’9.99″E on 15 Zavodskaya Street. This confirmed the video was in fact taken in the city, but also showed that Russian forces were located in that section of Maryinka.

Next, I looked into the origins of the video. I was looking for anyway additional information on it but I specifically wanted to uncover the identity of the man in the suit.

After sifting through multiple Russian articles about the video, it was clear that the video likely first publicly surfaced on the Telegram channel ZA_FROHT. This is the Telegram channel that had its name watermarked on the video.

The video was published about a month ago on April 3rd.

The video had the caption of, “Batman stood in the same ranks with the scouts of the 150th MSD in Marinka to exterminate the Ukronazi evil spirits”.

After watching it again for any clues, I realized that the original video file was likely not uploaded. Due to the audio and video quality, it appears that the original video was being played on a display and being recorded by another device such as a cellphone.

Once I realized this, I also added finding the original video to my list of goals. It is possible that the original video is longer and contains more information.

After looking into the Russian 150th MSD (Motorized Rifle Division) I found nothing that would shine more light on the video in question.

I then had someone translate the video to see if there was any crucial information I missed.

Turns out, in the voice over there is a section where the narrator says, “The video was made by the commander of the 174th battalion, Ivan Poryadin.”

The 174th separate reconnaissance battalion is under the 150th MSD and is out of Persianovskiy, Rostov Oblast. This makes sense as the caption of the video referenced “the scouts of the 150th MSD”.

Unfortunately, I hit a dead end at this point.

However, from our investigation, we now know multiple things.

Firstly, the video was filmed at the direction Ivan Poryadin, the commander of the 174th separate reconnaissance battalion.

Secondly, that the video is actually a bootleg that was filmed by separate camera.

Lastly, we know the exact location of where the video was filmed.

But, there is still a lot we don’t know about the video and more importantly the Russian Batman.

Chase Baker
Chase Baker
Chase is a seasoned journalist and former resident of Iraqi Kurdistan. With a background in English and Philosophy from the College of Charleston, Chase covered the 2022 conflict in eastern Ukraine, including cities like Kharkiv, Bakhmut, and Kramatorsk. He has also produced short documentaries in Ukraine and the U.S., and has been with Atlas for three years.

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