«Tsar Wolves» and Rogozin. Stolen name, serving Karadzic and lobbying business

Collage: investigator.org.ua

Name «Tsar Wolves» covers military technological center testing new weapons of Russian private designers, «Voluntary Russian assault brigade», BARS squads in Zaporizhzhia region and training centers for drone operators.

This project has been actively promoted in Russian mass media by Dmitrii Rogozin, former member of Russian State Duma, Vice-Prime Minister and head of the State Space Corporation «Roskosmos». «Tsar Wolves» became lucky springboard for the return of Rogozin into the Russian politics. After his dismissal one year ago, he has not been granted any high level appointment by Putin and decided to secure his destiny by his own hands.

The project could also evolve into the new source of income for his family. His 40 years old son Aleksei Rogozin works as an advisor in his father’s technological center «Tsar Wolves», promoting newly designed weapons into the state military procurement.

We will analyze «Tsar Wolves» in details and disclose names of its key figures and companies developing new armaments for the war against Ukraine. With exception of Dmitrii Rogozin, they have not been sanctioned by Ukraine, USA or EU. We divided the text into two parts. Video version can be watched here.

For the start, we will identify the origins of the name «Tsar Wolves» and remind you the story of Dmitrii Rogozin.

Dmitrii Olegovich Rogozin is the son of Lieutenant General, the Head of the Department of the Soviet Ministry of Defense, and the son-in-law of the Colonel of KGB foreign intelligence. He graduated as the journalist specializing on international relations. He dreamed to become an intelligence officer and had an internship with KGB in Cuba. Later he pretended that his «intelligence career» failed. We do not buy it. His further career has been marked by numerous signs of the work under cover abroad and in Russia. For example, he has been known for making Nazi greetings for the glory of Russia when he has been involved into Russian patriotic political parties. You can read about it in Wikipedia. We will focus on what Wikipedia will not tell you.

Stolen name and fake legend

The official biography of Dmitrii Rogozin does not say a word about his participation in Yugoslav wars in the first half of 1990s. This «ignorance» is understandable: he has been an advisor of Radovan Karadzic, the leader of Bosnian Serbs. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) sentenced him to life imprisonment for the genocide (ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Srebrenica), killing civilians during the siege of Sarajevo and other war crimes.

In February 2023, Rogozin publicly admitted for the first time that he fought at Yugoslav wars and that Ratko Mladic, the Commander of the Army of Bosnian Serbs (another war criminal, sentenced by ICTY to life imprisonment), awarded him… his cap for the assault of Novo-Sarajevo.

Ratko Mladic, the Commander of the Army of Bosnian Serbs, and Dmitrii Rogozin, an advisor of Radovan Karadzic, the leader of Bosnian Serbs, 1995. Photo: telegram channel of «Tsar Wolves»

Public quarrel between Rogozin and another war criminal Igor Girkin (Strelkov) forced Rogozin to disclose his Yugoslav past and explain the origins of pathetic name «Tsar Wolves». As Rogozin said, he fought in Russian voluntary squad. Serbs called it «Tsar Wolves». It has been part of larger unit «White Wolves». Rogozin pretended that the name of his military technological center and brigade has been «inherited» from «Tsar Wolves» in Yugoslavia.

Here are Rogozin’s words: «Our squad has been called «White Wolves» in Serbian language. Russian voluntary squad (RVS), with dozens of people, has been part of this unit. Serbs called us «Tsar Wolves». That’s how our current name was born. Today people in Donbas call us this way».

However, we failed to find an evidence of the participation of Rogozin in any of three «Russian voluntary squads» in the former Yugoslavia. Neither memoirs of their members nor historical studies of Russian squads in Yugoslav wars confirm his declared role. Rogozin’s version itself has a number of internal contradictions.

Mass media often call «Tsar Wolves» – the second «Russian voluntary squad» (RVS-2) created in Visegrad. It had black-yellow-white flag of Russian Emperors Alexander II and Nikolai II whereas its soldiers had pro-monarchy political views.

On the other hand, Russian mercenary Aleksandr Kravchenko, ex-member of the first and second «Russian voluntary squads», insists that this name has been used only by journalists:

«We did not call ourselves this way. It would be too pathetic. And it would be ridiculous under those conditions».

In 1998, Girkin, ex-member of the squad, wrote that RVS-2 was called «Tsar Wolves» only by mass media.

Aleksandr Mukharev (call sign «As»), the first commander of RVS-2, told that Serbs called Igor Girkin «Tsar Officer». He did not mention Rogozin as the Russian volunteer in his interviews.

From left to right: Andrei Martynov, Aleksandr Mukharev, the commander of RVS-2, Boban Indzic, the commander of platoon of Chetniks. Photo: social media

War criminal Igor Girkin insists that he does not remember that Rogozin fought with him in RVS-2. Living veterans also do not confirm it.

We know that memoirs can be misleading and looked into the history of Russian voluntary squads in Yugoslav wars.

RVS-2 has been active from November 1992 till August 1993. After it had been dissolved, its flag has been transferred to the church of Saint Trinity in Beograd (where the grave of Russian General Wrangel is located). Some Russians and Ukrainians from dissolved RVS-2 joined newly created RVS-3. It has been part of Novo-Sarajevo squad of Chetniks under leadership of Slavko Aleksic.

Since autumn 1994, some soldiers of RVS-3 and new mercenaries from Russia have joined reconnaissance squad «Beli Vukovi» («White Wolves») under leadership of Srzhan Knezevic. This squad has been directly subordinated to Sarajevo Army Corps. The squad included volunteers from Russia, Ukraine, Poland and other countries of Eastern Europe. But Russians did not have their own squad or unit.

These facts are confirmed by a number of sources (see, for example, 12, 345).

In October 2023, Rogozin’s «Tsar Wolves» published photos of Rogozin with Mladic, the cap of Mladic offered to Rogozin, and copies of letters sent by Mladic and Karadzic to Rogozin in 2014.

The text under photos says: «Here is the cap of Mladic offered to Rogozin for participation of the squad of Russian volunteers «Tsar Wolves» in successful assault of Novo-Sarajevo in autumn 1994».

«Tsar Wolves» (RVS-2) and assault in autumn 1994?! But by this time the squad did not exist for one year! Even the third squad of Russian volunteers was dissolved and Russian mercenaries joined Serbian squad «Beli Vukovi». Then, where did «Tsar wolf» Rogozin fight?

It seems that Rogozin stole media name for his current center and invented fake legend about his participation in the Russian volunteer squad.

But Rogozin’s revelation about the work for Radovan Karadzic deserves serious attention.

It is understandable that he could not become an advisor of the leader of Bosnian Serbs upon his own initiative. It is likely that he was appointed by the Russian intelligence services. Rogozin does not specify precise time period of his work for Karadzic. Speaking to soldiers of Russian BARS, Rogozin said that he has been an advisor of Karadzic in 1994-95 and that he participated in the Bosnian war, in particular, during the assault of Sarajevo in autumn 1994. 

Funerals of 465 recognized victims of genocide in Srebrenica, 2007. Photo: wikipedia.org

This period included the most ferocious crimes of the Bosnian war: the Serbian siege of Sarajevo and the murder of over 12 thousand people; the siege and ethnic cleansing in Srebrenica when Serbian troops killed over 8 thousand males of Bosnian Muslims on the 11th of July, 1994. The International Criminal Tribunal qualified this crime as the genocide. Karadzic, Mladic and a number of Serbian commanders were sentenced for committing these crimes.

What advices did Rogozin give Karadzic? It is unlikely that he coordinated Russian volunteers as Russian squads have not functioned after summer 1994 and a number of Russian volunteers have been negligible.

The true role of Rogozin as an advisor of war criminal Radovan Karadzic has to be clarified in the future.

Military technological center of Dmitrii and Aleksei Rogozin

Dmitrii Rogozin is skillful in working with Russian mass media.

He has been dismissed from the position of the head of «Roskosmos» in July 2022. In October, he started posting photos with commanders of battalions «Somali» and «Pyatnashki» of so-called Donetsk People’s Republic. He also published his videos and photos from Zaporizhzhia region. He reported that his «military career» included Novorossia, with Bosnia, Northern Caucasus and Transdnistria.

The Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne published his communication with leading Russian propagandists. It has been hacked by Ukrainian hackers. These materials demonstrate that Rogozin can easily «order» the news from Margarita Simonjan, Vladimir Solovyov or organize an interview with TASS, the Russian leading news agency. As an outcome, in autumn 2022, the Russian federal mass media actively promoted «expert group «Tsar Wolves» as the consultant of Russian occupation troops in Donbas and testing center for new Russian weapons under war conditions.

Rogozin changed the name of this «group» several times. These changes resulted in «Military scientific and technological center «Tsar Wolves» and «Volunteer assault brigade «Tsar Wolves».

The Russian State Register of Legal Entities does not have any legal entities with similar names and Dmitrii and Aleksei Rogozin as their founders or directors. One exception is the Center for the development of transport technologies, founded by Aleksei Rogozin in 2021.

That is to say, «Tsar Wolves» does not exist as the legal entity. But it does work in practice!

Despite scandalous wounding of Rogozin in Donetsk restaurant «Shesh-Besh», he succeeded in creating and promoting military technological holding. The structure of the holding under umbrella name «Tsar Wolves» is described below.

The first sphere of its activity is military technological center. It designs and tests new Russian weapons (mainly – drones). The network of field offices includes Moscow, Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia region (exact location has not been disclosed).

Training centers for drone operators have been set up on the temporarily occupied territories in Eastern and Southern Ukraine. Operators have been recruited from Rogozin’s «brigade» and other volunteer units.

«Tsar Wolves» has clear military wing – four squads of BARS (Military Army Reserve of Russia). Their troops fight in Southern Ukraine. New weapons \ drones have been tested in these squads under real combat conditions.

Let us look closer at each sphere of «Tsar Wolves».

Military technological center «Tsar Wolves» is headed by Dmitrii Rogozin. His son Aleksei is his advisor.

The main profession of 40 years old Aleksei Rogozin is to be the son of Dmitrii Rogozin. His professional career has been launched in Russian political parties «Rodina» (Motherland) and «Congress of Russian Communities», founded by his father. When Dmitrii Rogozin has been the Vice Prime Minister of the Russian government and the head of «Roskosmos», Aleksei Rogozin has been appointed as the senior manager in large corporations of the Russian military industrial complex and aircraft industry.

For example, Aleksei Rogozin has been the director of Aleksino chemical factory manufacturing pyroxylene powder, the Vice President of «United Aircraft Corporation», the General Director of «Aviation Complex named after Illushin»…

Aleksei Rogozin, an advisor of military technological center «Tsar Wolves». Photo: RIA Novosti

It should be noted that Aleksei Rogozin promoted the design and production of drones when this issue has not been the mainstream sphere in Russia. Now drones are actively designed and manufactured by many Russian private and governmental centers and design bureaus.

The best way for new weapons to receive the military procurement order is to test it under real combat conditions. Private companies are not allowed to do it in the regular units of the Russian Army. But the testing and piloting can be conducted in «volunteer units» on Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia.

Dmitrii Rogozin promoted his project in illegal paramilitary units in occupied Donbas. In November 2022, he reported about cooperation with over ten designers of light attack drones for troops of so-called «Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic». In January 2023, he wrote that 15 drones have been already tested.

His initial plans have been far more ambitious as he tried to secure governmental support of his center. Ukrainian public broadcaster «Suspilne» published document which Rogozin drafted for the meeting with Deputy Head of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Dmitrii Medvedev on January 19, 2023. Rogozin proposed:

«1. The board of the military industrial commission should make military technological center «Tsar Wolves» an expert body for evaluation, introduction and regulation of initiative projects in the sphere of drones. 2. Coordination council under the government of the Russian Federation on satisfying demands of the Armed Forces of Russia, other military units should set up working group on satisfying demand for drones and include military technological center «Tsar Wolves» into its membership». 

Константін Ніколаєв, російський мільярдер, співвласник Globaltrans 

Konstantin Nikolaev, Russian billionaire, co-founder of Globaltrans

As communication from hacked Rogozin’s messenger demonstrated, after the meeting with Medvedev he sent out the questionnaire, developed by his son, to private designers of drones. He asked them to prepare presentation of their works and to hold the meeting «with participation of the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Defense» aimed at supporting works of private companies.

It is interesting that Russian billionaire Konstantin Nikolaev has been among recipients of this letter of Rogozin. Nikolaev is the co-owner of GlobalTrans, the largest Russian operator of container shipments. He has assets in the USA and has been the sponsor of Russian spy Maria Butova. It is possible that Nikolaev can sponsor Rogozin’s project of «Tsar Wolves» as Rotenberg brothers (and friends of Putin) have supported private military company «Convoy» of Prigozhyn and Russian «Head of Crimea» Aksyonov.

Let us now look at drones of «Tsar Wolves», covered by the Russian mass media and accounts of Rogozin and «Wolves» in social media. In January 2023, it has been reported that center «Tsar Wolves» developed three large attack drones and one small reconnaissance drone «Matryoshka». It is supposed that the latter drone should fly up to 100 kilometers and survey the landscape. Under large scale production, as Rogozin said, this drone could also drop small mines.

Reconnaissance drone «Matryoshka». Photo: telegram channel of Dmitrii Rogozin

In July 2023, interceptor drone «Archangel» has been demonstrated for the first time. As Rogozin said, the piloting of «Archangel» has been almost completed. But we did not find any information about its large scale production or its tactical and technical profile.

Interceptor drone «Archangel». Photo: telegram channel of Dmitrii Rogozin

In August 2023, the center reported that drone «Storm» has been already used by Russian troops. It promised to inform about its performance and called upon to make orders. We did not find further reports.

Drone «Storm». Photo: telegram channel of Dmitrii Rogozin

Member of the Russian State Duma Dmitrii Kuznetsov has recently brought to Dmitrii Rogozin new projects of his partners from the «Center of defense innovations» for piloting: the device called «Vladlen Tatarsky» for suppressing drones and new anti-drone gun designed by Russian company «Kaisant».

«We will wait for feedback», as wrote Kuznetsov. He revealed that «Tsar Wolves» has interceptor drones and «Sauron» system for remote identification of drones. They can «secure peaceful nights for Moscow residents», as stated Kuznetsov.

Member of the Russian State Duma Dmitrii Kuznetsov and Dmitrii Rogozin. Photo: telegram channel of Dmitrii Rogozin

Rogozin’s «wolves» have another important task. Members of his technological center and soldiers of BARS are hunting for new Western and Ukrainian weapons, in order to steal cutting the edge technologies. In July 2023, «Tsar Wolves» seized large parts of British rocket Storm Shadow.

Russian soldiers of BARS-10 tried four times to find fragments of Czech drone Primoco One on the bed of Kakhovka reservoir. Trophies are studied in offices of the Rogozin’s center in Donetsk and Zaporizhzia. The most valuable Western findings are sent to Moscow.

In July 2023, Dmitrii Rogozin conducted video tour in his technological center in Donetsk. He was proud to demonstrate new premises for assembling drones. He also disclosed a couple of workers of the center.

We succeeded in identifying the young guy who showed remnants of Western and Ukrainian drones. He is 28 years old Zhyltsov Viktor Olegovich. He was born in the Russian city of Gulkevichi, Krasnodarskii krai. We used face reconnaissance service and his tattoo. He deleted his account from Russian social media «VKontakte» but we found web archived photos.

Viktor Zhyltsov and Dmitrii Dodzin, members of military technological center «Tsar Wolves». Photo: screenshot of youtube Rogozin and social media

39 years old Dodzin Dmitrii Igorevich is an engineer from the Russian city of Chelyabinsk. He is the director of his own company «Fast engineering». Its business profile is diverse: 3D printing, positioning systems, automation etc. The company has been regular contractor of Russian state and local self-government bodies.

Other personnel of technological center «Tsar Wolves» hide their faces under balaclavas. However, their identities will be sooner or later disclosed.