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Journalists ID'ed Russian looter in Irpen via Polaroids

The Russian military serviceman who looted the apartment of a resident of Irpin in the Kyiv region, snapped a Polaroid and left the photo under the carpet, was identified as 25-year-old Pavel Pilantov, Vazhniye Istorii reports. Thus, the publication refutes the words of Ukraine's Minister of Digital Transformation, Mikhail Fedorov, who claimed on May 26 that the man in the photo was Nikita Tretyakov from Rostov.

On May 26, the photo and the story of Valeria, the owner of the looted apartment, was published by Ukrainska Pravda. «I found it <the photo - The Insider> on May 14 under the carpet. Before that I saw that my Polaroid camera was damaged, and I didn't even turn it on (I thought they might have put something in it). And when I saw the photo, I realized that the soldier thought it didn't work, since the photo came out initially black. It needs time to develop,» Valeria said.

The woman claims that 10 pieces of gold jewelry are missing from her apartment, although the looters «did not take any crosses, even those with diamonds.»

After the publication of the article, Ukraine's Minister of Digital Transformation Mikhail Fedorov wrote in his Telegram channel that the agency was able to identify the person in the photo. «With the help of artificial intelligence, we were able to identify this «selfie fan» and we found his page in VKontakte,» the post said.

Fedorov claimed the soldier in the photo was named Nikita Tretyakov, that he was from Rostov-on-Don and was almost 26 years old.

The journalists from Vazhniye Istorii provide their own version:

«This is Pavel Pilantov, 25, a native of Kandalaksha (Murmansk region). Pilantov is an athlete, a rower - he is a winner of the St. Petersburg government prize «For Achievement of High Results in Official International and All-Russian Sports Competitions.»

The article claims that Pilantov now lives in Pskov and serves in the 104th Guards Airborne Assault Regiment (military unit 32515): in March this regiment, among others, was engaged in cleansing Irpin, Bucha and other settlements in the Kyiv region.

«The record to the effect that Pavel Pilantov's belongs to one of those units is contained in a leaked court bailiffs' database. They have been trying several years to collect debts from Pilantov – in respect of loans, communication services, etc., for a total of over 70,000 rubles. He is on the bailiffs' wanted lists in the Pskov and Novgorod regions,» the journalists say.

Pilantov's father refused to comment on the information. «Journalist? Go fuck yourself!», he told to a correspondent.

The version offered by Vazhniye Istorii is more likely to be true because the man in the Polaroid photo has dark eyes, like Pilantov's, and not light-colored ones, like Tretyakov's. Besides, the Rostov resident has continued to use his social media account while Russian servicemen are usually not allowed to do this: Pilantov, for example, has not updated his VKontakte page since April 12.

«Not only that, but on May 3, Tretyakov was definitely home, in the Perm region - making a mural in memory of his friend who had died of cancer and frying kebabs,» the article says.

Finally, Tretyakov's sister Polina Kazarinova says her brother has not been serving in the army for several years now and did not leave the country in 2022.

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