Bellingcat+ Your Authors @bellingcat Award-winning open source investigation. Want to donate? See here: Aug. 07, 2019 1 min read + Your Authors

Five years ago, Russia launched a series of intense artillery attacks from its own territory into Ukraine, mostly targeting Ukrainian Armed Forces positions. In a 2016 report, we confirmed at least 149 separate artillery attacks were conducted in 2014. 

All of our data is openly available for all to see, verify, and analyze, thanks to the extensive work of @SeaninDK (who led the report's research) and our other team members. 

Most people who follow Ukraine have seen this video -- a Russian artillery attack staged near the Russian city of Gukovo. But this is just one of literally hundreds of such attacks that happened in July-August 2014. Russia was just they dumb enough to do it near a city here.

We were able to investigate these attacks due to the fact that there was a huge amount of free satellite imagery on Google Earth showing both the craters of the artillery shells, and marks at the firing sites in Russia. Each crater is a geometry equation, showing its firing site.

One artillery crater (each yellow line) has a pretty big margin of error -- you have to consider things like wind speed, inaccuracy from the Grad, soil density, and so on. But average (red line) the trajectory of 200 craters in one field? You get led right back to the firing site

For a much more visually appealing presentation of this research, check out a 2015 piece from @guardian that made it into a very nice video and set of images: 

You can follow @bellingcat.


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