Bellingcat Weekly Newsletter: December 11, 2016
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New Bellingcat Investigation Release

On December 21 2016, Bellingcat will publish its latest report on the conflict in Ukraine: "Putin's Undeclared War - Summer 2014 Russian Artillery Strikes against Ukraine."

Using Bellingcat's crater analysis methodology on publicly available satellite imagery published on Google Earth, the Bellingcat Investigation Team has identified hundreds of craters fields inside of Ukraine, and hundreds of artillery positions inside Russia. Based on Bellingcat's analysis we have come to the following conclusions:

  • Artillery units of the Russian Armed Forces fired attacks in at least 149 separate occasions against Ukraine in the summer of 2014. Another 130 locations were judged likely to have been used as artillery positions.
  • 408 artillery target sites inside Ukraine within range of Russian artillery systems have a trajectory crossing the Ukrainian-Russian border, 127 of them are within 3km of the Russian border.
  • In total, as evidenced by the number of impact craters, thousands of artillery projectiles were fired by the Russian military on targets inside Ukraine in the summer of 2014.
Due to the current lack of publicly-available satellite imagery evidence and the rigid classification criteria used, these figures represent lower bound estimates of the true numbers of artillery attacks. In other words, there were likely considerably more than 149 attacks, as already indicated by the 130 further likely artillery positions. Furthermore, it can be stated:
  • Artillery attacks of the Russian Armed Forces from Russian territory began from early July 2014 and increased in frequency and scale into August and September 2014.
  • Cross-border artillery attacks can be found in the entire border area of the conflict zone in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Due to the frequency, spatial distribution, and scale of the artillery attacks considered in this report, it is impossible to consider these attacks merely as accidents or as the actions of rogue units. These attacks can only therefore be considered as acts of war of the Russian Federation against Ukraine.

The embargoed version of the report and images from the report can be found here (alternate link to report).

A Russian version of the report will be ready for the December 21, 2016 launch of the report.

The following links will contain a summary of the report and a link to the full report on December 21st 2016 after 1500 GMT 1700 EET. Please link to these in any articles you publish on the report:

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