Civilian Harm as a Result of Alleged Russian Airstrikes

Several years of monitoring alleged Russian airstrikes in Syria reveals a pattern of indiscriminate targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure. In an analysis of 3303 videos documenting alleged Russian airstrikes from 116 sources between 30 September 2015 and 9 September 2018, Syrian Archive has identified 1418 incidents in which Russian forces allegedly targeted civilians or civilian infrastructure of little to no military value. Content included in this database can be viewed, analysed and downloaded.

A timeline of weekly alleged Russian airstrikes on Syrian civilians and civilian infrastructure is provided below:

While data presented in this collection does not include all incidents of alleged Russian airstrikes on civilians between 2015 and 2018, it presents all incidents for which visual content was available and verifiable as of the date of publication. Syrian Archive hopes this will support reporting, advocacy, research, and accountability efforts.

These databases includes verified videos that show:

  • Airstrikes published by the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD)
  • Casualties as a result of alleged Russian attacks including children and women
  • People being treated in medical facilities and other locations including children and women as a result of the alleged Russian attacks
  • Remnants of munitions used in alleged Russian attacks
  • Alleged Russian attacks impact sites, including civilian homes, mosques, schools, bakeries, hospitals, markets, and cultural properties
  • Alleged Russian attacks against humanitarian relief personnel and objects
  • Alleged Russian attacks on water sources
  • Witness testimonies of alleged Russian attacks from victims, medical workers, and civilians through video interviews
  • Information about locations of alleged Russian attacks
  • Details on names of people killed or affected as a result of alleged Russian attacks
  • Rescue missions by humanitarian groups to help victims of the alleged Russian attacks
  • Engineering experts removing the remnants of unexploded munitions
  • Russian aircrafts launching airstrikes on civilian locations

This open source database is fully searchable and queryable by date, location, keyword, relevance, and confidence score. It consists of two collections: 1) various documentation efforts of citizen journalists, media groups, humanitarian groups, human rights groups and others in Syria, and 2) archived and geolocated videos published by the Russian Ministry of Defence. Both collections have been fully verified by Syrian Archive staff.

Added value

There have been several efforts by various parties to document atrocities and human rights violations committed by Russian forces in Syria. These include efforts by the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic and by many human rights monitoring organisations (e.g., Syrian Network for Human Rights, Violations Documentation Center, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Syrian American Medical Society, Syrians for Truth and Justice, and many others).

The added value of the publication of this collection is that every piece of data is preserved, verified, standardised, and clustered into incidents.

Additional metadata has been added to the database, making it to be searchable. This is useful for journalists, lawyers and human rights monitors, and investigators for reporting, advocacy and accountability work.

It is possible to search the database using keywords. This means a user can search for attacks, filtered by the use of particular munitions, a particular location, or a particular type of target (e.g., medical facilities). Results can be sorted by relevance, date or the number of videos and reports provided for each incident. The map and timeline can be used to see the scale and breadth of attacks.

Here you can find the full investigation as well as the database.

Bellingcat’s research for this publication was supported by PAX for Peace.