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Planet Satellite Imagery Shows Bridge Built by Russians Across Euphrates

October 3, 2017

By Narine Khachatryan

Translations: Русский

This post was originally by Bellingcat for Planet Stories.

In late September, Russian media outlets reported that the Russian military built a bridge across the Euphrates River near the city of Deir ez-Zor in Syria. Specifically, RT reported on September 26 that Russian military personnel had managed to build the bridge in fewer than 48 hours, despite constant shelling from Islamic militants.

“Drones were deployed. During the installation work, explosives and grenades were falling on us. Nevertheless we have no losses, neither wounded nor killed. Everything was erected on time,” head of the road service of the Russian Defense Ministry, Vladimir Burovtsev was quoted as saying.

Thanks to satellite imagery from Planet Labs, Bellingcat was able to verify the Russian official’s claim that the build was indeed built in fewer than 48 hours. An image from September 23, for example, does not show any signs of a bridge over the river, while an image from two days later, September 25, shows the newly-constructed, full-length bridge, confirming the claim that the military personnel had managed to build it in a mere two days.

September 23 and 25, 2017 (©2017 Planet Labs, Inc. cc-by-sa 4.0)


The forces of the Russian and Syrian military, along with allied forces, crossed the Euphrates with the help of pontoon bridges and boats before the quick construction of the new bridge.

The first images of the new bridge in use appeared on September 26, with a video from RT showing KamAZ trucks crossing the river with the help of the new bridge.

Narine Khachatryan

Narine is a Yerevan-based journalist/translator who focuses on social, economic, human rights and political issues in Armenia and the South Caucasus. Prior to joining Bellingcat, she worked with a group of independent journalists, seeking to provide reliable and unbiased information to the public.

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  1. Batsirai Mazibiye

    At least on this one, Bellingcat was able to recognise that the Russians have one of the best military brains in the world. We were sick of your demonising the Russians at every turn.

  2. Christopher McBride

    I’ve had this idea for years–put on paper during ‘Special Regime’–(solitary confinement) in Belmarsh. So obvious–Thousands of unemployed Russian, Brit, German, African etc,. workers and troops. We can build a Solar power station in the empty Sahara which can power 2-3 major cities. We can defend our right to do it too! The opening up of space for development of international productive force, (culture–the working class) has a fine place to start here!!

  3. Bcksqd

    Nothing better to do than to verify if a bridge was really built in 48 hours?
    And if it wasn’t? What then?


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