the home of online investigations

Putin’s Undeclared War: Summer 2014 – Russian Artillery Strikes against Ukraine

December 21, 2016

By Sean Case

Translations: Русский

Download full report 

Скачать полную версию доклада 

Click here for a one-minute introductory map tour that gives the main findings and context of this report.

The below text is an extract from the full report. The interactive data map underlying all of the findings discussed can be found here.

Summary

Terms such as civil war or internal conflict are often used to describe the war in Eastern Ukraine. However, the available evidence no longer supports this view. During summer 2014, Ukrainian officials and also the U.S. government were already publicly stating that the Russian military were active in the war. A number of subsequent reports have corroborated these claims, documenting the presence and death of Russian servicemen in Eastern Ukraine, as well as the existence of Russian military equipment inside Ukraine.

In this report, an under-reported aspect of Russian military involvement in the conflict is fully investigated: artillery attacks against Ukraine in summer 2014. In previous reports such attacks were proven to have occurred on several occasions, but these reports could not fully describe the real extent of these attacks. Using open source evidence, this report attempts to document the full scale of the Russian artillery attacks against Ukraine in summer 2014.

Building on the preceding reports, the intention of this report is to document the full scale of Russian artillery attacks against Ukrainian forces in summer 2014. The entire border region in the conflict area was searched for potential firing positions or artillery target sites. In total, hundreds of relevant locations were identified. The main findings can be summarized as follows:

  • Artillery units of the Russian Armed Forces fired at least on 149 separate occasions attacks against Ukraine in the summer of 2014. Another 130 locations were judged likely to have been used as artillery position.
  • 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 3 km 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 here, these figures represent lower bound estimates of the true numbers of artillery attacks, i.e. 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 Donets’k and Luhans’k 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.
  • We invite all readers to access the interactive map to see for themselves all of the data used to create this report.
  • The following extracts give a brief overview of the methods in this report and of one of the case study areas considered in the full report.

Method

We surveyed the area inside Ukraine within 22 km of the Ukrainian-Russian border in the Donets’k region, and the Luhans’k region border as far as Nyzhnya Vil’khova. Inside Russia, the entire area of the Rostov region adjacent to the search area in Ukraine was surveyed. The search for attack sites or firing positions was done manually, primarily using Google Earth, and repeated for the different satellite imagery dates. Within the search area, 2254 potential relevant sites were identified and considered. 518 of the identified features are artillery crater attacks sites inside Ukraine, while 305 were classified as potential firing positions in Russia or close to the border inside Ukraine. Note that the 305 potential positions describe the number of potential strikes from the positions.

Each potential firing position was classified by two analysts; if there was no agreement between the two analysts, a third opinion was obtained. Only if two analysts agreed on the classification, a site is considered as a ‘likely’ firing position. 279 out of the identified 305 potential positions were classified as likely firing positions. Likely firing positions were evaluated according to the likely type of artillery used, facing direction, date of appearance in satellite imagery, and number of visible marks. If visible marks strongly implied outgoing fire, the positions is classified correspondingly. For each position, an ‘aiming trajectory’ was also estimated.

Attack sites within Ukraine were evaluated in terms of size of attack (small: 10 or less visible craters, medium: 10 to 100, and large: >100), date of appearance on satellite imagery, and trajectory. The trajectory was evaluated using a technique based on US military analysis and was similar to that used in previous Bellingcat reports, a scientific report, and as evidence in the court trial of Nadiya Savchenko. Due to time constraints, it was impossible to fully evaluate the trajectories of each-one of the many thousands of artillery craters across the 518 attack sites. Therefore, in order to determine a general trajectory bearing in this report, five craters were selected from each attack site, and the trajectory was evaluated based on this sub-sample.

Furthermore, we attempted to determine which of the attack sites in Ukraine were linked to specific artillery firing positions in Russia. First, we determined the facing direction of the firing positions as described earlier in this section. Second, we determined the trajectory of the attacks. To account for the uncertainty in trajectory, the bearing derived was converted into a cone buffer with a bearing variation of 6° on each side The attack site and firing position trajectories were than intersected over markers indicating the centroid of the attack site and the firing position. Only attack sites that were ‘double-matched’ were retained.

Case Study – Artillery attacks from the Kuybyshevo area

The region with the highest density of likely firing positions is the area around Kuybyshevo, Russia. On the other side of the border (inside Ukraine), the area around the strategic important height Savur-Mohyla and the Marynivka-Kuybyshevo border crossing was contested in July and also August 2014. In July, the supply route for the forward Ukrainian army units based the border area led through this contested area. The Marynivka-Kuybyshevo border crossing was captured by the ‘separatists’ on 14.08.2014.

There is evidence suggesting that some cross-border attacks had already occurred in this area before 17.07.2014. It is also possible to identify some likely firing positions in Russia or inside Ukraine less than 2 km from the border in the available 16.07.2014 satellite imagery. Between 16.07.2014 and 26.07.2014, new likely firing positions, mainly identified as field or self-propelled howitzer positions, become visible inside Russia on satellite imagery. However, it was also possible to identify MLRS blast marks in the area already on 20.07.2014. After 26.07.2014, the satellite imagery coverage of the entire area is less complete. Nevertheless, the many visible firing positions visible on the imagery available to us, shows that the vicinity of Kuybyshevo was used as one of the primary staging areas for cross-border artillery attacks in the summer 2014 conflict.

The figure above presents four selected areas with likely firing positions in the Kuybyshevo area. The imagery in the first row shows two early likely firing positions, visible for the first time on the 16.07.2014 satellite imagery. One of them is located inside Ukraine, one is inside Russia, but both do not show signs of outgoing fire. The imagery in the last column shows the likely firing position inside Ukraine and the path that the vehicles likely used to cross the border, which is not visible in 02.07.2014 imagery, in this area. A third likely position inside Ukraine is at the end of the visible path leading further to the north.

The second row shows an area with at least three likely firing positions. The 23.07.2014 satellite imagery was presented in summer 2014 by the NATO Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe as evidence for Russian cross-border attacks. Already, on the 20.07.2014 imagery, six self-propelled howitzers are visible in firing position in this area. In the 23.07.2014 imagery, again six self-propelled howitzers are visible. However, also two crossing lines with marks indicating outgoing fire are visible just south of the howitzers.

The third row shows an area which was used twice as a firing position for MLRS attacks against Ukraine. The first attack, leaving two distinct blast marks, occurred between 16.07.2014 and 20.07.2014. The blast marks indicate outgoing fire in north-westerly direction. On 15.08.2014, three new blast marks are visible in the same area. The attack firing towards the north must have been occurred between 02.08.2014 and 15.08.2014.

The last row shows another location with blast marks indicating outgoing MLRS fire. No such marks are visible on 15.08.2014. In the 04.09.2014 satellite imagery, two large blast marks are clearly visible in the area. Additionally, the 05.09.2014 imagery shows two vehicles in position. Because of their length of approximately 12 m, it can be assessed that the visible vehicles are likely BM-30 Smerch MLRS launchers.

In total, more than one hundred likely firing positions could be identified in the area around Kuybyshevo The map below shows the development over time. On the left, only likely firing positions which were visible before 17.07.2014 are considered, in the middle, all likely firing positions visible in the available satellite imagery until 03.08.2014 are presented. Note that for large parts of the area east of Ivanovo-Yasinovka no further imagery after 26.07.2014 is available for this period (until 03.08.2014). The right map shows all identified firing positions in the area in the summer of 2014.

The left image showing the early situation (before the downing of MH17) reveals that only a limited number of firing positions could have been identified in the satellite imagery. However, there are already a number of artillery target sites inside Ukraine in proximity of the likely Ukrainian camp near the Marynivka-Kuybyshevo border crossing with trajectories pointing towards the Ukrainian-Russian border. This suggests that a number of cross-border artillery attacks occurred in this period.

Around two weeks later (by the end of 02 August), a larger number of additional likely firing positions, with and without signs of outgoing fire, are visible. Furthermore, it can be noted that the number of artillery target sites inside Ukraine has been considerably increased. Between the new firing positions and attacks sites a number of potential links could be established (discussed further in the full report).

The final map showing the situation at the end of the summer 2014 reveals that further attacks were launched from this area in August and September 2014. A number of new likely firing positions and attacks sites are visible in the satellite imagery. Compared with the situation in early August, a number of these new firing positions are located closer to the Russian-Ukrainian border, and also some of these attacks sites are much deeper inside Ukraine..

The preceding extract was just a small part of the full report, which you can download here.

The data underlying this report is provided freely under the license: Creative Commons 0 Public Domain Dedication 1.0.

Sean Case

Sean’s work for Bellingcat is focused on the use of artillery systems during the Ukrainian conflict.

Join the Bellingcat Mailing List:

Enter your email address to receive a weekly digest of Bellingcat posts, links to open source research articles, and more.

172 Comments

  1. Feanor

    Alex Stepanyk

    “De-russifying” yourself when a large chunk of your population is Russian, hardly qualifies as an attempt to “get well”. Given the ugly rise of nationalism in Ukraine, reasoning such as this lies at the root of the current conflict.

    On the subject of the USSR, it should be understood that unlike Nazi Germany which was a brief aberration, the USSR existed for much longer, and shaped people and countries in a much more permanent manner. I agree that there should be more open-ness about investigating what took place in the Soviet Union but the petty nationalism (similar to the behavior of other ex-colonies) that has sprouted up after the fall of the Soviet Union is a bigger immediate problem.

    At the end of the day, when a giant chunk of your population speaks Russian as their native language, has friends and family in Russia, and their jobs and livelihood depend on Russia, trying to “de-Russify” the country is a bad idea. Not to mention that it doesn’t answer the question of what to do with territories that don’t want to be de-Russified, like Crimea. Considering the behavior of the current Ukrainian government, I don’t see how you can possibly claim that Ukraine is trying to get well. It’s more corrupt then ever, more repressive then ever, and economically it’s in the gutter and not making any serious efforts to get out of it. None of this shows a country getting well.

    As far as I can tell, the Ukrainian national elite is only opposed to Russia for one reason. They don’t want to get roped into another empire building project. All they want to do is be left alone to rob their population blind. None of this bodes well for the future of Ukraine as nation state or the Ukrainian people.

    Reply
    • Bohdan

      Hi Feanor (is that your real name?),

      > “De-russifying” yourself when a large chunk of your population is Russian, hardly qualifies as an attempt to “get well”.

      First of all, “large chunk” is actually a “small chunk”, and should be well under 20% now. I remember it being about 24%, counting with Crimea and all of Donets’k and Luhans’k regions.

      Secondly, despite well over 74% (with Crimea and Donets’k/Luhans’k) self-identifying as Ukrainians, the Russian language is used way more than that – and this is the problem which needs to be fixed. This is why “de-russifying” is the right thing to do.

      If I have not made this clear enough: nowadays Ukrainian language needs protection and help, not Russian.
      And this is also the integral part of building a healthy, well-doing civic society.

      Finally, Russia’s continued claims about “oppression of Russian speakers in Ukraine” is just propaganda which has nothing in common with reality – visit Ukraine and see for yourself… Sadly, you’ll see and hear more Russian than Ukrainian in most places. Again – this is the problem which needs fixing.

      Also, show me at least 1 Ukrainian school and/or 1 Ukrainian library in Russia – where several million Ukrainians live. There are none. Thus, I don’t give a **** about russian claims as long as they continue the policy of destroying and suppressing anything non-russian. (Let me also mention that Russia is home to a number of local/aboriginal languages which are on the brink of extinction or already gone. Putin, Lavrov, and Churkin should shove their dirty tongues into their own ***** every time they mention “oppression”. But I digress a bit.)

      > Given the ugly rise of nationalism in Ukraine, reasoning such as this lies at the root of the current conflict.

      Either you don’t know what nationalism is (hint: look it up!), or you assume everyone else doesn’t know.
      Either way – shame on you. This is not an argument intelligent people should be bringing up.

      If this wasn’t clear enough: I’m proud to be Ukrainian (as in: a citizen of Ukraine, though also ethnically), I know Ukrainian anthem by heart, and I carry Ukrainian national flag with pride during world sport events (football, boxing, Olympic games, etc).

      I challenge you to say that you despise of your nationality/country of origin.
      Please do that – show how not to be an “ugly nationalist” 🙂 🙂 🙂 (and do lookup “nationalism”, please? pretty please?)

      =skip=
      I agree with your paragraph on USSR.

      =skip=
      > it doesn’t answer the question of what to do with territories that don’t want to be de-Russified, like Crimea.

      (I happen to have lived some years in Germany, thus the example below.)
      Think of it this way: which language do you speak when you enter a German supermarket?
      I hope you guessed: it is German.
      Now guess: which language was I speaking at home, while living in Germany?
      I’m sure you guessed this one, too: Ukrainian.

      My vision of “de-russification” is the use of Ukrainian as the common language by default – like German in Germany.
      And seeing you contradict that Germany is a mono-ethnic country: quite the opposite is true.
      The ideology of multi-culturalism has been state-supported for a long time now,
      not even to mention millions of Turkish people settling in some decades ago.
      (It is a bit too early to speak about Syrian refugees, although I personally know 2 Syrians who live in Germany – and both speak German better than I do.)
      There are also quite a lot of Russians who escaped the misfortunes of the motherland.
      However, in spite of all the multi-ethnic diversity and a large proportion of ethnic Turkish people,
      the default language of speaking to a a person you don’t know is still German.

      Tell me if that is too much to ask for.
      And then also tell me, which language you yourself use when talking to a stranger in your country, and why.

      > Considering the behavior of the current Ukrainian government, I don’t see how you can possibly claim that Ukraine is trying to get well.

      Sorry, that statement of yours is BS.

      > It’s more corrupt then ever, more repressive then ever, and economically it’s in the gutter and not making any serious efforts to get out of it.

      BS as well.

      My response is too long already, but I’ll gladly elaborate on your BS points next time, if you ask for that.

      > As far as I can tell, the Ukrainian national elite is only opposed to Russia for one reason. They don’t want to get roped into another empire building project. All they want to do is be left alone to rob their population blind. None of this bodes well for the future of Ukraine as nation state or the Ukrainian people.

      Bull’s eye: this definitely used to be the case!
      It’s also obvious that this problem is not just going to evaporate in an instant, or even in a few years.
      However, I’d say that this problem is on a decrease now, and both current and previous (Yatsenyuk) governments are definitely a huge improvement over the Moscow’s puppet Yanukovych times.

      Reply
      • Feanor

        Hi Bogdan.

        No, Feanor is not my real name. It’s a character from Tolkien’s Silmarillion.

        Hi Feanor (is that your real name?),

        >First of all, “large chunk” is actually a “small chunk”, and should be well under 20% now. I remember it being about 24%, counting with Crimea and all of Donets’k and Luhans’k regions.

        20% is a large chunk. It’s far from a majority but it’s a significant minority. That having been said, I’m not trying to imply that Russians make up a majority in any significant province in Ukraine at this point. It’s also important to consider that Ukrainian language and culture have been heavily affected by their interaction with Russia over the centuries. Much of the “de-russification” turns into inventing a new identity that many ethnic Ukrainians don’t necessarily agree with. There is a distinct Ukrainian national identity, especially distinct in rural areas where tradition remains strong, but de-Russification is frequently (in practice) less about that and more about anti-Russian rhetoric. Prime example, the laundry list of banned books and films that Ukraine has created and has been constantly expanding. Hardly sound policy.

        >Secondly, despite well over 74% (with Crimea and Donets’k/Luhans’k) self-identifying as Ukrainians, the Russian language is used way more than that – and this is the problem which needs to be fixed. This is why “de-russifying” is the right thing to do.

        You see personal choice in use of language as a problem? I disagree. I think fundamentally the most important aspect of a liberal democracy is individual freedom. Ukrainian attempts to wipe out use of Russian language have been misguided and fundamentally anti-democratic.

        >If I have not made this clear enough: nowadays Ukrainian language needs protection and help, not Russian.

        I would argue that neither needs help. In western Ukraine, Ukrainian is spoken routinely and clearly, and there is even a significant portion of the population that doesn’t speak Russian at all. What makes you think the Ukrainian language needs help?

        >Finally, Russia’s continued claims about “oppression of Russian speakers in Ukraine” is just propaganda which has nothing in common with reality – visit Ukraine and see for yourself… Sadly, you’ll see and hear more Russian than Ukrainian in most places. Again – this is the problem which needs fixing.

        Sorry but I have visited Ukraine and I’m familiar with the country. The oppression of Russian language speakers in Ukraine, the way Russia describes it, is indeed propaganda. However there has been a directed state policy coupled with a certain level of media hysteria around the use of the Russian language. There were several notably ugly incidents including a public scandal and newspaper smear campaign of an artist that drew fish on the walls of a children hospital a dared to label some of the fish in Russian. Incidents like these show a tendency for fairly ugly nationalist elements (that are truly an insignificant minority, they can’t win an election to save their life) have undue influence on public discourse and the general situation.

        >Also, show me at least 1 Ukrainian school and/or 1 Ukrainian library in Russia – where several million Ukrainians live. There are none. Thus, I don’t give a **** about russian claims as long as they continue the policy of destroying and suppressing anything non-russian. (Let me also mention that Russia is home to a number of local/aboriginal languages which are on the brink of extinction or already gone. Putin, Lavrov, and Churkin should shove their dirty tongues into their own ***** every time they mention “oppression”. But I digress a bit.)

        This is deceptive. First off, a google search for “украинские школы в россии” yields interesting results. Second off you omitted the word “public”. There are private educational establishments that operate in Russia. That having been said, world-wide many smaller ethnicities have seen their culture erode in the face of globalization. Nor is this anything new. Most current European countries were composites of multiple provinces quite a few of which spoke separate dialects and even different languages. France is a great example in this regard. It’s true that Russia has made very little effort to preserve these cultures in recent days but that is less a product of malice more just the fact that Russia is a moderately authoritarian oligarchy whose leadership cares little for issues such as these. If your point is that Russian government accusations are propaganda then you are correct. But the factual situation on the ground is more complex and more nuanced then you have presented.

        > Either you don’t know what nationalism is (hint: look it up!), or you assume everyone else doesn’t know.
        Either way – shame on you. This is not an argument intelligent people should be bringing up.

        How so? Svoboda and Right Sector are real organizations with very ugly roots and similarly ugly modern behavior. Despite representing a tiny portion of the population of Ukraine they are none the less given disproportionate influence in national politics. The post-Maydan cabinet of Ukraine included how many Svoboda members? And how many Rada deputies were they able to actually get elected? I suppose nationalism may be a word far too mild for parties that have advocated “cleansing Ukraine of Russians and Jews” but I suspect calling them fascists or neo-Nazis would have given me a similar reply from you so the point is moot. I strongly encourage you to look into the role these groups play in Ukrainian politics and into what kind of platform Svoboda had prior to the Maydan.

        >If this wasn’t clear enough: I’m proud to be Ukrainian (as in: a citizen of Ukraine, though also ethnically), I know Ukrainian anthem by heart, and I carry Ukrainian national flag with pride during world sport events (football, boxing, Olympic games, etc).

        I >challenge you to say that you despise of your nationality/country of origin.
        Please do that – show how not to be an “ugly nationalist” ? ? ? (and do lookup “nationalism”, please? pretty please?)

        This isn’t really nationalism. That’s ordinary patriotism. I have nothing against Ukrainian state symbols and while a certain intellectual once called patriotism “loyalty to real estate” what you describe is definitely NOT what I was referring to.

        >Think of it this way: which language do you speak when you enter a German supermarket?
        I hope you guessed: it is German.
        Now guess: which language was I speaking at home, while living in Germany?
        I’m sure you guessed this one, too: Ukrainian.

        >My vision of “de-russification” is the use of Ukrainian as the common language by default – like German in Germany.
        And seeing you contradict that Germany is a mono-ethnic country: quite the opposite is true.
        The ideology of multi-culturalism has been state-supported for a long time now,
        not even to mention millions of Turkish people settling in some decades ago.
        (It is a bit too early to speak about Syrian refugees, although I personally know 2 Syrians who live in Germany – and both speak German better than I do.)
        There are also quite a lot of Russians who escaped the misfortunes of the motherland.
        However, in spite of all the multi-ethnic diversity and a large proportion of ethnic Turkish people,
        the default language of speaking to a a person you don’t know is still German.

        >Tell me if that is too much to ask for.
        And then also tell me, which language you yourself use when talking to a stranger in your country, and why.

        I think the language one uses is a question of personal choice that should not be dictated by state policy.

        > BS as well.

        If you have a proper reply I’ll be sure to consider it. As it stands well reputed international organizations, such as Transparency International, have consistently rated Ukraine very poorly in terms of corruption. I will add that I have little interest in anecdotal evidence. If/when you reply, please provide sufficient data to support your claims.

        > As far as I can tell, the Ukrainian national elite is only opposed to Russia for one reason. They don’t want to get roped into another empire building project. All they want to do is be left alone to rob their population blind. None of this bodes well for the future of Ukraine as nation state or the Ukrainian people.

        >Bull’s eye: this definitely used to be the case!
        It’s also obvious that this problem is not just going to evaporate in an instant, or even in a few years.
        However, I’d say that this problem is on a decrease now, and both current and previous (Yatsenyuk) governments are definitely a huge improvement over the Moscow’s puppet Yanukovych times.

        Yanukovich turned down the sensible Customs Union treaty and led Ukraine into a recession because he was just as terrified of ending up beholden to Moscow as the rest. He was no puppet, though there are plenty of other bad words that could be used to describe him. Not that he’s fundamentally any different from Poroshenko.

        Reply
      • Mr.Bushkin

        Quote by Bohdan: “My vision of “de-russification” is the use of Ukrainian as the common language by default – like German in Germany.”

        That’s nonsense, since in Germany the choice of the official language is up to its federal subjects.

        For instance, Danish language is the second official language in Südschleswig and in Färöern (together with the French language) and there are many other examples of mutlipe official languages on the federal level in Germany.

        Reply
        • Mr.Bushkin

          … there are even two languages (“Hochdeutsch” and “Niederdeutsch/Plattdeutsch”) in Germany, while the first one is dominating.

          Reply
          • Bohdan

            Bushkin: your “two languages” argument is all of: incorrect (as there is indeed 1 standard German, and these are not “two languages”), incomplete (as there are many, many more German dialects than just two), and, finally, unrelated.

            How did you manage to achieve all three in one sentence? 🙂

          • Mr.Bushkin

            Bohdan, “Niederdeutsch” is a fully qualified language with own dialects, see for instance: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niederdeutsche_Sprache

            Dialects of “Hochdeutsch” and “Niederdeutsch” on the other hand are indeed dialects and belong the continuum of dialects of West German languages.

          • Mr.Bushkin

            Quote by Bohdan: “Bushkin: your “two languages” argument is all of: incorrect (as there is indeed 1 standard German, and these are not “two languages”), incomplete (as there are many, many more German dialects than just two), and, finally, unrelated.”

            Your attempts to explain, which language I speak in Germany are most entertaining.

            Your “Standard German”, or German Federal Standard German (not to be mixed with Austrian Standard German or with Swiss Standard German) is the normalized High German.

            Aside of High German (“Hochdeutsch”) there are approximately ten millions speakers of Low German (“Niederdeutsch”) and Frisian as fully qualified native languages of Germany.

            Quote by Bohdan: “[…] and, finally, unrelated”

            Is perfectly related, since your quote:

            “My vision of “de-russification” is the use of Ukrainian as the common language by default – like German in Germany.”

            … is utter bullshit, since in Germany nobody forces you to use the “German Federal Standard German” language by default and there were also no attempts to de-saxify or to de-frisify Germany.

        • Bohdan

          Bushkin, your argument is logically incoherent, and not within the original context – thus invalid.

          Also, what do you care?

          Reply
          • Sergey

            It is pretty easy to check facts these days. As you noticed in Germany, minority languages spoken just by 0.09% “have official status as well, usually in their respective regions.”
            en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Germany
            Actually, anywhere else in Europe, language spoken by such high percentage of population (>50%) would have a status of second official language. Same for example in Canada which has two official languages English (57%) and French (21%), and almost 10 regional languages. Everyone has the right to receive education and services from the federal government in his or her choice of official language.
            en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Canada#Canadian_Ukrainian
            And considering that there is similarly concentrated populations with Crimean Tatar, Hungarian, and Romanian languages, which can claim at least regional status and will never agree to Ukranization, the whole idea is stupid and only createed further polarization. If Ukrainian elites were smart, they would have passed long ago law to recognize Russian as a second official language to remove this issue from the political scene, instead in every election instead of discussing economy and corruption, the language and Ukranization become main topics of argument, with expected result for economy and politics. I actually have a friend political scientists who predicted civil war in Ukraine for a while precisely because of the issue of language and growing Ukrainian nationalism. It is revealing that the first law revolutionary government passed was canceling even regional status of Russian language in Ukraine. While Russia allowed three official languages (Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean Tatars) in Crimea. Probably big reason while Ukraine has a war in the Donbas which has highest concentration of Russian speakers, while Crimea is quite.

          • Mr.Bushkin

            Quote: “Bushkin, your argument is logically incoherent, and not within the original context – thus invalid.

            Also, what do you care?”

            Bohdan, your argument is logically incoherent, and not within the original context – thus invalid.

            Also, what do you care?

      • stranger

        Finally… after almost 3 years of constant flow of anti Russian hysteria here and in the most of the media, as more people understand what is actually going on and the trend is slowly reversing, now Ukrainians have to make excuses for themselves.

        De Russification is the big mistake. It started as an attempt to find a national identity to contradict themselves to Russians and revenge Russia and joined by the dark force of real deep anti Russian nationalists from the western Ukraine. In the country where all south east has deep historical ties to Russia, and even the president finds it difficult to speak Ukrainian and forgets the words, that is a dangerous game which leads to nowhere.

        Reply
        • Geo

          It’s so funny to see Russian trolls having the discussions, and happily agreeing with each other, about “how bad de-russification was in Ukraine” and that it “caused” the annexation of Crimea and war in Eastern Ukraine. Especially considering that Russian has been prepared for this war years in advance, just like it did for the war in Georgia. I understand that you have just been given new talking points. But boy, are war crimes in Syria perpetrated by Russian army also due to “de-russification”? No. It’s only due to your perpetual state of expansion, warmongering, hunger for power, and deep desire for dictatorship, both from ruling class and from the citizens.

          I can assure you that nobody is “reversing” the trend. Your problem is that you confuse “de-Sovietization” with “de-Russification”. You can’t stop de-Sovietization in former Soviet republics. But in terms of “de-russification” – the country that has done the most harm to Russian culture is Russia itself. You have always oppressed your cultural leaders, because they dared to disobey your tsars.

          As for Ukraine, a Russian-speaking Kiev will be always anti-Soviet, and a most tolerant but Ukrainian-speaking Lviv is always a welcome place for all nations, languages, and religions. Only those people who never been to Lviv would say otherwise. For years Russian power leaders have tried to create the image of western Ukrainians as some kind of Banderovtsy that hunt for Russian speakers day and night. Russia has raised the fears and hatered, trying to divide Ukraine within. When that failed, you resorted to tanks and direct invasion.

          But Russian propaganda works only in places where you control media and create FAKE stories – such as in Russia, or now in Crimea and Donbass now. You want Russian language as a 2nd language? That has never been a problem. The problem was that Russian minority didn’t want to learn Ukrainian language. But this is common for Russians around the world – they do this in Germany, in France, in US.

          Oh, it’s “civil war”, you say? The international criminal court disagrees. Are they also “de-russified”? Send tanks in Europe now! http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2016/11/20/international-criminal-court-russias-invasion-of-ukraine-is-a-crime-not-a-civil-war/#75cf2be67fec

          Reply
        • Bohdan

          stranger, what brings you here? You are clearly not Ukrainian – so what is your motivation? Are you, most likely, feeling guilty and trying to justify instead of accept? Or regretful, but not yet understanding the true reason? Or, maybe, rootless – as if suddenly losing your own identity? Why is it important for you to exhibit your xenophobic, anti-Ukrainian attitudes in a public place?

          Actually, you are a nice example of what I was describing to Feanor – the toxicity of (russian) mono-culture, and thus the importance of shielding, protecting against it – by weeding out any remnants of soviet/russian leftover slime.

          Reply
          • stranger

            I came here originally because I saw lots of anti Russian nonsense which I knew was not true and found some fun in proving the common sense things.

            Where am I xenophobic? Please give a citation!

            How are you going to get rid of Russian ‘leftovers’ in/on Ukraine if all your south east appeals to Russia? Kharkov – Russian city culturally, ask people who live there, everybody confirms you. Odessa was taken by Russia from Ottomans, the port city, the rich center of trading once upon a time, developed by Russian empire, etc etc. When Bogdan Khmelnitskiy joined to Russia as a protection from Poles, Ukraine was five times less than now. A lot of Russian speaking, Russian cultural territories were attached to Ukraine later, mostly by Bolsheviks, who then conducted Ukrainisation (!) of those areas.

            Whom are you going to derussify? The same own eastern ukrainians who don’t like the new nationalistic trend and don’t want to break up with Russia despite of everything? Did you ask them do they want it? You’ll get nothing but an internal conflict and breaking up with Russia.

          • Feanor

            Sorry but speaking in the particular, what exactly do you disagree about? Fundamentally, if Ukraine wants to be part of the EU and the west, Ukraine has to embrace a multi-cultural identity. In any major western country using terms like “de-Russify” towards any major ethnic group in those countries would be political suicide. It’s just not an acceptable form of state policy.

            And pray tell where have you described “Russian mono-culture” to me? What even is Russian mono-culture? Bohdan when you say things like “soviet/russian leftover slime” you sound as racist and xenophobic as the Ukrainian cabinet member who recently said that people in Ukraine’s south-east have inferior genetics. This is simply not how western style democracies operate. If Ukraine wants to have any hope of becoming a modern country, attitudes such as these are highly counter-productive. And, as it has been pointed out to you, have already contributed to the current conflict in Ukraine.

            The reality is that if Ukraine ever wants to become a stable nation-state it has to create room for all of the people currently living in it without forcing them into some centrally dictated paradigm of “Ukraine-ness”. Otherwise it’s doomed to failure. And given Ukraine’s neighborhood, failure could mean some very bad things for both Ukraine the country and Ukrainians as people.

    • Mr.Bushkin

      Feanor, the region with unrests through Anti-Russian rhetoric of “Euromaidan” escalated by the anti terror operation under usage of air force and rocket artillery is even historically named “New Russia” after the Ottoman Empire has been pushed out of there by Russian Empire.

      For instance, a de-hispanzation of USA would probably also cause plenty of unrest.

      Reply
      • Feanor

        Sure. Like I sad, the Ukrainian government handled the situation poorly from a statesmanship perspective.

        However politically it was brilliant. The Ukrainian elites got a war that they can blame the economic failures on (even though the recession started before the war) and they can keep milking the west for loans under the guise of “stopping the Russian invasion” while not making any of the reforms that the west demands of them. Finally the current conflict makes it very difficult if not impossible for Russia to use soft power against Ukraine. The Russian government was never very good at making use of that, and under the present circumstances they’re completely shut out of the internal situation in Ukraine.

        Like I said, Ukraine’s biggest problem is a thoroughly corrupt, unscrupulous, and fundamentally anti-Ukrainian national elite that cares for little more then lining their own pockets. If Ukraine remains in the hands of those people, it’s future is dark indeed, Russian misbehavior notwithstanding.

        Reply
      • Bohdan

        Mr.Bushkin, you need to write down your emotions in a more clear way… Right now it’s a spaghetti – and with lots of bad ones in there, eww…

        Euromaidan (better known as Revolution of Dignity) was not anti-russian per se – it was anti-corruption, anti-oppression, anti-soviet/pro-European. Yes, “soviet” and “russian” are still strongly synonymous, but this has nothing to do with the Revolution of Dignity. And yes, Russia was strongly opposed to the Revolution of Dignity – but again, Russia’s anti-Ukrainian stance is an attribute of Russia, and has nothing to do with the Revolution of Dignity.

        Secondly, air force was not used beyond about 2 weeks, because Russia supplied portable anti-aircraft launchers (and later supplied the now-famous BUK together with unit 332 crew – we all know how that ended). Hadn’t Russia intervened: thousands of people would be still alive, no factories would have been stolen by Russia from Eastern Ukraine, we would not have millions of internally relocated Ukrainians escaping Russian aggression, we’d have larger share of metals in exports, and so on and so forth. The MH17 would have safely landed at its destination.

        Unfortunately, Russia is an aggressive, mean neighbour – akin of a drunkard in a family neighbourhood – and is only interested in denying and destroying anything and everything Ukrainian.

        Finally, “new russia” is a myth: I especially like the Confederate battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia 😉

        Reply
        • Sergey

          Bohdan you should really learn how to distinguish propaganda from reality. Euromaidan was not anti-russian it was anti-corruption? Really? You see, groups which realy fight corruption, usually fight it independently from the political party in power, yet in Ukraine fight against corruption was only targeting Party and President representing Prussian speakers. How much anti-corruption protests do you remember during Yushenko/TImochenko administration? Pretty corrupt goverment, worst performance of Ukrainian economy until Poroshenko, how many protests? Zero? How many protests Right Sector and other nationalist parties had against corruption in Western Ukraine? Again zero, no corruption apparently? BY some reason they only care about corruption when there is President elected by Russian speakers. Where are wide spread protest against very corrupt very oppressive Poroshenko goverment? What are the main political effects of Euromaidan- President elected by Russian speakers-overthrown, Party of Regions representing interest of Russian speakers- dismantled, the second popular party of russian speakers, Communist, – forbidden, the war started in Russian speaking Donbas. Economy- again due to policy of current administration the russian speaking Eastern Ukraine suffer the most from blocking trade with Russia. First law passed by new revolutionary goverment- canceling status of Russian as regional language. Of course Euromaidan was anti-Russian, anti-Eastern Ukraine, just as a current war, it was mainly supported by Ukrainian speakers from Western Ukraine and not supported by russian speakers from Eastern Ukraine.

          Reply
        • Feanor

          Do you have any links to the numbers of internally displaced persons? Millions sounds like far too large a figure. Maybe a million but even that is a stretch. Certainly Ukraine has lost far more population to people immigrating over the past 3 years then it has had to accommodate because of this current conflict. The last time I saw demographic figures, the area currently under rebel control held iirc 4.5 million people. The total sum for the Donetsk and Lugansk regions was ~6.7 million by prewar figures.

          On the subject of use of air power. It hardly matters whether the destruction wreaked was through artillery and mortar use or through bombings. You’re correct, Russia shut down Ukraine’s air force though not with the ancient Buk systems handed over to the rebels. Actual Russian ПВО units entered with Tor and Pantsyr systems. This was what decided that issue.

          On the subject of the MH17, if Ukrainian air traffic control had re-routed plane away from the conflict zone like ETC suggested, it also would have landed safely.

          On the subject of New Russia or Novorossiya, no it’s not a myth. It’s just not a political term. It’s a geographic term that refers to the southern portion of the old Russian empire. Novorossiya includes places like Mariupol’, and Odessa, and Novorossiysk. The term was used because these territories were relatively newly acquired by the empire under various czars. They were organized into the Novorossiyskaya Governorship and the Novorossiysko-Bessarabskoe General-Governorship. The term fell out of favor with the Bolsheviks after the civil war. That having been said, if you read authors from Ukraine, Valentin Kataev for example, you will see them use the term Novorossiya. Again, it’s a geographic not a political term. Certainly not a myth.

          Reply
        • Mr.Bushkin

          Quote by Bohdan: “Euromaidan (better known as Revolution of Dignity) was not anti-russian per se – it was anti-corruption, anti-oppression, anti-soviet/pro-European. […]”

          In this case Russian language would still have its pre coup status of regional language and “Euromaidan” participants would not jump screaming “Who isn’t jumping, is a Russian.”: youtube.com/watch?v=YLiJbkAExb4

          Quote by Bohdan: “[…] Secondly, air force was not used beyond about 2 weeks […]”

          That’s a clear lie.

          Quote by Bohdan: “Finally, “new russia” is a myth: […]”

          As I said, this is the historical name of that region, see: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novorossiya

          If Ukrainian history differs from the official one, that’s rather a problem of Ukrainian history.

          Reply
    • Vitalii Tsybulyak

      Define the term “de-Russification” before using it. If it means restoring the natural proportion of language usage in media, culture, politics, and so on, than it is indeed is a good thing. What you “Nationalism” regarding Ukrainians is a natural state of mind of most nations.

      Reply
  2. Feanor

    >Saying situation in Ukraine’s media is WORSE than in Russia is laughable. There is NO media in Russia, only propaganda.

    Are you being literal or is this a hyperbole? If it’s the former, why don’t we end our conversation here. There’s hardly a point to continuing.

    >Or did you want to say that Ukraine’s current president is undemocratic and wishes to get all media under control? What do you expect from a founder of Party of Regions?! He is looking at Russia and thinking: “it would be nice to have as much control over media and people”. But he has position to his actions and general discontent of the public, which will probably doom him. You are saying that this is WORSE than what happened under Yalynkovich and dictatorship laws? Oh, really???

    Yes. Really. Look at statistics for political prisoners in Ukraine, for the current intimidation of Ukrainian bloggers by the SBU, by the giant rise in crime and the drastic drop in GDP.

    >Finally, comparing that with Russia – oh, that’s not an intelligent conversation. Go try to organize a demonstration in Moscow against Putin. Or at least to air a program with details of his corruption or the work of his troll and hackers factories. Good luck

    Yes. Personal commentary, always an indicator of quality analysis. Without getting into personal details, there have been protests against Putin in the past, including massive ones right after his last re-election. I think this is going to be my last reply to you. Your overall level of knowledge is laughable, your opinions are limited, and your vocabulary betrays a regrettable lack of education. I strongly encourage you to recognize the limitations of your own viewpoints, and if this subject truly interests you, spend a little more time researching facts. Facts. Not the analysis or opinions of others, but hard data.

    Good luck.

    Feanor

    Reply
    • Geo

      “vocabulary betrays regrettable lack of education”… Uh, what? I see the term troll really put you off. How about trolls that play “good troll bad troll” roles, appearing to engage in seemingly informative conversation, partially supporting the points of view of the other side, but with hidden agenda to push a particular idea and shift a conversation. In your case – that “everything is going badly in Ukraine and that it’s now worse than it was under Yalynkovich and certainly worse than under Putin, and that it’s not Putin who created the conflict but USA and Ukraine”. No, that’s not what your were saying and trying to do? Ah, yes, suuurreee

      “There have been massive protests in the past” – and the organizers are mostly in jail, while the laws have since been changed to prevent any such protests from ever happening again. “Knowledge” is what you have, huh? Ah, OK, you clearly showed it

      “Hyperbole” – no, I am quite serious. Was there media in Nazi Germany, or was there a carefully crafted propaganda machine masquerading as the media? That’s not simply a rhetorical question. Who is the “media” in Russia? Medusa? Or Dozhd? Surely you don’t want to prove that LieNews or RT or Zvezda or 1st channel or Rossia or NTV are media anymore? They are certainly producing content, true. Made up content. What’s a definition of “media”? Do you consider Fox News, or Breitbart News as media organizations? Really?

      “Researching facts” – like what? This site is specifically designed to research facts. Instead you are trying to lead conversations elsewhere.

      It’s really great that you promised to stop replying to my few comments, will take you at your word. If you have something specific to say about use of Russian cyber attacks, including phishing and social engineering, to sway opinions in social media and create fake stories and lead conversations off topic – I mean, based on your experience, – that would really be interesting. Maybe you can create your blog and post a link, and we all dumb uneducated fools will of course flood to your site. But here, all your opinions about Ukraine’s fault and that it was better before etc. – they have nothing to do with the FACTS. Nice for you to mention it. Let’s talk about FACTS here – Russian invasion of sovereign neighboring nation, it’s war crimes, it’s interference with Democratic processes in other countries, and it’s constant LIES. Hey, we could certainly discuss current Ukrainian elites, but better do this under another more relevant article

      Reply
  3. Яков

    Bellingcat correct an error! On the page of 41 coordinates (39.619566 39.357260) for “the average image” not true… conduct somewhere to Turkey
    For your work many thanks!

    Reply
  4. Samirr

    Russia is a Gas/Petro station

    Russian trolls are jealous that Ukraine is modernizing while the Russia is not.

    Is there really much more to say? Russians wAnt to be cavemen while Ukraine wants to join the the better part of the world.

    Reply
  5. Dude

    So, let me guess, rushka-trolls push two mutually exclusive lines in their comments:

    1) It never happened!
    2) So what if it happened, US and West are invading other countries too!

    Am I right? Hehe.

    Reply
  6. Mad Dog

    Nothing Russia does, up to and including shelling a neighboring country, is bad. Just ask stranger. It is all anti-Russian trash dreamed up with Photo-shop skills and feverish imaginations. Perhaps that is why there is such a rush for people to immigrant to Rodina….such a pleasant place.

    Reply
    • Sergey

      On March 1 2014, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych deposed by coup asked Russian President Putin ” to use the armed forces of the Russian Federation to restore the rule of law, peace, order, stability and the protection of the population of Ukraine” Considering that removal of Yanukovich was done through the coup and not supported by large part of Ukrainian population, Russia can claim quite legitimately that it was acting on the request from the legitimate President of Ukraine. “As legitimately elected president of Ukraine I declare. Events on the Maidan, the illegal seizure of power in Kiev, left Ukraine on the verge of civil war. There is chaos and anarchy, life, safety and rights of people, especially in the south-east and in the Crimea, -are threatened. Under the influence of Western countries there is open terror and violence, people are persecuted for language and political reasons. In this context I ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to use the armed forces of the Russian Federation to restore the rule of law, peace and order, stability and the protection of the population of Ukraine ”
      http://www.rt.com/news/churkin-unsc-russia-ukraine-683/

      Reply
      • Mad Dog

        How could the Russian forces restore anything like that when Prezzie Y was out to spend as much money as possible on himself! The safety and rights of the people were already absconded with by that scoundrel and the people just saw more of the same when he switched from the EU to Putin. He deserved to be punished, he deserves to be made accountable for the 88 lives lost at Maidan.

        Reply
        • stranger

          Putin is responsible for 88 deaths at Maydan?? Are you feeling well, no fever, blood pressure ok?
          Blame Ukrainian nationalists and provocateurs who incited people to attack police and capture administrative builing, who killed prominent maydan protesters from a short distance hiddenly in order to create sacral victims. Blame Clinton who wanted by any price calculated in people’s lives to prevent the integration of Ukraine and Russia. Blame venal mass media all over the world who fooled people with the “right” – nice ideological and absolutely deceiving picture from maydan.

          Reply
          • Mad Dog

            What? Putin is responsible for 88 deaths at Maydan?? Are you feeling well, no fever, blood pressure ok? I never said that, you just thought i did.
            Nice to know that you feel Clinton is Superwoman, I am sure she would be happy to heat that! You continue to blame her based on one statement. Sounds like the kind of evidence used in the Stalin Trials. Sorry, most courts in Europe need more evidence than that.

          • stranger

            Clinton was the Secretary of State, I don’t blame only her, she said that American government, special services, ambassadors, or whoever is in change of that was actually working intentionally to break up proposed possible Russian-Ukrainian union. She mentioned some practical actions. In the official position of the Secretary of State, one of the highest in American government, she was saying on behalf of America.

        • stranger

          Yanuk also tried to avoid victims, Nulland pressed him all the time to let crowd stay, not to try to disperse, that’s why maydan stayed for 3months, until the fire arms appeared from demonstrants, and when the opposition called the crowd to offence to the parliament building.

          Reply
        • stranger

          Think this way… If Yanuk had suppressed the crowd in the beginning exactly how the government fights untests in civilased Europe and recently in Washington DC, if he had introduced the state of emergency in Ukraine… There would have been all suffocating sanctions to Ukraine from US definitely. But there would have been NO all those snipers and fire wounded deaths at Maydan, no Crimea annexation, no war at Donbas, no harshest tensions and the new Cold War between our countries, no threat of the nuclear war, no nothing. Yanuk appeared too retarded and weak at the critical time.

          And what did Ukrainians gain from the revolution? Just were deceived by promises to be closer to Europe and finally join. Right now Europe is trying to take a law prohibiting joining Ukraine in any foreseeable future! The euro association appeared to be a fiction – Ukraine exhausted all its quotas for honey just in the first month of the year. Moldova is going to leave euro association since it is economically unprofitable. Ukraine is farther from Europe than it was with Yanuk. Corruption, oligarchies are still flourishing.
          But Clinton and Co can celibrate. They wanted to prevent “sovetization” a trade union or any closer integration of Ukraine with Russia to make both weak. They fully succeeded, weakened and isolated Russia. But they promised NOTHING to Ukraine, nobody promised the life would be better, that was not an aim.

          Reply
        • Sergey

          There is a lot of claims about money stolen by Yanukovich, what I have not seen yet is evidences one can take to European court. If I remember correctly Interpol removed Yanukovich and other former officials from its list because Ukrainian government in 3 years has not been able to provide Interpol with solid proof. Considering deaths on Maidan, there are good evidence that it might have been false flag operation. First three were killed from 3 m, with no evidence of police nearby, while many others seems were killed from building under control of Maidan revolutionaries as demonstrated back in 2014 by Canadian-Ukrainian Political scientist Ivan Katchanovski from University of Ottawa. Like Bellingcat Ivan used publicly available video and photos to analyze direction and time of the killing shots. The paper was peer reviewed and published, and I have not seen yet anybody to provide alternative explanations
          The “Snipers’ Massacre” on the Maidan in Ukraine
          (www.academia.edu/8776021/The_Snipers_Massacre_on_the_Maidan_in_Ukraine)
          While Ukrainian government still have not charged anyone despite having access to a lot more information, having witnesses, SBU intelligence, weapons and etc. Seems to be ballistic analysis does not correspond with government claims that killing was done by Berkut police. One simple explanation is that people responsible for killings are currently in the government, and have no interest in finishing investigation. Interestingly, soon after Ivan published his research Ukrainian court took away his parents’ house.

          Reply
          • Serge

            If you don’t know something, it does not mean that it does not exist
            – The EU again has extended the sanctions against Yanukovych until March 2017
            – No, Interpole remove information only from site. Yanukovych’s lawyers had filed a complaint and Interpol to restrict access until the complaint is resolved
            – Ivan Katchanovski is a liar and manipulator typical russian backed scum
            (http://ivan-katchanovski.blogspot.com/)
            – Proof, evidence and witness enough, anyone can go and see the holes from bullets and trajectory
            “That we are talking about an episode on Feb. 20 when charged with involvement in the executions of 26 “berkut”, five of whom are in custody, and held hearings. Others wanted. We sent, given the operational data that they can be in Russia, requests for their extradition from Russia. we extradition of 21 sent, but today came the answer that 12 people received citizenship of two of them – the right to temporary residence, ”
            “Just over 2.5 thousand on Maidan’s crimes investigated. Some who are in court, we can talk about their end”- told Gorbatyuk Head of special investigations of the Prosecutor General Ukraine 4.02.2017

            – Simple explanation is that you are a typical russian liar

          • stranger

            When you are saying Berkuts are in Russia, that means mostly in Crimea. When Berkut got an order to retire after Rada unlawfully announced there is no more the president, Berkut covered by the weapon to avoid the crowd to tear the apart retired to Crimes. That was a safe place for them, they were accepted as heroes in Crimea. Once Crimea had became Russia, they appeared in Russia or might have moved.

            How about the Berkuts saying they were fired by those snipers? How about Berkuts killed and wounded by bullets? How about 3 persons shot hiddenly at Maydan from a short distance from “cut rifles” Who fired on them all? The investigation in Ukraine is not yet over, the evidences like bullets, ballistics analyses have been lost….

          • stranger

            Also protesters, participants of Maydan received amnesty for all, even most serious crimes, related to the government overthrow, serious injuries and murders.

  7. Sergey

    Interesting comments from military forum. Did anybody looked into NATO mercenaries in Ukrainian army?:
    Putin had to admit after two of his GRU guys were captured (by CIA’s Georgian foreign legion aka Saakashvili’s USMC trained special forces incidentally, not the regular Ukrainian military) that some Russian servicemen were ‘performing certain tasks’ in Ukraine. Which if that counts as an invasion than Turkey and Saudi Arabia’s security services have invaded Syria thousands of times since 2011. However, what always gets left out of the story is that NATO assembled a Foreign Legion of its own to back the weak, poorly armed and incompetent Kiev junta shortly after it assumed power and Crimea broke away. Unless you want to tell me all those ‘Ukrainians’ who can’t speak a lick of Russian or Ukrainian or only speak it badly had nothing to do with NATO or that the dead ass broke new regime came up with the money to hire son of Blackwater PMCs like Greystone on its own (Bild am Sonntag and other German papers, as well as the UK Daily Mail, have never retracted their story about Blackwater types in Donbass from March/April 2014 ). Thus in Putin’s mind it was ‘well NATO is sending its mercenaries and proxies to my border, why shouldn’t I find my own Russian Blackwater aka Wagner and some paid volunteers willing to fight for the LDNR?’
    the counterbattery radars CLow mentions WERE sent to the Ukrainian Army, maybe not in large numbers, but enough to get captured along with some Humvees by the Novorossiya Armed Forces (aka Russian Foreign Legion plus a lot more Donbass natives than Kiev will ever admit) at Debaltsevo in February 2015. They are not jamming proof nor some sort of game changer. In fact DefenseOne reported citing Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges that Russian electronic warfare in the Donbass from systems deployed on the border was ‘eye watering’. The Ukrainians stopped using some of the encrypted radios the U.S. Army supplied because the Russian GRU ELINT warriors assumed if it was a U.S. encrypted comm there were American ‘vacationers’ or advisers there and they hammered many of those positions with arty and GRAD fire. So to those like CLow who think NATO can just quietly start slipping in more Poles, Croats or even Americans into the Ukrainian ranks on the front lines — and tell them to keep their mouths shut when they’re in Mariupol — I say you’re basically sending guys into a death trap. The corollary to the Estonian general’s anti-hybrid war solution of ‘shoot the first little green man invader you see’ is the Russian GRU general’s admonition, ‘triangulate and hammer the first Polish or English speaking Ukrainian Army position you detect near Donetsk’.
    “Not giving a second thought your partners in conversation told about ‘hundreds of killed Poles’ who were fighting for Kyiv and whose bodies were transported to Warsaw by plane but there is no proof of it.”
    You think he doesn’t know at least a handful of Poland’s ‘vacationers’ including snipers from the GROM? Has anybody looked at the number of ‘training accident’ deaths for our frontline NATO allies including Poland, Croatia and Latvia/Estonia/Lithuania since April 2014? I’d like to know. But Belsat and Warsaw Gazeta aren’t interested. Yes Russian TV exagerrates for propaganda purposes just how many foreigners are fighting with Kiev’s forces and what they get paid as ‘mercenaries’. But you think Robert P too many vowels didn’t leave himself some wiggle room there on unofficial official Polish combatants in Donbass there? I think he did. And a dead Pole in a UAF uniform looks just like a dead Ukrainian.
    warontherocks.com/2016/04/outnumbered-outranged-and-outgunned-how-russia-defeats-nato/

    Reply
  8. Samirr

    Much love to the Russian trolls, fake news ( same people ) not.

    Do your bosses actually thing you are achieving anything posting here?

    Russia is a failed state and Ukraine will thrive because Ukraine has friends and allies, while Russia has none except countries they bully.

    Trump is going to destroy the Russian Federation.

    Enjoy your economy and lack of allies

    Reply
    • Sergey

      Samirr, you do realize that your post provides no useful information relevant to the discussion and that by proper definition it is you who are troll “In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal, on-topic discussion,[3] often for the troll’s amusement.”

      Reply
        • Sergey

          Serge
          Would be useful if you had a references to your claims about Yanukovich and Maidan killing. My point is that Interpol removed him and a lot of officials from the wanted list, and EU actually removed some people from sanction list and removed some sanctions even from top accused, which means Ukraine has not been able to produce in three years enough criminal evidences of either $7.5 billion corruption or their involvement in Maidan killing despite having access to many witnesses, documents and a whole police and intelligence apparatus under their control.
          “European court has rolled back some penalties against the former Ukrainian president, his son, and his ex-chief of staff. The judges ruled that there was not enough evidence the trio misappropriated state funds.”
          http://www.dw.com/en/eu-lifts-some-sanctions-against-ousted-ukraine-leader-yanukovych/a-19555244

          EU suffers major court defeat on Ukraine sanctions
          Judges rule that putting Andriy Portnov on blacklist was based on flimsy accusations.
          http://www.politico.eu/article/eu-suffers-major-court-defeat-on-ukraine-sanctions/

          First Ivan Katchanovski is Ukrainian, not Russian, from Volyn Oblast, if you know Ukraine it is not pro-Russian region. Second he is trained researcher in political science, who done his PhD in American George Mason University and worked at Harvard University, State University of New York at Potsdam, University of Toronto, and at the Library of Congress. As you see little indication of KGB training. His academic publications include four books, five book chapters, and 16 articles in refereed journals.
          /uniweb.uottawa.ca/#!uottawa/members/1150

          Let me explain to you difference between blogpost and peer reviewed paper published in academic journal. With blogpost anybody can publish it and they can claim anything they want, and people often do. People claim that Moon landing never happened, that they were abducted by aliens, that Clinton run a children sex ring and etc. Do such bloggers get punished if they publish falsified information? Not. Would blogger lose his job? Not. There even seems to be incentive for bloggers to lie outrageously as it attracts people, and brings them money.
          To publish in reputable academic journal you usually need to have some qualifications, PhD is usual, which means person spend 4-5 years getting trained in research methods and analysis in specific field, person will likely work at University and has a reputation to uphold. For academic researcher reputation means everything, as if his peers catch him in lie, he will have great trouble with publishing anything, which means, he will not be able to get grants and his career will suffer “Publish or perish”. To get paper accepted in academic journal it usually is reviewed by three peer reviewers, specialist in the field, and editor, none of them has any interest to publish falsified information as again their reputation and journal will suffer. Does not guarantee that there are no mistakes, they do happen, but again there is no incentive to falsify information, because your paper will be out there forever, someday, somebody will catch up to your lies and you career will suffer. People often don’t realize how difficult is to falsify information, even if your paper is not checked in another lab, people will make some theories based on your paper, try to test them and them come back and take a hard look at your paper. I personally know few examples in stem cells and nanotechnology when people tried to falsify data and got caught.
          Now if you have specific questions about Katchanovski investigation why not ask him? Unless you start with accusations and claims of falsification, I’m pretty sure he will answer it. Concerning the side you mention, I have trouble with trusting a person who created a blog and Facebook page which in the first line says “Ivan Katchanovski is a falsifier of the Maidan massacre in Ukraine and contemporary history of Ukraine”. What Ivan trying to falsify, all contemporary history of Ukraine? I hope Putin pays him good money because it is a hell of the job for one person. If this was the honest analysis, the person might claim the problems with analysis of the data, but what is his proof that Katchanovski “falsify evidences”? Did Katchanovski falsified the data? Modified the videos or photos? Went to Ukraine and put holes in the trees to prove his theory? As no proof of falsification is given, I suggest your stick with “problems with analysis”. Also I often find that the claims against Katchanovski paper concentrate on analysis of photos showing Berkut shooting and bullets traces on walls and trees, while Ivan analyzed specifically shots which killed people. Berkut officers actually admitted of firing shots, but they claimed that they shot above the heads of protesters to prevent their advance and being overrun. Also Maidan investigation demonstrate that many protesters were killed with hunting bullets, which Berkut did not have, from the angles which does not correspond to Berkut location.
          “A forensic medical report, which was conducted for the GPU investigation in May 2014 and made public during the Maidan massacre trial found that Ihor Dmytriv was killed by a bullet that entered on the right side of the body and exited on the left side at a very steep angle almost 20 cm lower. (2:49:34-2:57:00)” youtu.be/GeuvRDSN__0?t=2h49m34s

          Again if you really interested in Maidan killing follow Ivan Katchanovski on Facebook, he following the government trial and publishes regular updates. Considering the role Maidan massacre played in overthrow of Yanukovich, and consequences of that overthrow (annexation of Crimea, civil war in Donbass) it seems to me we should make sure that the people currently in power in Ukraine, did not come to it through criminal means/
          http://www.facebook.com/ivan.katchanovski?fref=nf

          Reply
  9. Thijs

    It is interesting to note that the target location of the alleged bombing on the leftmost portion of this map https://017qndpynh-flywheel.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/julyaugsep.jpg seems to be within a kilometer distance of the suspected launch location of the BUK that shot down MH17 as shown on this map
    https://017qndpynh-flywheel.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/21.jpg (source: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2015/01/27/is-this-the-launch-site-of-the-missile-that-shot-down-flight-mh17/) .

    This would suggest that, according to data shared on BC, the launch location was under UA control.

    There seems to be a tunnelvision based on ample, circumstantial, evidence that Russian separatists or Russians shot down MH17. The strongest evidence comes from UA controlled data storages such as phone logs and phone taps that cannot be independently verified. Whereas other leads, as in an UA false flag operation, may not have received the research effort e.g. verifying UA BUK inventories, they may have deserved.

    Is BC indeed more of a propaganda channel than an independent open source research firm?
    Is there ever discussion?
    Was research published here that denies my hypothesis of potential bias or subjective information dispersal (propaganda)?

    Reply
  10. kgb

    it is truly hilarious to see pro russian children agree how bad it is that ukraine is itself and identifies as its own nationality. Oh im sorry you have been feed bullshit since you were in the womb and live in a society that is manipulated from the very person you praise, russians have no idea how backwards there thinking is compared to western people, i mean you insecure people made a whole term for being categorized..the term russophobia comes from the russian government itself and was campaigned to the russian people during Ukraines rise in nationalism, OH SHIT im sorry that people in another country disagreed with the russian mindset of corruption and overthrew there russian puppet of a president, Hahah majority of people in the east are terrified of DNR LNR forces, they are thugs criminals and rapists, all they do is benefit from the russian plan to erode ukraines nationalism and murder its people.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)