the home of online investigations

You can support the work of Bellingcat by donating through the following link:

Geolocating the June Russian Buk Convoy in Millerovo

November 8, 2014

By Eliot Higgins

One of a series of videos that shows a convoy containing the Buk linked to the downing of MH17 was reportedly filmed near the town of Millerovo. The following demonstrates how it’s possible to use a combination of satellite map imagery and Google Street View imagery to find the exact location the video was filmed.

The video was originally uploaded here, with the date and time on the camera shown to be 11:31am on June 25th.

Based on details visible in the video it seems clear the video was filmed on this road running south of Millerovo towards the Ukrainian border 25km to the west, with the road in Ukraine continuing to rebel held Luhansk.

Google Streetview in that area ends at the point where the video begins.

There’s a number of elements of the Streetview image and video that matches. For example, here the position of large poles and the shape of the tree line matches


At the start of the video, on the right hand side of the road the small pole with a blue sign is also visible (left three images from the video, right hand image from Google Streetview)


Several elements visible in the Streetview image are also present in the satellite map imagery, and are visible in the video. The matches between the satellite imagery (from Yandax Maps) and the Streetview image is shown below


4Green = The billboard that’s is just out of view at the start of the video.

Red = Four large poles, either side of the road.

Yellow = A large sign on the north side of the road.

Pink = Two rows of smaller poles.

8 seconds into the video the large sign on the north side of the road is visible, just before the large poles, and the two rows of smaller poles

5Slightly further along the road the large poles are visible, as are individual smaller poles

6After 6 of the smaller poles pass by next to the road, the tree line ends and opens up to a large field. It’s possible to count 6 of the small poles in the video and on the satellite map before the tree line ends.


8It’s also possible to count the number of smaller poles the car passes, and based on this we can say the car stops at the end of the video at the 9th pole, shown below in red, with a sign on the right hand side of the road also visible, shown below in yellow

9 10

Also visible are scattered trees to the left of the car visible on the satellite map imagery

11 12


Eliot Higgins

Eliot Higgins is the founder of Bellingcat and the Brown Moses Blog. Eliot focuses on the weapons used in the conflict in Syria, and open source investigation tools and techniques.

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.


  1. guest

    Phh An unverified video from a social network page? Did you contact s person who uploaded it to find out more details? So much for professional reporting. What about the video of same buk published by A. Shariy on his youtube channel which clearly has Ukrainian numberplate and was originally filmed by Ukrainian ministry of defence?

    • bellingcatadmin

      It’s a different vehicle in that video, we checked all the markings against those Buks, no match.

  2. Markus Fries

    Hi, i think that i noticed you visited my web site so i came to return the prefer?.I’m trying to in finding things to enhance my site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

You can support the work of Bellingcat by donating through the following link: