Bellingcat documents extensive Russian shelling of Ukraine in 2014

21.12.2016 р., 17:25
In its December 21 report, titled "Putin's Undeclared War", the group confirms Russia deliberately fired thousands of shells and missiles into eastern Ukraine in the opening months of a conflict in which Moscow has consistently denied playing any direct role. The barrages came at a crucial juncture in the separatism-fueled war and appear to have been aimed at helping pro-Moscow fighters repel Kyiv's efforts to retake areas held by the separatists."Our evidence shows that this was a systematic attempt by the Russian military to destroy Ukrainian forces all along the border of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in 2014, so it was essentially an act of war of Russia against Ukraine," says Sean Case, one of the researchers who compiled the report. The report offers the first detailed public assessment of the extent of the Russian cross-border shelling into Ukraine's Luhansk and Donetsk regions in the summer of 2014. US and Ukrainian officials have previously accused Moscow of using artillery and rocket launchers based in Russia against Kyiv's forces in 2014 but have not publicly detailed the scale of the attacks. Bellingcat, a group of investigative journalists and citizen journalists specializing in analysis of open-source images and other materials, found artillery units of the Russian armed forces fired on at least 149 separate occasions against targets in Ukraine from July to September 2014. The analysts used images from Google Earth and other open sources to document activities along the border during the three-month period. The targets were military positions the Ukrainian Army had taken up in June along the eastern border in an effort to cut off supply lines from Russia to separatist forces deeper inside Ukraine. In some cases, the researchers found evidence of Ukrainian positions being pummeled by massive Russian fire. "Several of the Ukrainian camps were hit with what appears to be hundreds of artillery shells in a very short space of time," Case says. "For example, there is one camp just south of the town of Biryukove, close to the Dolzhanskyy checkpoint, and on July 16 on the satellite image you can see that the camp is covered with literally hundreds of artillery craters, each at least a few meters wide, and which seems to have basically annihilated the Ukrainian position."
Bellingcat documents extensive Russian shelling of Ukraine in 2014

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