Wednesday, December 3, 2014

This is how Russia tries to frame and blame Ukraine for shelling civilians

This video shows a residential area hit by shelling with buildings burning:

This screenshot shows the burning buildings:

This panorama photo based on screenshots shows the area:

That matches with this map:

Google maps link.

Looking the other way, a man is filmed showing an impact:

This shows the location of the impact:

It means it can be positioned here on the map:

 A closer look:

It seems to be a (GRAD) rocket and it impacted into the asphalt at an angle.

This shows how the street is running:

And with this screenshot we can determine from which direction the rocket entered the asphalt:

Those lines can be drawn on the map:

And thus we can conclude that the rocket came from almost exact Western direction.

When we look at this on a larger scale we get this:

The blue areas are the known Ukrainian positions. Red are the Russian positions. The red line shows the direction with 5 km intervals (white lines).

The problem with drawing frontlines, is that there are also areas not directly controlled by any side, but are (contested) no mans land.
The yellow area indicated here is like that:

There are no fortifications here, no checkposts, no camps etcetera. Such areas are entered only by patrols or scout units or when an attack is launched. There is NO WAY that either side is going to set up a firing position here for either MLRS or mortar. That's too dangerous.

It means there are basically two possibilities left for the firing position:

Position 1: 15 - 20 km distance; Ukraine did it.
Position 2: 4 km range; Russians did it.

The thing is that BM-21 GRAD rocket launchers have a range of 5 to 20 kms. That excludes position one. Conclusion: Ukraine did it!!!


For two reasons. It probably was GRAP-P, not GRAD. And it was not JUST GRAD(-P) but also mortar shells were used that have a much shorter range.
I'll explain...

This VK photo album:

shows people at work at the site removing mortar shells!

A man is digging here:

The photos are geolocated. This is the location:

As can be seen it is indeed the same location.

This photo shows they are digging up an unexploded mortar shell:

Link to original.

Here it is:

Link to original.

Looks like a 120mm mortar shell. See Google Image search.

This photo shows they put it in their car:

Link to original.

Now they are going to dig up another one:

Link to original.

You can see the blue fence that can also be seen in the panorama photo.

Link to original.

There they have it:

A mortar shell. Now they have TWO in their car:

They also show a 122mm shell:

It looks like it has just been dug up. But it can nowhere be seen in that area. So we can't be sure it really came from that location.

All these photos have geotags coming from that location.

Now when we look at the range for 120mm mortars, we find this:

The maximum range they can be fired at is 6-7 kms.

What we see is that in ONE AND THE SAME attack, different type of ammunition is being used. This is not new. OSCE observers also found 120mm AND 122mm shells at the attack on school 63 in Donetsk. See this blog. So this is A PATTERN!

In this case rockets and 120mm mortars are used and possibly 122mm heavy artillery shells (which also have a large range.

With a max range of 7 kms for 120mm mortar shells, there is only one option left:

The white line is the 7km range.
The yellow area is the only possible firing position.

Let's have a look at that location:

These are ammunition bunkers. They consist of concrete bunkers surrounded by an earthen wall. There are a lot of these bunkers:

Earlier one of these had been blown up somehow as can be seen.

The whole area is also surrounded by an earthen wall.

This Panoramio photo shows how it looks like from outside:

The red line shows the roof of the bunker in the most NE corner (that is closest to the line of firing).

As can be seen, this is a very well protected, concealed area. When mortars are fired from this area, nobody will notice.

Also it may be clear that no Ukrainian unit is going to drive somewhere up in these fields to setup a mortar position in line of sight and fire range of these Russian positions:

The questions is: what's up with that GRAD rocket? That can not be fired from this position. Too close!

That's true if it was fired by a BM-21:

But single rockets can also be fired by so called 'recoilless guns, as can be seen in this video:

There are more videos where these launchers can be seen. Like this one:

Specifics about (minimum) range are hard to find, but basically you could fire 500 meters up front of you if you aim low enough.

In this case it would be easy. They can set up the gun on the wall, or even on top of the bunker (any of the yellow circles):

From there they just shoot at the nearest residential area, just in front of that slagheap. It would be hard to make a mistake, or miss the wrong target.
Simultaneously the mortars can be fired at the same location.

So basically that's how this must have been done.

An important indication that GRAD-P rocket launchers had been used is the number of rockets. GRAD fires up to 40 rockets. In this case only ONE has been found... Between 1-10 rockets means they highly likely have been fired by GRAD-P. 20+ rockets looks like BM-21 GRAD.

So, this is the pattern:
  1. use MULTIPLE ordinances in a COORDINATED attack at the SAME location. It makes it harder to make watertight conclusions and easier to find one single incident that may point towards Ukraine.
  2. fire IN THE LINE OF FIRING as the Ukrainians, in the SAME direction seen from their positions, so the option that 'they did it' can never be fully excluded.
  3. if they are lucky and with their assistance, press or observers pick up the 'right indications' and point the whole incident towards Ukraine. 

Further keep in mind:
  1. If Russia had not started this war, no Ukrainian civilians would have died in it.
  2. Russians deliberately 'hide behind civilians' as to have Ukraine cause casualties among them.
  3. Why would Ukraine randomly shoot at their own citizens? Yet, for Russia it is no problem at all to kill citizens of neighboring countries. Nor is it that big of a problem that their own soldiers die.

If you see errors or have additions, let me know.

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