World 23/2-15 9:09

Satellite images prove Russian artillery strikes into Ukraine

Artillery attacks in Ukraine
Screenshot of some of the satellite photos showing craters on
A University of Copenhagen scientist has been developing a new method in his spare time that has wide political implications. It shows that artillery systems were fired from Russia during the Ukrainian conflict in 2014. A fact previously denied by the Russian government

Artillery was fired from Russian territory in 2014. This is according to research into satellite imagery done in the spare time of a University of Copenhagen scientist.

Sean Case, is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH). His research at university focuses on different environmental impacts associated with agriculture. However, besides this job, he has been following the Ukraine-Russia conflict on the internet for months. He decided to look at satellite imagery from Google in the Ukraine/Russia border.

Luckily Google just updated their images during July and August and therefore it was possible to get exact imagery just after the attacks.

“Looking at satellite imagery taken from Google Maps I discovered many artillery craters areas close to the Russian border” Sean Case says to the University Post.

You can read the full report here.

Joined forces with investigative journalism group

A few Google searches helped him to look into the methodology of crater analysis. Normally, soldiers are sent to the craters (“on-the-ground” procedures) and place sticks in order to measure their surface and find the origin of the artillery. However, in theory you can do the same just by using the satellite images. You can draw arrows and estimate their size and angle in order to determine the trajectory of the artillery fire. This method is novel because you just need a computer to locate the artillery impact crated fields and the artillery fire.

After getting this idea, Case got in touch with Bellingcat, an open source investigation community.

"They were interested in my initial work, and so we start working together to refine the method and match up our Google Map findings with reports from other social media such as YouTube and VKontakte” he says.

Digital detective work

Together with the Bellingcat investigation team, he analysed a total of 1,353 artillery craters caused by three artillery attacks and compared them with social media videos.

Case’s method showed that they originated in Russian territory. The results of this report can be seen on the Bellingcat blog and are explained in the video on this article here.

Even though the method has not been confirmed it has already appeared in different media such as the guardian, and on Ukrainian television.

It constitutes the first proof that Russia was behind the attacks.

Everybody can do it

Anyone could do what he did, according to Case.

"I think that the Internet has led to a huge increase in the ways that the public can read and analyse the news themselves," he explains to the University Post:

"Videos can be uploaded to Youtube and pictures to social media within minutes of an important event, and are available to everyone online before news organisations can get to them. As well as this, from videos and pictures on Google maps and Streetview, citizens can identify the locations where the videos/photos were taken, which can sometimes be vital information in times of conflict or following natural disasters. I think that in the future open source, or crowd-sourced data such as this will become more and more important in providing information rapidly, and will also feed in more and more to mainstream news articles".

[Editor's note: Following comments on this article subsequent to publication, the team behind the Bellingcat report would like to clarify the following:]

"1. All of the analysis in the report is based on Google Earth satellite imagery from Digital Globe. Catalogue numbers are available on request.
2. It is true that some distortion will result from the conversion of Digital Globe satellite imagery to the format used in Google Earth. However, the effect of this distortion is small for the relatively short distances (< 20 km) and specific terrain considered in the Bellingcat report. Overall, the distortion effect does not significantly affect any of the conclusions of the report."

Read also an in-depth interview with Sean Case about his Google Earth-based research here.

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By Marcus on 26. February 2015, 10:40.

Territory controlled by Kiev Nazis? Nazis, really? Dmitry Kiselyov is that you? Your every word is saturated with stinky Kremlin propaganda. Besides your CIA-reveling post you can also try to post sentimental stories how "Nazis" crucify little children and eat hostages. Good luck

Bellingcat is a COINTELPRO

By hidflect on 25. February 2015, 20:06.

"The results of this report can be seen on the Bellingcat blog..."

Bellingcat aka Elliot Higgins aka Brown Moses. Yes... a most trustworthy CIA asset.

I was hoping that the born again Eliot Higgins, previously incarnated as Brown Moses, would have seen the error of his ways and recanted.

But apparently not.

The CIA is running the neo-Nazi coup in Ukraine. The CIA is also running the Islamic State and all other Jihadi organisations in Syria. Yet Higgins is still trying to prove that Assad, defying all logic and against all other evidence on Youtube, decided to provide NATO with their perfect casus belli and kill thousands of his own people. Higgins and Belling Cat are also still pushing the theory (and that is all it is despite NATO media and politicians proclaiming it as gospel) that Russia provided the separatists with the alleged BUK that shot down MH17. So far they have not answered the bleeding obvious questions:
1. why would the separatists transport a smoking gun BUK through territory controlled by Kiev Nazis?
2. how could the separatists transport a smoking gun BUK through territory controlled by Kiev Nazis?

One of my suggestions to 2. is by magic carpet.

The point about MH17 is that NATO, with the CIA as its beating heart, has refused to make public the evidence that it claims it has to prove that MH17 was shot down by separatists, instead relying on Higgins and Belling Cat to, over a period of 4 months, produce a report that proves nothing but the vanity of Belling Cat, using nothing more than coloured squiggly lines drawn on by the authors to claim that Russia shot down MH17.

Yet the CIA has just been exposed as the lying, torturing nest of scumbags that we all knew they were before the recent report was released!!!

The CIA serves Wall Street just as MI6 serves Buckingham Palace and The City of London.

I was hoping that Higgins would recognise that maybe, just maybe, he is on the same side as liars and torturers more brutal than Islamic State. But despite tweeting and retweeting tweets that condemn and mock the CIA over this report, Higgins is still steadfast in his belief that bona fide lying torturers are being honest over Syria and Ukraine.

Dear Lord. Heaven help us if this man is helping to create the next generation of 'journalists'. are people in

By D on 26. February 2015, 0:54. are people in Ukraine(on EITHER side) nazis?

What does any of your rant have to do with some kid analyzing satellite photos? If it was the CIA doing the work, why wouldn't they just have a "Russian whistleblower" put the work out? That'd have way more impact.

History 101

By Seth Green on 26. February 2015, 21:48.

Look up the Pogroms of Ukraine. Many of the Ukrainian nationalists sided and aided the Nazi's in hunting down and killing Ukrainian-Russian-Jews. It's the direct descendants of these groups that lead the nationalist Ukrainian party that is currently trying to destroy the separatists.


By Gordon's Bombay on 25. February 2015, 21:44.


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Oresundskollegiet 2 cover photo
Things have changed quite a bit since we looked at Oresundskollegiet back in 2014. The University Post dropped by to see what life is like now at the dorm.

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