These days mark the fifth anniversary of the resumption of hostilities in eastern Ukraine after the signing of the first Minsk agreements.
Tragic events were the shelling of a bus in Volnovakha on January 19, a bus station in the center of Donetsk on January 22, and the Ordzhonikidze district in eastern Mariupol on January 24.
January 24, 2015
The Ordzhonikidze district near the Olympic street on the eastern outskirts of the city of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov in the extreme south-east of Ukraine was fired by rocket launchers on Saturday, January 24, 2015, at 9:15 in the morning [i] . The shelling killed 30 people and injured another 107 people. At least 16 buildings were damaged or burned out.
An hour later, a patrol from the OSCE SMM Special Monitoring Mission to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe was in place and began to document the consequences of the shelling. On the same day, a report from the scene was published, which is still an important source of information. In the following days, the SMM returned to the scene several times. On 26 January, the SMM reported the results of its investigations in its daily report [ ii ] .
“At approximately 09.15 hours on January 24, the SMM in the government-controlled Mariupol heard massive attacks by missile systems with several launchers from the north-east direction, consisting of extremely heavy shelling lasting 35 seconds. Twenty minutes later, the SMM received information from the Joint Control and Coordination Center (CCCC) in Mariupol and other sources that the shelling occurred in the area of Olimpiyskaya Street, in the Ordzhonikidze district, 8.5 km north-east of the center of Mariupol, about 400 meters from the checkpoint of the Armed forces of Ukraine.
At 10.20 a.m., SMM officers went to Olimpiyskaya Street and saw that seven civilians were killed. The SMM was located on an area of 1.6 km by 1.1 km, including an open market, numerous buildings, retail stores, houses and a school. The SMM recorded a fire on the car and the windows of a nine-story building overlooking the northeast side. The SMM was able to record 19 missile attacks, but I am sure there were more. ” [ iii ]
As expected, the parties to the conflict, i.e. the Ukrainian government and the political leadership of the Donetsk People’s Republic are mutually responsible for this tragedy. The Human Rights Watch also launched an investigation to sort out conflicting information. On social media, users also reflected on circumstances and responsibilities.
Still relevant today
The issue is still relevant today, because shelling in residential areas is still common practice in the conflict in eastern Ukraine and may become a stumbling block in the peace process. Ukrainian government forces are responsible for most of these cases. [ iv ]
In May 2018, more than three years after the tragic events in Mariupol, the online publication Bellingcat stated that it had identified the perpetrators of several guilty fighters of the armed forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic and several officers of the Russian army [v] . Bellingcat believed that the shelling was from so-called “Russian-controlled” territory, and that the shelling was prepared, monitored and conducted by Russian officers. Bellingcat claims to have identified nine Russian officers who were directly involved in the operation. To do this, the night before, two batteries for rocket launchers were transported from Russia to the Mariupol region. Early in the morning they took their positions and after the operation again crossed the state border in the direction of Russia. The order to shell the Ordzhonikidze district came from the command of the armed groups of the DPR from Donetsk.
Origin of information
In its investigation, Bellingcat relies heavily on bugged phone conversations between the employees involved, as well as image analysis.
The negotiations on which the Bellingcat investigation is based were provided by the Ukrainian authorities to a small group of investigative journalists. Since this is talking on mobile phones, most likely the culprits are the law enforcement agencies of Ukraine and the National Intelligence Agency of the SBU. Based on the assumption that the military intelligence service is concentrating on military telecommunications equipment, we can say even more accurately: the records of telephone calls come from the Ukrainian internal secret service of the SBU. She is known for her human rights violations and has been repeatedly criticized by the UN Commissioner for Human Rights [ vi ].
The two most common ways to listen to mobile phones are to clone a SIM card and use the IMSI trap. The first requires physical access to the user’s SIM card. The IMSI interceptor simulates the function of a conventional base station for mobile telephony, so calls in a specific area are made through the IMSI secret service interceptor , and not through the infrastructure of a commercial provider. The service receives the «contents» of the call, including so-called metadata, which contains information about the telephone device, SIM card, duration and location of the call, and much more. Bellingcat received audio and metafiles separately. This should have aroused suspicion in Bellingcat . Comparison with the data of the telecommunications service provider, regarding whose infrastructure the discussions were held, is a weak form of verification, since it would be easy to create audio files that match the information of the commercial provider. It would also be interesting to know from whom exactly Bellingcat received information from telecommunication providers. Such providers are not allowed to transfer their data to unauthorized persons, which indicates that they also belong to the Ukrainian government. In other words, Bellingcat verified the reliability of the source using information from the same source.
Surprisingly, the Ukrainian authorities did not report the results of their artillery intelligence in the telephone conversations they heard. Accuracy verified by Soviet sound measuring instruments owned by Ukrainian government troops is sufficient for Bellingcat’s purposes .
Using mobile phones in this context is unusual. If it was a question of regular Russian artillery units, they would take with them their radios and other telecommunication equipment, since this is standard equipment for artillery units. In the Kuznetsi — Bezymyannoye — October district , where the batteries took up their positions according to Bellingcat data on the morning of January 24, 2015, communication using conventional VHF radio stations would be possible because the location and distance allow it [ vii ] . To the south-east of the village of Kuznetsy there is a road that crosses the state border between Russia and Ukraine. This is not uncommon in an area where the course of the border is not specifically indicated at large distances [ viii ] . However, to Donetsk, which is 100 km in a straight line, from which, as they say, the command was fired, it is impossible to reach with the help of such radio stations, since the distance is too great. After the command post of the 9th motorized rifle regiment of the DPR, but, obviously, in Bezymyannoye , it can be expected that this point was associated with the command of the corps in Donetsk with several additional means of communication, for example, tropospheric and short-wave radio.
Based on intercepted phone calls, Bellingcat claims to have identified artillery units that were thrown across the state border specifically to fire at Mariupol: “200th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade (military unit 08275)” and “2nd Separate Guards Taman Motorized Rifle Brigade ( military unit 23626) ” [ix] . There are no associations with the names in the Russian army [x]. Unit numbers allow identification: these are the 200th motorized rifle brigade [ xi ] and the 2nd motorized rifle division. These associations assumed artillery units, including the so-called rocket artillery, which was equipped with missile launchers of the GRAD type, which was used in 2015, but not of the URAGAN type [ xii ]. Since Bellingcat cannot correctly name the alleged sacrament artillery units, doubts about the identification of the alleged sacrament commanders are not unjustified.
Judgments about what is happening
After January 24, the SMM returned to investigate impact craters for the second time, and published a second spot report with a detailed analysis of the events of January 28, 2015.
The shelled area is a rectangular section with a length of about 1.6 x 1.1 km. The area east of the Kalmius River rises, and then again becomes flat in the Ordzhonikidze district.
The northern edge of the firing zone is located about 400 m from the checkpoint of 14 Ukrainian armed forces. In the spring of 2015, additional checkpoints along the Taganrov highway were demolished , as well as in Kalinovka, about 2.5 km north of checkpoint 14. A few hundred meters east of checkpoint 14 there is a checkpoint paragraph 13, the most advanced facility for Ukrainian government forces in the eastern part of Mariupol. The prepared defensive position of the Ukrainian government forces is located approximately 2.5 km south of checkpoint 14. The last Ukrainian positions (checkpoints 13 and 14) are located a few hundred meters east of the outskirts. At this time, no man’s land with a width of at least 10 km stretched from there to the positions of the rebels. The most western positions of the rebels were on the western edge of the village of October (now Verkhneshirokovskoe ) and stretched south to Shirokino and the coast of the Sea of Azov. The SMM’s assumption of the purpose of the shelling is based on the proximity of the Ukrainian army checkpoint on a branch of the Taganrov highway.
Map: Checkpoint on the eastern outskirts of Mariupol
If the aim of the shelling was to support the ground attack of the armed forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic along the Taganrov highway, one could expect a simultaneous shelling of checkpoints 10 and 13 and defensive positions in Lomakin and Berdyansk. Bellingcat claims that on that morning, more targets in the area east of Mariupol were fired from launchers. The SMM, however, reported only one case in the morning and one in the afternoon.
In addition, Bellingcat was unable to determine the geographic location of the numbered destinations. Numbering targets is not a measure for masking targets, but rather a common artillery practice, which should make the names of targets shorter and more precise. In other words, Bellingcat does not know who shot where. This excludes any reason to hold certain officials liable for shelling Olympic Street.
Pictured ah satellite clear that checkpoint 14 includes a diaphragm system on both sides of the street, and may also cover, which extends over an area of about 250 x 100 m. Checkpoint 13 was significantly less than about 50 x 60 m. and is probably the forefront of a group of about 10 people.
Satellite image: CAT 14 (source: Google maps )
Pipe artillery would be much more suitable for firing at a small target, such as a checkpoint. Distances would also make it possible to use it .
Investigation of the SMM Special Monitoring Mission
According to a report dated January 24, 2015, members of the Mariupol monitoring group heard a strong rumble for about 35 seconds. Missile launchers produce a specific sound during the launch process, which an experienced observer can easily distinguish from other artillery weapons.
In the shelling zone, 10 buildings received direct blows, one of them being a school building. Six buildings burned down in a nearby market, probably the Kiev Market, which does not necessarily mean, however, that they all suffered directly. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission found a total of 30 craters and analyzed 26 of them. According to the SMM, three craters were created by missiles fired from BM- 27 type “URAGAN” and 23 from BM-21 type “GRAD”. The BM-21 Grad rocket launcher is widely used by government forces of Ukraine, as well as rebels. BM-27 «HURRICANE», however, is rarely used on both sides.
The GRAD missile launcher worked in accordance with the crater analysis carried out on the same day by the SMM from the north-east direction, and “URAGAN” from the east [ xiii ]. Human Rights Watch also analyzed the craters and concluded that the missiles came from the east. Human Rights Watch did not provide more accurate information.
In its report of 28 January 2015, the SMM indicated its information from the first detailed report [ xiv ]. By analyzing the craters, the SMM determined the direction of fire of the missiles used. In the case of a crater caused by “GRAD”, the SMM took directions between the azimuth of 55 ° and 65 °, in the case of “HURRICANE” — 72 °. The method used here is based on measuring the remnants of explosives and shells, as well as bullet channels in place.
Bellingcat also performed crater analysis based on photos available on the Internet and aerial photographs of drones [ xv ]. For some time, the SMM did not determine the direction of fire from aerial photographs.
The SMM’s findings of January 28, 2015 regarding the direction of fire completely excluded the October settlement as a position for the BM-21 missile launcher, as did the Zaichenko settlement for the BM-27.
The crater analysis methods used by the SMM do not allow any conclusions about the firing distance. The definition of launcher positions in the SMM report is based solely on monitoring the relevant systems in the villages of October and Zaichenko a few days before the fire. This contradicts Bellingcat ‘s thesis that two Russian artillery batteries were transferred to the region the day before for a fire attack on the eastern part of Mariupol.
In accordance with applicable procedures for rocket artillery, GRAD and URAGAN rocket launchers should be placed at a distance of 6-8 km from the collision line. Positioning closer to the line of collision unnecessarily puts these systems at risk of fire from lighter artillery systems and should therefore be avoided. The assumption that this is a rocket launcher from the village of Oktyabrskoye, on the eastern edge of which there are advanced positions of the armed forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic, seems less plausible. The same applies to Zaichenko.
Map sketch: positions of conflicting parties and possible positions for rocket artillery (source: Map yandex.ru)
Missile launchers BM-21 «GRAD» and BM-27 «URAGAN»
The SMM reported a salvo in 35 seconds. A BM-21 Grad missile launcher can fire a maximum of 40 122 mm caliber missiles at a volley, and this takes 20 seconds. However, it is also possible to launch less than 40 missiles, because individual missiles are launched electrically, and the work team can complete the installation on their own. The BM-27 URAGAN missile launcher can launch a maximum of 16 missiles in 8-20 seconds [ xvi ].
Bellingcat indicates the wrong time: according to the preliminary report of the SMM, the shelling occurred at 9:15, and not at 9:30 [ xvii ]. Since Bellingcat claims that Russian artillery batteries fired almost continuously that morning, this time difference is relevant [ xviii ].
Therefore, the SMM did not find all the craters: assuming that each of the 10 damaged houses was hit by a rocket, the SMM observed 40 hits, including several unexploded ordnance [ xix ].
Missile launchers are a means of combating ground targets and are therefore used in batteries. A battery of four BM-27 launchers covers a target area of 650 × 650 m with its 64 missiles, a battery of six BM-21 with 240 missiles covers a target area of 450 × 450 m.Only using a battery guarantees the desired effect when firing at unprotected targets. The target zone of checkpoint 14 was significantly smaller.
The duration of 35 seconds during which the SMM heard impacts means that the volleys of the BM-21 and BM-27 launchers merged with each other. Given the different missile flight times, it can be assumed that both launchers opened fire almost simultaneously. The almost simultaneous firing of two different rocket launchers at a distance of six kilometers from each other requires coordination, which can only be done by radio or telephone.
BM-21 and BM-27 missile launchers can launch different types of missiles with different warheads. The most common for both is a warhead with explosive and fragmentation effect with an impact or instant detonator. Images of missile strikes in Mariupol show that such shells were used. Unfortunately, neither the SMM nor the Human Rights Watch provided more accurate information about the type of rocket that was used. It would be extremely important to know what type of ammunition was used to determine the firing range, because different missiles have very different maximum firing ranges. And to determine the position of the weapon, in addition to the direction of fire, the shooting distance is also necessary. Without information on this, the entire investigation can only be called speculation.
The most common types of ammunition in the case of the BM-21 «GRAD» is the 9M22 series with a minimum firing range of 1.6 km and a maximum firing range of 20.4 km. In the case of the BM-27 «URAGAN» is 9M37 with a minimum range of 10 km and a maximum range of 35 km.
Theoretically, ballistic shells reach their greatest range when firing at an angle of 45 °. In practice, taking into account air resistance, the optimum angle of fire is higher, especially with long-range artillery weapons, the angle can be up to 50 ° [ xx ].
However, air resistance also means that the angle of impact of shells is always greater than the angle of launch. It can be determined that one of the missiles launched in Mariupol, of which the main parts stick out from the ground, has an angle of impact of 45 °, which means that it was launched at an angle of less than 45 ° and therefore was not used at maximum range.
Image: rocket hit remnants [ xxi ]
Position spaces in the settlements of Kozatskoye and Pervomaisk, which were identified in the Bellingcat study , are outside the maximum range of GRAD missiles [ xxii ].
Artillery fire accuracy
The accuracy of artillery fire depends on many different factors, such as the technical condition of the weapon and ammunition [ xxiii ], the accuracy of the operations personnel in all areas, as well as the availability of weather data. Density of air, its temperature, humidity and wind direction significantly affect the trajectory of the projectile. Bellingcat does not comment on this aspect at all.
Regarding weather conditions, the rule of thumb for the BM-21 Grad rocket launcher is that a temperature difference of 1 ° C can lead to a 20 m deviation from the impact position [ xxiv ]. However, an experienced gunner can to some extent compensate for the lack of artillery meteorological data, determining the so-called inconsistency before firing. He does this by directing artillery weapons to a point on the ground that can be clearly marked on the map, and after firing one or more shots he measures the deviation between the calculated and effective position of the hit. The value obtained in this way can be linearly interpolated to the desired firing range during impact shooting.
Typical winter weather for Mariupol on the Sea of Azov is night frost with increasing temperature during the day to the freezing point. The temperature difference on January 24, 2015 was small, the minimum temperature was -3.7 ° C, the maximum temperature was -0.8 ° C [ xxv ]. This small temperature difference does not explain the significant difference in the position of the fire, which can be observed in the present case, even in the case of recent weather measurements.
Another factor is the accuracy of the work of employees, who must accurately determine the coordinates of the target and the location of the gun or launcher, and then precisely establish the direction of fire and the height of the pipe. Experience shows that depending on the firing distance, even with the careful work of all employees, the first shot can deviate 400 m from the desired target [ xxvi ]. Then the observer’s task is to give the order for the necessary corrections.
The accuracy of the mentioned elements also largely depends on the navigation devices and accessories used: location determination using a map, of course, is more accurate than using satellite navigation devices such as GPS or GLONASS, distance measurement using laser rangefinders, than with using mechanical-optical measuring instruments [ xxvii ].
If all the factors affecting the firing position are precisely known and taken into account when calculating the rifle elements, artillery weapons are capable of accurate shooting, but in target zones.
Assuming that the target is a checkpoint at a fork in the Taganrov highway, the missiles retreated about 1.5 km from the target. Such a large deviation can only be explained by gross errors of the staff. It is unbelievable that two working teams working at a distance of several kilometers from each other made the same gross mistake at the same time [ xxviii ].
Map sketch: deviation of the strike of the southern group from checkpoint 14
The trajectories of shells fired from firearms are never the same. Deviation of a series of hits from the average target point is called the scatter. Technical scatter is caused by internal and external ballistic interference, such as manufacturing tolerances for weapons and ammunition, temperature fluctuations, pollution and wear.
The only GRAD launcher scatters its shells in the form of an ellipse, the size of which depends on the firing distance. As a rule, it can be assumed that it is twice as long as its width in the direction of the shot. In the center of this ellipse, the density of impacts is maximum and decreases closer to the edge. At a distance of 15 km, the length of the ellipse is 400 and the width is 200 m, it is quite typical for the GRAD.
The distribution of impacts in the Ordzhonikidze district of Mariupol does not allow us to distinguish two groups: one in the south and one in the north, closer to the Taganrov highway, which involves the use of two launchers. The northern ellipse has a length of almost 600 m and a width of 300 m, the southern ellipse is approximately 400 x 300 m [ xxix ]. The presence of two such ellipses implies the use of at least two BM-21 GRAD missile launchers and one URAGAN type, while launchers can be used at different distances. The distribution of blows implies a north direction of fire, not an east.
Scatter ellipse and yellow arrows = estimated direction of the shot (base: sketch of the Human Rights Watch map ; white arrows from the east were taken from Human Rights Watch )
There is a certain discrepancy with the analysis of the crater. If the northern group of attacks comes from the GRAD missile launcher, then this implies a bombardment of 15 km from the north. In this case, the thrower to the west of Pavlopol must be sought in the ranks of Ukrainian government forces under control.
Map sketch: positions of conflicting parties and positions of rocket launchers
But a rather small number of strikes and the mentioned uncertainty regarding the type of ammunition, determination of the direction and other circumstances justify the desirability of refraining from clear accusations. However, it is clear that the allegations made after the incident that the shells were from the north were not completely taken from the air.
One can only speculate about the motivation for shelling: if the armed forces of the DPR are really responsible for the shelling, according to Bellingcat , then revenge for shelling the city of Donetsk with rocket launchers on January 24th was motivation. At best, the target was a missile launcher from Ukrainian government troops, as the SMM had previously reported from the Ordzhonikidze district.
Then, shelling of residential areas was a sad reality in the war in eastern Ukraine. A few days after the shelling of Mariupol, the city of Donetsk [ xxx ] and shortly afterwards were fired from cluster munitions banned by international law [ xxxi ] in Lugansk . This indicates that the conflicting parties, including the Ukrainian government, do not take into account the life and safety of the inhabitants of the war zone. In connection with the conflict in the former Yugoslavia , the persons involved in it were already convicted of war crimes in similar cases.
In the afternoon, the SMM noticed another shot from a rocket launcher, which apparently occurred at the checkpoint on the Taganrov highway.
“At 13: 02 and 13: 21 the SMM again heard volleys of MLRS, lasting eight seconds from the east. At a distance of 300 meters, the SMM saw smoke above the checkpoint of the Ukrainian Armed Forces No. 14 ”[ xxxii ].
In this context, the description of the return of two Russian rocket artillery batteries to Russia is also interesting. They were instructed to hide in the forests. Anyone who knows the south of the Donetsk region and the coast of the Sea of Azov knows that there are only small acacia groves that can hardly disguise a battery with 4 or 6 launchers, a command center, a computer center, vehicles and other equipment. Bellingcat’s own map shows that there are no large forests [ xxxiii ] in the affected area .
Summing up, we can say that the sources of telephone conversations of the Ukrainian secret service were verified by Bellingcat superficially.
Bellingcat made serious mistakes in identifying the departments involved, so the identification of the employees involved should also be treated with caution.
Bellingcat can neither determine the authorship of the three HURRICANE missiles, nor determine the targets in the field that were mentioned in the telephone conversations. It is clear that on January 24, different targets from artillery were fired on in different directions. Who shot, where and where, remains unclear. This excludes any grounds for holding individual officers liable for shelling the Ordzhonikidze district.
The combination of at least three launchers of different calibers, each of which fired fewer missiles than they were supposed to launch, from the position in which they were not supposed to be, in accordance with operational procedures, raises doubts about the performance of Bellingcat . The SMM’s implicit assumption that the shelling of the Ordzhonikidze district is the result of missile artillery errors from Russia or the rebels does not seem plausible.
Bellingcat does not comment on all these facts, probably not due to lack of experience. The so-called investigation can only be called unprofessional and dubious. The dubious study of information from a news service about one of the parties justifies the term “propaganda”.
[i] Such artillery weapons are called the English multiple rocket system (MLRS), multiple launch rocket system. In German, the term «artillery rocket system» or «rocket launcher» is used. The term shell launcher was common in the National People’s Army. Every 4 or 6 launchers are combined into one battery, depending on the type of launcher.
[ ii ] Report of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (SMM), January 24, 2015 . : The incident with shelling on Olympic Street in Mariupol, January 24, 2015, is available at https://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm/136061. ,
[ iii ] Ibid.
[ iv ] Analysis of the SMM’s daily reports for the period from August 21, 2018 to November 18, 2019 showed that Ukrainian government forces are responsible for about 75% of cases of shelling of residential areas.
[v] Full Bellingcat report : Russian officers and militants identified as perpetrators of the Mariupol artillery attack in January 2015;https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2018/05/10/full-report-russian-officers-militants-identified-perpetrators-january-2015-mariupol-artillery-strike/.
[ vi ] See the regular reports of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:https://www.ohchr.org/en/countries/enacaregion/pages/uareports.aspx.
[ vii ] https://yandex.ru/maps/?l=sat%2Cskl&ll=38.331152%2C47.273891&mode=search&ol=geo&ouri=ymapsbm1%3A%2F%2Fgeo%3Fll%3D38.318172%252C47.276924%26spn 3D0.008949% 252C0.005920% 26text% 3DUkraine% 252C% 2520Donetska% 2520oblast% 252C% 2520Novoazovskyi% 2520raion% 252C% 2520selo% 2 520Kuznetsi% 2520 & rl = 38.320459% 2C47.27 7917 ~ 2Z = -0.52 = -0.52 = -0.52 = -0.52 = -0.52 = -0.52 = -0.52 = -0.55
[ viii ] In the same place
[x] Annual military information of the Russian Federation, January 1, 2015, as part of the exchange of military information within the OSCE.
[ Xi ] See . MILITARY SERVICE ON THE CONTRACT CHOICE; https : // monchegorsk . gov — murman . ru / files / vlast / voennaya — sluzhba — / po — kontraktu / 200- Chuprin, 2009, Unions and units of the district subordination of the Moscow Military District, p. 72. % d1% 8f% 20% d0% be% d1% 82% d0% b4% d0% b5% d0% bb% d1% 8c% d0% bd% d0% b0% d1% 8f% 20% d0% 9f % d0% b5% d1% 87% d0% b5% d0% bd% d0% b3% d1% 81% d0% ba% d0% b0% d1% 8f% 20% d0% be% d1% 80% d0% b4 % d0% b5% d0% bd% d0% b0% 20% d0% 9a% d1% 83% d1% 82% d1% 83% d0% b7% d0% be% d0% b2% d0% b0.pdf; «GRAD» auf s. 15f
[ xii ] See cases of seizure of BM-21 Grad missile launchers; In the second half of 2014 alone, 25 missile launchers were lost, partly as a result of destruction and partly as a result of the seizure of the DPR armed forces.https : // lostarmour . info / mrlspoils / # statistic.
[ xiii ] Report of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), January 24, 2015: the shelling incident on Olimpiyskaya Street in Mariupol, January 24, 2015, is available at https://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm/136061 . ,
[ xiv ] This report is no longer available on the Internet, but the author has it in print .
[ xv ] Bellingcat , Mariupol artillery strike, p. 6.
[ xvi ] On the technical details of the BM-21 and BM-27 rocket launchers: «A manual for artillerymen,» training resources of the National People’s Army, ed. On behalf of the Ministry of National Defense of the GDR, Berlin, 1987, pp. 103 — 117 (launcher RM-70).
[ xvii ] Bellingcat , Mariupol artillery strike, p. 4
[ xviii ] Bellingcat , Mariupol artillery strike, p. 10
[ xix ] The then Deputy Chief Observer of the SMM, Alexander Khug, once stated that the share of unexploded ordnance of all kinds in all of eastern Ukraine was 30%.
[ xx ] The reason for this is that in higher layers of air, air density is lower and therefore air resistance. For BM-21 and BM-27 launchers, the maximum pipe height is 55 °.
[ xxii ] Bellingcat : Russian Officers, Satellite Image, p. 6.
[ xxiii ] “A Manual for Artillerymen”, art . p . 269 - 274;
[ xxiv ] “A Manual for Gunners,” pp. 295 — 311;
[ xxvi ] See the decision of the International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, Case No. IT-06-90-A, November 16, 2012, in the appeal chamber, PROSECUTOR v. ANTE GOTOVINA, Mladen Markach, p. 20. The accuracy of the 130 mm M-46 guns and BM-21 missile launchers played a major role here.
[ xxvii ] See “A Manual for Gunners”, pp. 180 — 197;
[ xxviii ] When using rocket artillery, there is no possibility of a charge error due to the design in which the operating team selects the wrong fuel charge. Such errors can quickly lead to deviations of several hundred meters to the firing range. On the other hand, the so-called “hundred ppm ” is possible , in which the direction of the shot is incorrectly set to 100 ppm on a scale of 6000 lines. At a distance of 15 km, this explains a deviation of 1.5 km.
[ xxix ] The fact that the three hits from the URAGAN missile launchers are not exactly known does not affect the overall picture. Limit deviations in the firing range or direction are not taken into account in these ellipses.
[ xxx ] January 31, 2015 https://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm/138326.
[ xxxi ] February 3, 2015https://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm/138906.
[ Xxxii ] Spot Special Report of the OSCE monitoring mission in Ukraine (SMM), January 2015 24 g. : The incident with shelling on Olimpiyskaya Street in Mariupol, January 24, 2015, is available at https://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm/136061. ,
[ xxxiii ] Bellingcat full report. S. 10, 16.