Militants are firing from residential areas of Donetsk to jeopardize the civilian population – Bellingcat

Дата: 03 February 2017
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Bellingcat International investigative group analyzed satellite images, videos, OSCE reports, messages of Donetsk residents and came to conclusion that the militants of DPR are using Multi-Launch-Rocket-Systems (MLRS), which are located in the residential areas of Donetsk.

As stated in the report of the investigators, which was published on February 2.

“The available evidence clearly documents that on 31 January 2017, multiple attacks with MLR systems were launched in proximity of the hypermarket Auchan in Donetsk. The location deep inside the so-called “DNR” and the firing directing pointing toward Avdiivka clearly document the responsible side for these particular attacks”, – stated in the report.

“One launch site is around 200 meters east of the hypermarket, and in fewer than 500 meters from a school and residential area. The second launch site is in proximity of the bypass and around 600 meters from an industrial area and 1000 meters from a residential area. Some of the attacks occured during the day while the nearby bypass was also used by civilians”, – stated investigators.

The investigators of the Bellingcat are confident that residential areas were deliberately chosen by militants to endanger the lives of civilians.

“Given the proximity of both launch sites to civilian infrastructure in the area, a potential Ukrainian counter attack to surpress and respond to the rocket fire would have automatically risked civilian lives in the area. The cross-country mobility of the likely used MLR system, BM-21 Grad, would have allowed alternative launch sites. However, the repeated usage of the launch site 200 meters east of the hypermarket Auchan strongly suggest that the selection of this area happened on purpose, deliberately risking the lives of the civilians in the area”, – stated in the report.

As a reminder, from January 29 the situation near Avdiivka worsened, militants are using “Grads” and tanks.

On January 30 at 19:20 the last power line in Avdiivka was damaged, the work of filtration plant in Donetsk stopped.

Currently there is no electricity and water in Avdiivka, problems with heating arose.

On Wednesday, February 1, the parties agreed to a temporary ceasefire until 5 pm. Repair crews tried to repair the damaged infrastructure of the city. However, militants have broken the state of ceasefire and fired at the repair crew in Avdiivka.

Trilateral contact group urges ceasefire near Avdiivka to February 5.

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