Thursday, June 11, 2015

Think Tank Uses Public Intel to Show Russia's Activities in Ukraine

The Atlantic Council has recently released an investigative report revealing where and how Russians weapons are entering Ukraine.

The report, entitled "Hiding in Plain Sight: Putin's War in Ukraine," was the result of an Atlantic Council Working Group launched to examine direct Russian military involvement in Ukraine.

Here are the five key findings:

  1. Satellite images confirm the movement of Russian troops and camp buildups along the Ukrainian border.
  2. Russian training camps stationed along the Ukrainian border are the launching points of Russia's war in Ukraine. These camps are the staging ground for Russian military equipment transported into Ukraine, soon to join the separatist arsenal, and for Russian soldiers mobilized across Russia to cross into Ukraine.
  3. Commanders order Russian soldiers to conceal the identifying features of military vehicles, remove insignia from uniforms, and travel across the border to join separatist forces in eastern Ukraine.
  4. A variety of Russian manufactured arms and munitions—not used by the Ukrainian military—have appeared in the hands of separatists, including shoulder launched surface-to-air missiles (MANPADS), various types of rocket launchers, anti-tank guided missiles, landmines, and various small arms.
  5. During key offensives, Russian forces in Ukraine have received cover from Russian territory. A combination of satellite data, crater analysis, and open source materials confirms that many attacks originated in Russia.

Here is what Politico had so say about the report.  The New York Times called it an "unusual investigative report" since it used publicly available videos, smartphone photographs and satellite images to make its case.