31 January 2017 Special monitoring mission of OSCE in Ukraine recorded the highest number of explosions in the entire history of observations of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. Currently the main fighting, which killed many civilians and fighters on both sides are deployed in the area between Avdeyevka, Ukraine-controlled, and Yasinuvata controlled by the so-called “DNR”. These events — a new surge of fighting this hot winter.
This report written jointly with Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT), сообщаетBellingcat.
The press center of the Ukrainian “anti-terrorist Operation” reported that on 31 January, the separatists have launched near Donetsk is not less than 100 rockets from jet systems of volley fire “Grad”. In this report, we show that at least half of those starts came in the video shot in residential neighborhoods in the East of Donetsk. Fresh satellite images and eyewitness accounts confirm the geolocation, which managed the launches of “Grads” of the separatists.
Grads at Auchan
Judging by the comments in the Donetsk Pro-Ukrainian group on Facebook that monitors incoming and outgoing attacks (see here and here), the Pro-Russian separatists constantly shoot out of the city with a bypass road near the “Auchan”hypermarket:
“10 min. ago 4-re-installation of hail with the bypass for a three pack and took off… BITCHES!!!””Firing grad with a bypass near Auchan” (source)
The same reports popular Pro-Ukrainian blogger, probably using the same group as the source:
“11:15 Hail on the roundabout near Auchan “accusations” and then left”
As is often the case in the shelling, users of social networks controlled by the Ukrainian authorities of the Town had reported incoming fire, including MLRS “Grad”, at about the same time in Donetsk, wrote about the outgoing volleys of “Grads”:
4:16: “grads Again !!! Near the Church , loud and scary!!!”
11:10: “Turgenev falls in a chaotic manner as in 2015”
14:54: “Just out of the repair team, as after 10 minutes from Donetsk shmalnul Grad…*Ki!”
In addition, a reporter for the Pro-Kremlin Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper mentions (the archival copy), heard “City” at the funeral of the commander of the battalion “Vostok” Ivan “Greek” Balaka 31 January (see report DRFLab about the circumstances of his death). Subsequently, the reporter friend confirmed to her that “Grady” has always been shot the previous night (from 30 to 31 January), and that they are based near the hypermarket “Auchan”. Video from the service, published in the group of the battalion “Vostok” in the VC, confirms that the Church is in a residential area South of hypermarket (47.989551 37.911307).
These messages are important because the launch of “Grad” near the hypermarket “Auchan” (47.996948 37.910538) suggests that the fire was coming from positions near residential areas. In the same area are Donetsk bypass road and oncological hospital (47.997286 37.901797).
In addition, the Church mentioned in the article of “Komsomolskaya Pravda”, located in the same area (highlighted in yellow on the map below). Comparison video of the memorial service for “Greek” and panoramic images “Yandex.Cards” confirms that it is one and the same Church, in the vicinity of the residential quarter and the start of “Grad”.