Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Weaponry of the Russian Federation in the war against Ukraine


Introduction

The following report is based on investigations conducted by the international volunteer community InformNapalm between October 2014 and August 2016 and published on its website. It is a result of 40 special investigations that identified 33 types of Russian military equipment, which were in the possession of antigovernment forces in the conflict zone in the Donbas region. [1] [2]

Most of the equipment specified in this report are relatively new models that entered service in the Russian Armed Forces from 2004 through 2015. These types of military equipment are not produced in Ukraine, most of them have never been imported into Ukraine, and, therefore, militants could not have captured them from the Ukrainian government forces.

Operation and maintenance of these modern Russian weapons require well-trained crews, that is, professional Russian Army personnel.

These facts can serve as a strong evidence that Russia regularly supplies anti-government forces in the Donbas with modern military equipment and military personnel to operate it.

Methodology

The identification of military equipment used by anti-government forces in the Donbas was performed using open sources, such as:

Ѡ Photos from personal accounts in social networks

Ѡ TV footage from the occupied territory

Ѡ Videos recorded by local witnesses and posted on YouTube

Ѡ Satellite images of the occupied territories

Ѡ Other sources

A typical investigation relied on multiple sources for the discovery and identification of particular models of military equipment. In many cases, we were even able to identify the Russian military unit that operated the discovered piece of equipment.

An abundance of personal photographs of Russian servicemen and local anti-government militants in the social networks Odnoklassniki, Vkontakte, and Facebook helped our investigators. Location identification was performed by geolocation tags on the photos, as well as by characteristic features of landscape and architecture.

While Ukrainian media faces severe restrictions to its ability to work in the occupied territories, a large amount of material for the analysis is unwittingly supplied by pro-Russian propaganda media that can work there freely and represents the position of the antigovernment forces.

The results of the investigations have been repeatedly reaffirmed with the discoveries of new evidence. In particular, they were confirmed by other journalists, Ukrainian government officials, and international investigators.

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