Friday, March 18, 2022

Mapping Russia's Civilian Attacks

Last week Russia attacked a maternity hospital in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol. At least four civilians were killed and sixteen others were injured. The Russian army's terrorist tactics of attacking civilians and civilian targets are well established. For years the Russian army has been been targeting civilian infrastructure and civilians in Syria, in attempts to subjugate the people and destroy morale.Russia is now using the same indiscriminate cluster bombing of civilian targets in Ukraine.

Bellingcat's Civilian Harm in Ukraine interactive map locates and records evidence of Russia's attacks on civilians in Ukraine. This includes attacks on civilian areas and infrastructure leading to damage or destruction, and attacks resulting in civilian injuries and visible civilian deaths. Bellingcat began collecting evidence for the map on February 24, 2022.

The Civilian Harm in Ukraine map includes a timeline which allows you to explore the recorded incident both by location and by date.If you select an incident on the map evidence of the attack is shown in the map side panel. 

In order to make this map Bellingcat has assembled a Global Authentication Project team, consisting of a number of open source researchers. This team examines open source evidence of potential civilian harm in Ukraine in order to clarify where and when the incidents took place. Only incidents which have been captured on camera or posted to social media are added to the map. It is likely that there are many other incidents of Russian attacks on civilians and civilian buildings which have not been identified by the Global Authentication Project team. 

The Ukrainian Civilian Objects Attacks and Casualties Interactive Map is another attempt to track and map Russian attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine.The map consists predominantly of geo-tagged photographs of civilian buildings which have been damaged by Russian bombs. The map also includes a running total of the number of civilians who have been killed and injured by Russia's illegal war against Ukraine.

The map includes a timeline which means that you can browse the civilian casualties of Russian bombs by both date and location. If you click on a date or on a map marker then photographs of the damage caused by Russian bombs will be shown in the map sidebar. If you click on one of these photographs a slideshow will open so you can browse all the submitted photos from that location.

The map doesn't have an 'about' page but it does link to the Ukrainian government website. The map however doesn't appear to have a Ukrainian government URL so it is more likely to have been created by developers in support of the Ukrainian people (if you know more about the map's origins please let me know in the comments below).

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