US Releases Satellite Images Allegedly Proving Russian Shelling Of East Ukraine

Tyler Durden's picture

A week after Russia revealed photos of Ukraine deploying Buk missiles in the east as well as radar proof of Ukraine warplanes in the vicinity of MH-17, the US has yet to present any of the incontrovertible evidence supposedly in its possession that proves it was the separatists who shot down the plane, a narrative which has already propagated through western media. Instead, several hours ago the US. Office of the Director of National Intelligence released satellite images taken by the private civilian company Digital Globe (and thus not government sourced), which US officials say offer proof that Russian forces have been shelling eastern Ukraine in a campaign to assist rebel groups fighting Ukraine’s government in Kiev.

The WaPo reports:

The grainy photographs, taken between Wednesday and Saturday, are labeled as indicating fire from multiple rocket launchers inside Russia and targets they have struck inside Ukraine. The Pentagon and State Department first accused Russian artillery of firing directly into Ukraine on Thursday. The charges were repeated Friday, although no evidence was offered.


The high-altitude images released Sunday “provide evidence that Russian forces have fired across the border at Ukrainian military forces, and that Russia-backed separatists have used heavy artillery, provided by Russia, in attacks on Ukrainian forces from inside Ukraine,” according to labels on the pictures by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.


The most recent photograph, taken Saturday, shows what is described as “blast marks” from rocket launcher fire on the Russian side of the border, and “impact craters” inside Ukraine.


A photograph labeled as taken Wednesday shows a row of vehicles described as “self-propelled artillery only found in Russian military units, on the Russian side of the border, oriented in the direction of a Ukrainian military unit within Ukraine.” On the other side of the border, “the pattern of crater impacts near the Ukrainian military unit indicates strikes from artillery fired from self-propelled or towed artillery, vice multiple rocket launchers,” it said.

Time has more:

One image dated July 25/26 shows what DNI claims is “ground scarring” on the Russian side of the border from artillery aimed at Ukrainian military units in Ukraine, as well as the resultant ground craters on the Ukrainian side of the border:



A slide from a day earlier is said to show self-propelled artillery on the Russian side of the border oriented toward Ukraine, with impact areas near Ukrainian military units:


Another of the DigitalGlobe photos released by the Obama administration:

Curiously, the US State Department is urging those seeking objective data on this unfolding development to follow the US ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, the same person who was intercepted in plotting the downfall of the former Ukraine government in a leaked recorder conversation with US assistant secretary of state, Victoria Nuland, of "Fuck the EU" fame:

And from Pyatt:

Nonetheless, one does have to wonder: why would the ODNI, which shares intelligence with the NSA, have to resort to private-sector satellite imagery as proof? If there is anyone who has definitive evidence of anything happening in the world at any given moment and as seen from space, it would be the NSA.

To be sure, Russia once again promptly responded:

A Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, charged Sunday that the United States is getting most of its intelligence data on the Russian military from social media and suggested it turn to more “trustworthy” information, the ITAR-TASS news agency reported.


Konashenkov denied recent U.S. statements that Russia, after first decreasing the number of troops it has deployed along the Ukrainian border, has now increased them to at least 15,000. Regular international inspections under the international Open Skies Treaty, he said, “have not registered any violations or undeclared military activity on the part of Russia in the areas adjacent to the Ukrainian border.”

The bottom line is perhaps best summarized by WaPo: "As the ground war between Russia-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine and government troops has escalated this past week, charges and countercharges between Russia and the West have reached fever pitch."

So while the "evidence" of the downing of MH17 by separatists will at this point likely not be forthcoming with the event having taken place over a week ago (at least not from the US State Department) aside from administration assurances that it is "common sense" that the rebels fired the missile, expect the "evidentiary" campaign to refocus back on the hostilities in east Ukraine, where as has been the case from the beginning of the conflict in March, it will be merely a continuation of the "he said, she said" propaganda war waged on both sides that the whole world has by now grown accustomed to, and where it is increasingly becoming clear that just like in the Syria conflict, the underlying motive is a very simple one: gas.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
goldhedge's picture

Send in the US Marines. Pu$$y

Jason T's picture

"..Don't bother, they're heeere."

Stackers's picture

Because only west Ukraine is allowed to shell east Ukraine.

fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

I fully support Putins assistance to the freedom fighters in Ukraine. Any who does not support the pro-Russian freedom fighters probally thinks any group called freedom fighters is a bad thing.

President for Life Putin is the worlds greatest supporter of freedom in the world.

Go Putin, Go Putin, freedom for all free peoples on earth... as long as they have hydrocarbon delivery systems.

flacon's picture

MH17 passengers were travelling on invalidated passports...


Save_America1st's picture


The government is swarming with MUTANTS








SafelyGraze's picture

does anyone have any proof of who has been shelling iraq and afganistan the past decade?

cnn and fox:  Get On It!

ZerOhead's picture

The Ukrainian army surely is an exceptional fighting outfit.

To date the Russian have been providing the freedom fighters with any weapon systems their hearts desire, providing experienced Russian fighters to them, and have even been shelling and shooting down the Ukrainians for them. Yet still the mighty Ukrainians persist against not only the freedom fighters but entire Russian army, navy and air forces.

Simply unbelievable but obviously true since the US and the MSM told me so. They say they are going to provide some real evidence real soon...

Chupacabra-322's picture

We're Goverened by Pure Evil Psycopaths, Sociopaths, Children & the Insane.

The Criminal Globalists are going for broke with this False Narrative, PsyOp, Propagandist, Demonization campaign.

7.62x54r's picture

And the western media ignores the fact thay the Ukrainian Army shelled Russian villages week before last. Not ethnic Russians, but villages inside the RF.

Guess what? If you shell Russia, Russia shells you.

NidStyles's picture

US Empire = protection racket.

Latina Lover's picture

Interesting how the USSA still. cannot produce sat. photos of ML17 .

Son of Loki's picture

smells fishy...too much escolar in DC.

TheReplacement's picture

Had to look that up.  Pretty clever.

Pinto Currency's picture



May be Nuland disinformation / hoax:


p.s. see now that Pegasus Muse has posted same article below.

SDShack's picture

Satelite photos?... hell, I would settle for just a cellphone cam photo of the exhaust of the missle from ground to target. After all, it's only at least 33,000 feet long so it shouldn't be hard to spot. But they can't even provide that. Just check out You Tube and you will see videos showing BUK Missles generate one hell of an exhaust trail all the way to the target. Very easy to see with the naked eye so no need for fancy satelite cameras.

Againstthelie's picture

Yes, it's just ridiculous.

And the Russians once agaon show USrael, that not the whole world is on their subhuman mental level:

“Publishing charges on the US ambassador to Ukraine’s Twitter and using them as a basis to argue that Russia is firing at Ukrainian territory is ludicrous and unprofessional,” Korotchenko told RT.

“In serious cases like that, I would recommend for the US to look into briefings, such as the recent briefing by Russia’s Defense Ministry. In it, everything was clear: satellite images were presented, they were decoded, and the pictures were as detailed as possible; everyone could make out the details,” he said.

“In addition to satellite imagery data, the satellite control and electronic intelligence were attached. There were also maps, plans, and diagrams included. On the US ambassador’s Twitter you cannot make anything out, even with a magnifying glass.”

“This is not serious at all, it is low-skilled work,” he added. “What was published by the US ambassador is part of an information campaign to force European countries to agree on anti-Russian sanctions.”

tarsubil's picture

US Empire = Biggest seller of "accident" insurance.

Budd aka Sidewinder's picture

And the western media ignores the fact thay the Ukrainian Army shelled Russian villages week before last. Not ethnic Russians, but villages inside the RF.

Guess what? If you shell Russia, Russia shells you.


No No No....only Israel can act in 'self defense'

Pegasus Muse's picture

Paul Craig Roberts

Another State Department Hoax?  

TheReplacement's picture

That seems fairly reasonable there ak.

TheReplacement's picture

I have a hard time having a hard time with a lot of those statements.  If NATO is to be a real alliance then yes, everyone needs to pull their own weight. 

What is done with the resulting forces is not my point.  A defensive alliance should remain defensive, not imperial.  That the US should avoid encumbering alliances is not my point.  It should but doesn't so here we are.

TheReplacement's picture

If you read some sites that proclaim to be pro-Russian you would find articles claiming great victories by the rebels and Ukrainian forces have been utterly decimated to the point that commanding generals are asking to pull back and regroup else their units will cease to exist in less than a week.

Who really knows? 

roadhazard's picture

"the whole Russian Army"...

I always knew the Russians were a bunch of punk paper tigers.

FreeSlave's picture

here is a Geoffrey Pyatt talking about falls flags: is that what he is doing in Ukraina???

Antifaschistische's picture

I, for one, am just glad that a US Made Tomahawk Missle has never been fired from any US Naval Vesel at any other country.  

That's what gives POTUS the moral authority to condemn Putin for any action he may take in the Ukraine.

okay...well, except for these.

out of respect for ZH'ers...I cut the list off.  The complete list is here.


johansen's picture

MH17 is MH370.


that's why the passports are fake, and the bodies aren't fresh.

FreeSlave's picture

Ukrainian military bombarded civilians in one of rebel cities. Does MSM say something about this!? Warning! Some graphic pictures:

NidStyles's picture

Those people were dead before they were in that nice grassy field.

knukles's picture

Oh, very, very good, Willaim.
One of your absolute best.

Buck Johnson's picture

Yet they are using a private company to show low end pics of evidence, but yet won't use the NSA or govt. satellites that are 100 times better.  The problem is that if they used those, then people would say that you should have HD pics and vids of the area around where the plane was shotdown and they know that they Russians or seperatists didn't shoot that plane.

Manthong's picture

This is garbage.

On a clear day they can read license plates with spy satellites.

I can see the new 4 foot tall evergreens in my yard and my Mexicans with the mower on a one year old Google Earth snapshot.

There is no there there

Lumberjack's picture

Google earth does have satellite imagery but as you zoom in, it utilizes ariel photography (photogrammetry) of the area. There are small planes that fly in grids taking photo's of the area usually used for planning, surveying, agriculture etc.. That is why you can see the small trees and other objects on your property. 

zhandax's picture

The ROTC instructor in college in the late 70's told us we had satellites that could read the label on a golf ball.  I would imagine they have improved in the last 30 years.

knukles's picture

Was it a Titelist #3 NXT TourS with a red line under the brand name?  Been lookin' for that since 1973.

TheReplacement's picture

Word is someone in DC has found it and has been using it regularly for some time now.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Trust me, the US government does indeed have much better imagery than this.  They do not want to publicize just how good it is.  This practice goes back a long time...

I would not release any of our better satellite imagery either.  "Sources and Methods"  "Need to Know"

Why let our rivals know what our capabilities are?

Lumberjack's picture

Even with the hubble telescope, which is a very large object, I cannot believe that anyone can read the writing on a golf ball let alone a license plate from orbit. Heat distortion and other issues would make it impossible IMHO. I don't think they can do much better then what they show. 

bbq on whitehouse lawn's picture

Fractal agorithems. Yes, distortion is a known and like all knowns you have models for them. So its a computer interpretation of the image not the image itself. Still close enough to be scary.

knukles's picture

Do you guys know the story behind the Hubble?  NASA wanted a telescope that fit all these specs, sent out RFP's and got several replies back for a bazillion dollars from each recipient.  As time goes on, they decide that they need certain gyro-stabilization greater than they thought, different more powerful solar panels, etc., etc., etc.  So winds up that the NASA guys are touring one of the manufacturer's facilities and they walk into a room with what happens to be a surplus out of date spy satellite.   Just hanging from a crane.   The manufacturer guy says "Lookie here!"  The NASA guys say: "Golly gosh by jiggums."  NSA says OK give it to em', but only if it points out, not in.

And therein was the bazillion dollar cost for the Hubble.  Already paid for by NSA and re-billed to NASA.

It's a public story, BTW, but not well known.

Manthong's picture

..and with a billion dollar bum mirror.

AmericanFUPAcabra's picture

Ball Aerospace made a good chunk of change fixing that little mistake.

Lumberjack's picture

"So its a computer interpretation of the image".... Key word 'interpretation',


Thanks for making my point. 

Duffy Duck's picture

Yes.  It's a bit like what the brain does with your vision - filling in the literal hole in your vision necessitated by the optic tract to the occipital lobe, controlling for the constant movement of the eye... and as you get older, 'correcting' a fuzzier image. 

Not sure about a golf ball because the distortion is partly chaotic... but in any event, for sure, .gov knows or should know and have evidence of who shot the plane down, and for sure they'd release this info, showing capabilities be damned {you just claim its from an old sat or something, who cares} if it were Ivan.

Still seems possible to me it was the rebels, tricked into firing on it by Kiev or CIA, but it also could simply have been Kiev or CIA mercs figuring they could easily control the story.  Look at Assad and the chemical attacks, or "wipe Israel off the map" or the IDF airstrikes that *started* the recent rocket fire, or Iran's nuclear program - which is in fact civilian, and on and on.

It doesn't matterif 10 or 15% of the population know the truth or suspect the official tale is false.  What matters is the MSM presents a compelling, coherent picture, and repeats it over and over with - truly - brainwashing/cognitive infiltration techniques at least for the biggest audience programs...

It's all but certain the Syrian foreign mercenaries used chemical weapons.  They were certainly targeting Christians and other minorities and committing atrocities early on.  Few know it... Assad, no angel, is blamed not only for his, at this point, mostly defensive violence, but for all the violence of Saudi and Turk and CIA backed foreign jihadis, and his re-election is dismissed out of hand.


Point is - information control isn't complete, but it doesn't have to be, it is incredibly effective.  This gives false flag ops a frightening amount of wiggle room.

Maxter's picture

Interesting comment for two reasons:


-I heard the hubble telescope was pretty much a by product of spy satellite at the time, wich mean they already had spy satellite bigger then hubble looking down at earth in the 90's.

-Ground telescopes use a technic called adaptive optic to get rid of the distortion of the atmosphere. (which involve deforming the mirror in real time to compensate for the distortion) That makes it a non-issue.


So yea I think they can do a lot more better then what they show.

COSMOS's picture

How do we know these are not archive pictures from past military exercises, or these could be Grad rockets fired from inside ukraine at the freedom fighters.  Its a bunch of BS, lol I love it how the blast marks are oriented as if to imply missiles were fired from east to west.  What a bunch of BULL.

Phuck your evidence state dept.  They should call you the Stasi dept.

HamFistedIdiot's picture

We need to keep our eye on the ball here. The US is trying to change subjects. Where is the satellite footage of rebels hitting MH17? That is what the original concern was. With another lie here, it would appear the US is just trying to find an excuse to go to war and claim the moral high ground. The world needs to stop listening to the US. The US has sold its ethics to purchase short term support of the petro dollar. In any event, good on the east Ukrainians for fighting back, if the photo is even legit. This area is Russia's backyard, not the US's. We have no business weighing in on anything there.