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Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Shelling Attack on the ZNPP, November 19/20

November 23, 2022 (rough, incomplete)
Last updated Nov. 27

So I haven't followed events at the Zaporizhya Nuclear Power Plant as closely for a while, but I just learned that it was attacked again with artillery shelling - on two days in a row, November 19 and 20 - after a long break. 

Elena Evdokimova had all the info gathered: https://twitter.com/elenaevdokimov7/status/1594652428162732033. I started with the provided links and dug just a bit wider, Short on time to edit, let's start with the IAEA's full statement. 

https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/pressreleases/update-128-iaea-director-general-statement-on-situation-in-ukraine

Powerful explosions shook the area of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) yesterday evening and again this morning, abruptly ending a period of relative calm at the facility and further underlining the urgent need for measures to help prevent a nuclear accident there, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said today.

In what appeared to be renewed shelling both close to and at the site of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, IAEA experts at the ZNPP reported to Agency headquarters that more than a dozen blasts were heard within a short period of time in the morning local time. The IAEA team could also see some of the explosions from their windows.

Citing information provided by plant management, the IAEA team said there had been damage to some buildings, systems and equipment at the ZNPP site, but none of them so far critical for nuclear safety and security. There were no reports of casualties. The IAEA experts are in close contact with site management and will continue to assess and report on the situation.  

“The news from our team yesterday and this morning is extremely disturbing. Explosions occurred at the site of this major nuclear power plant, which is completely unacceptable. Whoever is behind this, it must stop immediately. As I have said many times before, you’re playing with fire!” Director General Grossi said.

The Director General renewed his urgent appeal to both sides in the conflict to agree and implement a nuclear safety and security zone around the ZNPP as soon as possible. In recent months, he has engaged in intense consultations with Ukraine and Russia about establishing such a zone, but so far without an agreement.

“I’m not giving up until this zone has become a reality. As the ongoing apparent shelling demonstrates, it is needed more than ever,” he said.

Again, both sides blame each other, and again the IAEA can be of no help in directing efforts to bring the responsible party to heel. Who is it? Again and again, the evidence (long overdue overview post: forthcoming) shows artillery shelling of the plant in August and September comes from the Ukrainian-held north bank of the Dnipro river. Just the hated and distrusted Russians (and maybe the Chinese, etc.) are calling them out over it. "Whoever it is" had better stop, or else ... nothing. They don't have to stop and they don't want to. 

The latest shelling isn't the clearest example by the limited views so far (decent views of two impacts from the 20th and one from the 19th), but it tends to implicate Ukrainian forces as well. I'll see about expanding this view in time.

Conflicting Claims

(rough collection)

https://www.cnn.com/2022/11/20/europe/zaporizhzhia-iaea-warning-intl/index.html

Ukraine’s national nuclear power company Energoatom said it appeared that Russian forces were trying to hinder the country’s ability to provide electricity to its citizens. 

https://www.weareukraine.info/infrastructure-for-launching-the-znpp-power-units-was-disabled-by-russian-shelling/

With its shelling of the Zaporizhzhia NPP, the Russian army destroyed the infrastructure required to restart electricity production for Ukraine’s requirements. State Enterprise “National Atomic Energy Generating Company Energoatom” reported this on Facebook.

“At least 12 ‘arrivals’ were registered at the Zaporizhzhia NPP site this morning, November 20, 2022, as a result of several Russian shellings,” the report states.

As a result of the bombardment, communication trestles with their facilities, tanks with chemical desalinated water reserves, steam generator blowdown system, auxiliary systems of one of the two main power plant diesel engines, and other station infrastructure equipment were damaged. Three impacts were also detected in the vicinity of the Rayduga substation. The extent of the damage and destruction is still being determined.

https://twitter.com/TpyxaNews/status/1594266306546737152

Russian shelling of the ZNPP (video - see below for analysis)

https://twitter.com/TheStudyofWar/status/1594882445769572352

Two days of shelling caused widespread damage to the #Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) on November 20 and 21. The #Russian government is continuing to escalate control over the Russian information space.

https://www.1tv.ru/news/2022-11-20/441877-ukrainskie_boeviki_nanesli_seriyu_massirovannyh_udarov_po_zaporozhskoy_aes

12 attacks in less than half an hour. These are the first direct attacks on the nuclear power plant — Europe's largest — since late September. In the past two months, nationalists have opened fire on the surrounding area, now on the nuclear power plant itself. Three shells hit the nuclear waste repository, six more munitions - in the cooling system. The scale of the destruction is now being assessed.

https://vz.ru/news/2022/11/19/1187447.html

The Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant (ZNPP) was damaged as a result of strikes inflicted on Saturday by the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), said Renat Karchaa, adviser to the general director of the Rosenergoatom concern.

Karchaa said on the air of the TV channel "Russia-24" that in the period from 17.15 to 17.41 Saturday, 12 strikes were inflicted on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. He stressed that we are talking about the perimeter of the station itself, and not about the industrial zone and other territories adjacent to the station,TASS reports.

The adviser to the general director of Rosenergoatom said that six hits occurred on the splash pool, which is part of the cooling system of the nuclear power plant, two hits were recorded in the square of the dry storage of nuclear waste and three more hits in the area of checkpoint-2. As Karchaa noted, the blow was really massive. He stressed that such shelling can lead to nuclear contamination.

The adviser to the general director of Rosenergoatom said that the damage and destruction will be clarified on Sunday morning. He noted that on Saturday the staff at the station is much less than on weekdays, and this is happiness that there were no casualties and only ended in damage. He also added that the station itself has not been hit since the end of September.

Cameras Not Lying

Six decent-sized photos of the damage that I've found (another shows a twisted remnant of one of the rockets used)








One impact can be easily placed - right in front of reactor block 5, damaging its water tanks and service passageway. Two other photos show the water tanks, and one shows the passage (4 images total). Overall, the low damage to the side vs. higher damage and debris spread out front (to the south), and the angle of the black line from detonation suggest a trajectory from just west of local north ("north" within the plant's overall 21-degree rotation), or just east of actual north - Marganets area, like they're saying. 

https://twitter.com/CL4Syr/status/1594893502533742592 - improved graphic here:

The angle of damage marked purple doesn't make immediate sense, but maybe I set the impact a bit wrong, and even like this, this northern of 2 water tanks is more to the side or even behind the impact, so the upward angle expected in front is not expected here, But should it angle up to the right/rear? Maybe it has to do with the tank's circular shape? I feel I can move on from that without waiting for a sure answer.

Special building 2 has another roof impact, as shown twice above, that raises a more serious problem. The wider view clearly faces east away from the reactors and towards the city of Energodar and the thermal plant's smokestacks in the distance. 

In that light, the splash pattern of shrapnel marks on the right indicates the munition came in from the right, or from local SOUTH. 

This is unusual. I've seen zero impacts from the south. Even maneuverable drones seem to come from the NNE, usually. Maybe this was a drone, and they finally had it maneuvere in such a tricky way?

There's also a released map of impacts that somehow doesn't include the one at reactor 5 in its right spot. 3 impacts between reactors 4 and 5 are shown, with one placed right at reactor 4's turbine hall. 5 more impacts are indicated just to the east, between the two special (ized) buildings, and one to the roof of special building 2. Just the 9 impacts are shown, just for the attack on Sunday the 20th. Shown but not mapped: a crater a ways east of reactors 1 and 2. Shown and maybe mapped (not placed): a building with windows blown out. 


There's also a video that shows some of impact occurring at the spray pools and near the admin building and a security gate. These impacts were reported for Saturday the 19th, the 26-minute attack after 5PM. The sun set at 4PM that day, and the scene is dark like late twilight/early evening, People are probably filming because of previous attacks. One impact is heard outside, and the flash seen reflected on a wall of the special building, where the cameraperson is. Another view shows uncontrolled water spray (that can he heard as a loud hissing) and perhaps smoke at the spray pools, one of which may be drained (green below).  


The next impact to the south happens after a rocket shell is heard loudly passing overhead (so it's flying partly to the south). Below: line of sight to that impact (light blue). Just from the video, the fireball gives some indication of trajectory, mainly by giving little; the fireball's movement is mainly towards-or-away-from the camera (and it's apparently away). Movement on the left-right axis is usually clearer, but faint here - perhaps a bit to the left/east. So that's to local south, southeast or SSE, on a trajectory from the north.

Neither of these hits is mapped for the 20th, but one is shown in a photo. I think. The second rocket hits not far from the pools, maybe about where that unmapped crater in front of reactors 1 & 2 is. Note that view is right between the reactor blocks, just across from the south end of special building 1 (dark blue line). I'd expect that impact was a bit further south, but how many can there be in that small area? The view I have is tiny, but suggests a trajectory close to 45 degrees with this sidewalk - more from the NW than the other impacts suggest. A better view might help correlate it to the same angle, or maybe there were 2 attack directions. After all, this is the Saturday attack, while the north (and south) clues are from Sunday's follow-up.

Follow-Up: More Analysis (add 11/27)
GeoConfirmed posted a Twitter thread explaining why this was probably Russian shelling. 
I posted a rebuttal thread, correcting their 3 readings, all ~90 degrees off. Soon thereafter, the GeoConfirmed one was deleted. Explained: "New information was brought to our attention, and this demands further investigation." As I said, good call (following on a very bad one).

New images from there: the south crater I wanted a better view of:
Damaged pipes at the splash pool
And an impact I hadn't seen, geolocated at the tracks in front of reactor 5, not far from the other impact. 

Tracks impact: It's not entirely clear, but seems to me the blast force is away from the camera, or local south - very similar to the one nearby. 

w/video of tracks impact I found here, we get a better idea of the debris spread, including well onto the pavement and some ways south before it thins out. Then it seems there's a third impact to the pavement right there (blue), with some rubble starting abruptly, and spreading south to somewhere off frame. A trajectory that seems to fit all 3 and their pattern is traced in white. 

South crater: about as it looked before, but improved. Maybe more to the left of this, FROM right over the corner of reactor block 2.

Some thoughts from GeoConfirmed's placement of the video impact - I now doubt that's the crater we see - it IS further south like it seemed. That might be at the damaged trailer, or as suggested, somewhere else further south. If so, that might be three impacts in this area.



Others with random mis readings: OSINT-I is dedicated to "to fight disinformation from active theaters of war." Well, this Twitter thread fails. (but it had that video of the tracks impact I found useful) "The (Russian) MoD accuses the (Ukrainian) armed forces of having bombed the area of the plant, but analyzing the photos and videos of the explosions, the image that emerges is the exact opposite." After some readings that were largely opposite of correct. They misplaced tracks impact as next to reactor 1, not 5 and read it wrong (backwards), read reactor 5 impact wrong (sideways, as GeoConfirmed did), and read south crater almost backwards wrong, as shown: main force was directed to the west, reactor 1, excavating dirt that way, then I guess carting it towards the camera to dump it all around the grass and the pavement BEHIND the impact. All this nonsense helped them decide on Russian hits from the east and ESE, and to pat themselves on the back for "disinformation" fought well. 

Their reading compared to mine: 


Oh, by the way, I never explained GeoConfirmed's 3rd wrong reading in that crater - they thought the crater "opens" (IIRC) to the SW, which I took as coming from that way, or basically from the left. Maybe I misread it, because I don't see why anyone would think that. Maybe they meant fire TO the SW, which is about what OSINT-I thought. But I don't see why anyone would think that either, except in desperation to blame Russia.

The Neocon propagandists at ISW would cite one of their amazingly credible "Russian Milbloggers" with a finding for Russian attack, which it turns out is partly correct, but which they muddled.  
"One Russian milblogger referenced a video of the shelling taken by Chechen forces and stated that it appeared the shelling came from positions in Russian-controlled territory south of the ZNPP, not Ukrainian-controlled territory north of the ZNPP.[3]"
Of course, as noted above, that video is one of the proofs the shelling came from the Ukrainian-held north. I wondered how it was framed as doing the opposite. 

Cited was this Telegram post by "Moscow Calling." I don't know about the source, but they're kind of right and it's refreshing. But they don't cite the video for this call. 

"On the shelling of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, filmed by Kadyrov's DEAR BROTHER.

If the building where the arrival occurred is located on the territory of the ZNPP, and the two pipes circled in green square are the pipes of the Zaporozhye TPP, then it turns out that the arrival was from the south controlled by the RF Armed Forces.

The conclusions are preliminary, may be erroneous due to the fact that the direction of fire was determined by the OSINT method by the spread of fragments."

That is the TPP seen from the roof of special building 1, around the middle. And indeed, the pattern suggests this thing came from the south right before it impacted. To assume it held that direction from the start is what's unfounded. A drone or maneuverable munition could hit on this trajectory after flying on any other. Drones have usually appeared to come straights from the NNE (and perhaps they usually do). The impact seen on video, the crater seen around there, and the 3 impacts by reactor 5 all came from some northern direction. So to assume the whole of both attacks originated from the south is extremely unfounded.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Telling Less than Half the Story: Crime Scene: Bucha

November 6, 2022

(rough, incomplete) Updates Nov. 8

Crime Scene Bucha: How Russian Soldiers Ran a "Cleansing" Operation in Ukraine | FRONTLINE - YouTube Crime Scene Bucha: How Russian Soldiers Ran a "Cleansing" Operation in Ukraine | FRONTLINE

How Russian Soldiers Ran a "Cleansing" Operation in Bucha - By ERIKA KINETZ, OLEKSANDR STASHEVSKYI and VASILISA STEPANENKO November 3, 2022 - https://apnews.com/article/bucha-ukraine-war-cleansing-investigation-43e5a9538e9ba68a035756b05028b8b4

This revives yet again the mass-execution of clandestine TDF fighters at 144 Yablunska, as a stand-in for some 400 killings of various types lumped together as the "Bucha Massacre." Previous reports by the New York Times and others included a constant stream of new video proof. I had initial doubts from the unexplained scene and about even that video evidence of Russian occupiers and men with matching close marched to the site in their stocking feet. But that doubt pretty well evaporated soon after an early  post on a "false-flag"possibility. I replaced that in the same space with quick notes on how it was seeming more like a genuine Russian war crime. I did some research past that, but never worked up a publishable post until now.

The new Frontline and AP reports add yet more video, plus great 3D visuals, and new details, some included by accident. Here is the scene of the crime modeled, the 8 bodies on the left side marked by floating pins - an effect I rather like. Shelling damage around the area seems to come later than these March 4 killings - there's no sign of it in video from March 3 and 5, the latter showing at least some of the bodies.

Timothy Snyder heralded the new AP report as showing how "The killing of civilians in Bucha was deliberate and systematic, as it has been throughout Russian-occupied Ukraine." At 8:45 in the video is a purported phone call from a Russian soldier telling his mother they all drink alcohol because it makes it "easier to shoot civilians. ... We have the order: it does not matter whether civilians or not. Kill everyone. ... I've already killed so many civilians." 

But I have doubts about the audio's legitimacy, and it doesn't jibe well with the clearer evidence presented. Consider... 

* The same AP report explains how after rounding up dozens of locals at 144 Yablunska, the Russians "let most of the civilians go that day, first the women, then the men. But the volunteers were not released." The volunteers were clandestine Territorial Defense fighters, but included one civilian who was sheltering them. They apparently were then executed, in what would be a war crime. But in that "systematic killing of civilians" the system is to filter out the fighters hiding among the and endangering the civilians, to kill them at least in this case, and let the true civilians go. That's not the worst system anyone's ever come up.

* The other case AP and Frontline detail is of Dmytro "Dima" Chaplyhin. He may be "baby-faced" and I'm not arguing he deserved to be killed, but he was military and was observing Russian military movements, probably to help get them killed. At 10:25: the Russians discovered his military cap hidden in a closet, his grandmother admits he was "defending Kyiv." He was killed separately from the others but nearby.

* At 7:05 notice that even when you're actually fighter they already tried to execute, when they think you're an injured civilian - like alleged survivor Ivan Skyba says - they take you to 144 Yablunska, give you medical care, and let you go. That's part of this system of killing civilians that even its violent opponents admit to. 

Allegedly, they have order to "kill everyone," civilians included. They get drunk so they can do that easier. Then ... they don't do that. Because being drunk makes them nicer? Because the real orders do NOT tell them to kill everyone? 

mysteries in this one corner that seem to confirm executions and more but also to involved unexplained shelling - but the connection is not always clear - and also a bulk or area deaths left unexplained, including what would be the single biggest concentration of bodies I know of - eleven in one spot.

Dmytro "Dima" Chaplyhin

Linked images show his body in a spot I had recently geolocated, and map it at the same spot. I cited some photos and a video taken with the Ukrainian investigators, and of some interest now: Ukrainian investigators uncover evidence of torture, killings in Bucha - Washington Post on YouTube - ... along with three other bodies seen in the video and in some photos. Dima is D here.


Bodies A, B, and C had unclear cause of death - possible shooting, possible shelling.  C has a separated head. Predation was probably involved, and maybe some decay, after some extreme shelling damage - probably not a beheading. All 3 seem just "dumped" here, but then B and C have a possible shelling crater in the dirt just a few meters up the road. A in particular was dead some time. He's got discarded junk nearby - bits of ammunition crates and the like splintered by shelling.

These other three, oddly, are NOT included in the map pins in the Frontline video (fading in at 1:39, my outer 3 bodies would be on the far right).

Various injuries seen in the video - back of the head, back, maybe hand - Some blood looks fresh, but his hands are wrinkled from many days in the damp - signs of shelling near his body - scattered fragments into the wall and windows, through a metal plate, apparently from the other side - so a detonation between that and the wall? (tiny red dots in the image at right are visible in a new tab view) A fired shell? A "hail of bullets"? other coincidence? In either case, it's not necessarily connected to his death, but worth considering.

The name on this body is new, but it rang a bell. Digging back now I realize this story had another twist. Early WaPo report

"On the gravel near a loading dock lay the body of Dmytro Chaplyhin, 21, whose abdomen was bruised black and blue, his hands marked with what looked like cigarette burns. He ultimately was killed by a gunshot to the chest, concluded team leader Ruslan Kravchenko. His body then was turned into a weapon, tied to a tripwire connected to a mine."

Or did a mine go off here? Who set it up? The video shows his chest pretty fully - no wound to the chest that I see.  no tripwire visible by then, and the body has been moved - shoe half-off, pant leg tugged.

The Group of 8 "Volunteers"

new here: system of 3 checkpoints at this end of Yablunska, where Ukrainian troops were operating at 144 until early afternoon on3rd, lighting up Russian or whoever's vehicles with RPGs - Russians advancing on foot from the SW just moments later - people brought there - seen calmly gathered maybe under some tent? - to review and absorb. Interesting bit: RPG and a fleeing vehicle not being hit - then a burning car just past the very blue house - sometime between 12:54 and 1:34. 


That's the same one seen burning in drone video of clashes around the checkpoint at 31 Yablunska - to me looking later in the day. We can say later than 12:54 anyway. The very blue house is visible here, about that close to this burning car. Skyba told BBC "He saw a white Renault being struck and a woman and her children trapped inside the burning car." Did he see WHO struck it?

It was around 1PM when the Ukrainians fled 144 Yablusnka, like one other checkpoint already had, and the less-equipped guys at 31 Yablunska - even closer to the Russians - also meant to do. But as they say, they somehow didn't get out in time, and were cut off. But they may have provoked fire. 4 flashes seen in a March 3 video are probably tank fire, not RPG shells sent the other way (as I stupidly decided at one point). Their line of fire includes the checkpoint, not the already burning car, nor the abandoned position further east at 144. 

Narrative from compiled reports (details vary), At this checkpoint were 8 TDF volunteers: Ivan Skyba, unnamed traitor, Anatoliy Prykhidko, Andriy Verbovyi, Svyatoslav Turovskyi, Vitaliy Karpenko. Andriy Dvornikov and Denys Rudenko, the man wearing the blue sweatshirt in the video. One guy used the binoculars, one held the rifle, one held the grenade, one ran the radio, four others were just for moral support? 

Supporting a true panic and poor planning, when they "decided to try to hide" they stashed their one rifle and grenade (plus anything else they don't admit to) and took shelter in the house their obvious military checkpoint was directly in front of, 31 Yablunska street. owned by Valera Kotenko. "The 53-year-old had given them hot drinks and food. He offered shelter now." and so "the nine men hid." Soon the Russians came inside, and they didn't buy whatever denials they heard, Nine guys still in town to "watch the house" when it's the same house next to an obvious military checkpoint? That's not really hiding. 

One clandestine TDF fighter was already killed as the 9 seen were arrested, by reports. Andriy Matviychuk went missing, was there dead on the back porch when the others were brought to the killing site. No body is ever seen there, but his body was likely moved. It would probably be the closest one, seen later  at the bottom of the stairs, with the bound hands and split skull. 

The Russians apparently wanted an admission of militancy the militants were not allowed to give. Karpenko was killed first as an example, while they were in front of the building. One in the group ratted them out as "secret" TDF, was spared, and is now wanted for treason. One other (Verbovyi) was killed inside under torture. The 6 others were marched around the corner where Matviychuk already was and, as the story is told, were shot. Prykhidko tried to run and was shot first, then the rest were killed in a hail of bullets rather than in clean executions. 2 survived, then one was discovered and finished off, while Skyba played dead and escaped later, hiding injured in a nearby house, only to brought back later, treated, and released.

Initially there should be 6 bodies here - 5 killed then (Kotenko, Prykhidko, Rudenko, Dvornikov, Turovsyki), and one earlier. In March 5 drone view, it seems* 3 are visible, 2 are probably present but hidden by a tree, With some correlation explained in a section below, I can identify three of these, deduce another, and divide the remaining 4 into a pair there early and a pair added later. I just can't say who's who within each pair. And I can identify the odd man out, who was already interesting.

* Adding Nov. 8: this is questioned (Kobs, agreeing with AyazK that probably no bodies are there on the 5th), but so far "questioned" is all I can say.

Seen: 3 bodies almost for sure, including Denys Rudenko, previously reported as the man wearing the bright blue sweatshirt (NYT 5/19) - appearing a bit darker here, besides bigger due to color over-saturation - 2 others seem to be there just to his left and right - but the spots where 3 bodies would later be, along the outer fence, seem to be empty. 

Karpenko, Verbovyi killed out front or inside, moved here later - but the third spot is mysterious. The shrapnel-wounded civilian Kotenko is not there, & also not well-explained. He should be among the 6 bodies there early on. But if so, he's somewhere hidden, moved later. Here's an updated but cluttered graphic to maybe redo soon: 

As explained below, this body was noted to display "multiple bullet and shrapnel wounds," looking perhaps like the "fletchette" variety. In the 144 Yablunska massacre story, with all its tellings, there's no role for shrapnel. Also the body noted with shrapnel has location issues. Kotenko, or the man with striped pants, is among those marched over here. But how he came to be dead by that fence is not fully explained, and might involve an explosive shell going off at this site, or perhaps earlier (he doesn't walk with a limp, but he could be injured from the first view).

Area Deats NOT Explained
Eleven bodies - what would be the biggest concentration in a single spot - indicated in the large building just south of 144 - it has the roof and some upper walls blown away for a good span, in a way it didn't back on March 3 when the Russians first took over here. 

Was this another case of Russians shelling themselves? Who was in there to die when the shells hit? Is 11 maybe just some area total, including the "missing" 3 and the 8 "volunteers" double-counted, but excluding Chaplyhin?

Besides these 11, another concentration of 6 pins nearby is also not explained. That plus the 3 I noted missing from the map, those killed in the white Renault hit by shelling (or were 6 killed there and mis-placed?), and at least 4 other pins nearby = 24+ deaths unexplained in 4+ other incidents. That vs. 9 explained in 2 incidents, after that same tale has been told many times already, with a constant stream of new, supporting video - 3/4 of the deaths just in this corner of town still remain unexplained.  There is some definite evidence of a war crime by Russian forces here, but then as with the rest of the Bucha Massacre, we're getting less than half the story.

---


Appendix: Volunteer Bodies Correlated

From some published morgue photos variously showing bodies and clothing, together as found and separate, with brief notes ... three entries correlate with victims at 144 Yablunska. I hesitate to link to these ostensibly private and likely fragile points of evidence and get them deleted or hidden away. I also don't need to share any pf the photos here. Maybe I do. But for now, I'll just say what I see there. 

Valera Kotenko

До моргу м. Київ, вул. Багговутівська, 1 доставлено тіло 150 невстановленого чоловіка, 45-55 років, зріст 169 см. Виявленийу м. Буча, Яблунська, 144 з множинними кульовими та осколковими пораненнями.

To the morgue, Kyiv, str. Baggovutivska, 1, the body of an unidentified man, 150, 45-55 years old, 169 cm tall, was delivered. with multiple bullet and shrapnel wounds were found in the town of Bucha, 144 Yablunska.

= Valera Kotenko, the only true civilian killed. https://twitter.com/YousurAlhlou/status/1528086561316741120

Law enforcement officers photographed a note next to an unidentified body. “Bucha city, 144 Yablunska Street. Is wearing a black T-shirt and blue joggers with three white stripes.” We identified the man as Valera Kotenko, who worked unloading groceries for a popular retail chain." 

body photos: Striped pants look bluer here than on the body at the scene, but they seem to be the same, just dried out now and under better lighting. Other clothing is consistent. Body photos: extra-good. At least 1 puncture to left chest, lower than heart - maybe lung? close-ups show two pairs of punctures on unclear body parts - maybe lower back thigh and upper chest? pants suggest another injury around the right buttock.

A yellow staining of the belly, arms and face is wort at what seem to be rust stains on his left hand, which would be resting on the metal fence post during heavy runoff if his were the body with matching pants. The other stained parts were left in the water near that rusting fence.

Denys Rudenko

Доставлений до Білоцерківського бюро СМЕ - труп невідомого чоловіка, якого було виявлено 06.04.2022 в м. Буча, вул. Яблунева

"Delivered to the Bilotserki Bureau of the SME - the corpse of an unknown man who was discovered on April 6, 2022 in the city of Bucha, str. Yabluneva" - but the attached photo has a note that says 144 Yablunska (I can make out that part). Clothing: bright blue sweatshirt, blue jeans, dark undershirt, underpants = probably Denys Rudenko. previously reported as the man wearing the bright blue sweatshirt, seen also wearing the rest (NYT 5/19). Bloodstains on his underwear suggests injury to the upper thigh - only head and shoulders shown in body photos - one eye destroyed, maybe bullet exit wound - some teeth may be knocked out - no entry wounds. 

Anatoliy Prykhidko

"Delivered to the Bilotserkiv Bureau of SME from the city of Bucha, str. Yabluneva - Prykhidko Anatoliy Valeriyovych, born on July 22, 1983." Address not given, but there's a name, and he was the one who tried to run, would likely wind up the body alongside the stairs, where I might try running. The photo is grisly, showing predation - hungry stray dogs chewed off his lips and one cheek - video showed the body by the stairs was on his left side, with hood up, but right cheek torn away. Clothing: with a head shot only - top: gray fleece, maybe w/hood, like in the video.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Ukrainian Shelling Kills a ZNPP Worker

November 1, 2022

Among the zany things the Russians have allegedly done in their shelling of Russian-occupied Energodar and the Zaporizhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) was to kill a 26-year-old ZNPP employee on his way to work on August 22, along with cab driver bringing him. They did it with a GRAD rocket they fired. Or maybe it was Russian shooting that killed them. Something Russian did it, allegedly.

Others blamed Ukrainian shelling. The camera doesn't lie, and it agrees with them, showing a munition fired from the Ukrainian-held northwest is exactly what killed these two people. 

Clashing Claims

August 23 memorial by Memorial Ukraine on Telegram: "Don't wait, act!" - these are the words Vladyslav Mitin wrote on his Instagram page a few days before his death. A 26-year-old resident of Energodar was shot dead by Russians on August 22 when he was riding in a taxi in the passenger seat." Their tribute image at right. 

Two weeks later on September 6, his employers at Energoatom on Telegram noted this entry on Mr. Mitin, who worked as a mechanic in the thermal automation and measurement shop. They were heartbroken that he died "when the Russians fired at a taxi in which the man was riding in the passenger seat." They add some explanation: "From the photo and video, where you can see the damaged car with bullet holes, it is clear that the car was fired upon almost at close range. Vladyslav was seriously injured, he was immediately hospitalized for resuscitation. But in a few hours he died. The driver of that taxi also died." Noone has named the driver. 

Vladyslav wanted others to urgently "act" - maybe to fight the Russian invaders, although it's not specified. Maybe that's why they decided to gun him down? 

By September 6, maybe shooting was the Ukrainian official story, but early on when that tribute was posted, most parties agreed Mitin was killed by artillery shelling (variously reported as rocket, mortar, or unspecified). Of course, they disputed who was to blame. 

I didn't find the original source, but someone tweeted, citing Energodar (Russian-affiliated) city council member Vladimir Rogov: "Zelensky's militants are hitting Energodar with heavy artillery! Strikes were recorded on the TPP area, previously from American long-range artillery weapons, one civilian was killed, another received a shrapnel wound to the chest, medical professionals are fighting for his life."

Note "TPP area" = Zaporizhya Thermal Power Plant - Mitin was mortally wounded just outside this plant as his taxi passed it. See map below.

Elsewhere on Telegram, Rogov blamed Ukraine, simply showing the footage of the damaged car with the killed driver slumped over at the wheel, declaring: "The Nazis will not calm down until we ourselves calm them down and send them by express train to meet with Bandera and Shukhevych."

Pro-Kyiv sources, of course, blamed Russians. Ukraine Front Lines (EuroMaidan PR) Aug 23: "An employee of the Zaporizhzhya NPP - a fitter in the thermal automation & measurement shop Vladyslav Mitin was injured in Energodar as of car shelling. According to the city mayor, the employee was treated, but he died in intensive care in a few hours from his severe injuries." Flash News: "Yesterday, August 22, 2022, as a result of the shelling of a taxi car in Energodar, an employee of the Zaporizhia NPP, Vladyslav Mitin, born in 1996, a mechanic at the thermal automation and measurement shop, was injured. He was hospitalized, but died a few hours later from his severe wounds in intensive care."

Youtube videos: Russian troops fired at the TPP in Energodar on August 22, 2022 from BM-21 MLRS (distance view) - Russia shelled the TPP in Energodar - The shelling of the hydroelectric power station in Energodar (blames noone) - now unavailable - unavailable (deleted accounts) - I recall some had blamed Ukraine. Maybe those were the deleted two. 

Flash_news_ua early tweet was ambiguous: "According to eyewitnesses, about an hour ago, the Russians fired on a thermal power plant in Energodar. There are pre-dead (early death(s)). We are waiting for official information." GeoConfirmed had a quick geolocation, citing Flash News:  "According to eyewitnesses the thermal power plant in Energodar was shelled. A taxidriver was killed by the shelling."

But not quite everyone agreed. Energodar's Ukraine-affiliated mayor-in-exile, Dmityo Orlov, had a muddled Aug. 22 report on Telegram, mixing shelling reports with his own uniformed observations to suggest gunfire. Translated from the original:

"There are reports from Energodar about the death of a man and several others injured as a result of shelling in the area of ​​the Zaporizhzhya TPP."

"The occupiers have traditionally blamed the Armed Forces for this. But the circumstances of the event raise big questions. Judging by the available video from the occupants of the damage to the car ❗️ with almost equal holes from bullets❗️, the car was fired at almost at close range. Probably, ❗️ from the machine ❗️[automatic gunfire] We are currently investigating whether there is a fact of human death. But what is already known for sure: the central heating station [thermal plant] was damaged by mortar attacks in Energodar today. It will take time to restore the water supply. In advance, repair work will continue until the morning."

The claim was repeated: Aug 23, EuroMaidan Press: "On Aug. 22 as a result of a taxi car firing by Russian occupiers in Enerhodar, a mechanic at Zaporizhzhya NPP Vladyslav Mitin was injured and died in the intensive care." Orlov is cited. This deduction and Orlov's supposed authority may be the exact origin of the shooting claim as passed by Memorial Ukraine and Energoatom.  

IAEA report (PDF ) would mention shelling, no shooting, and nothing about casualties. 

• Shelling on 22 August damaged the transformers of the nearby thermal power plant, causing a disconnection of the power line linking this power plant to the ZNPP, lasting several hours before it was restored later the same day. In addition to the restored backup line to the thermal power plant, the ZNPP had only one operational power line connecting it to the grid out of a total of four such lines.

Cameras Not Lying 

Geolocation
The IAEA reported an electrical transformer was damaged in this shelling, affecting the ZNPP. That's probably at the VRU 330 electrical substation on the thermal plant's NE corner. It's a different shell that hit a road just outside this plant's SE corner, killing Mr. Mitin and the unnamed driver. The site, with raised pipes over the roadway, has been geolocated a few times, none by me (AyazK already had it). It's on a road that bypasses the thermal plant entrance and continues to the nuclear plant (a plausible route to work there, as reported). Coordinates: 47.50754307792859, 34.63466943732734

Below: Area map with both plants, likely route, incident area in red. It's a good guess that Mitin lived in the north of Energodar.

Below: Google Maps street view of the incident spot, coming from the southeast, vs. a video scene of the same. The damaged car is just visible here, just around the first corner ahead of the pipes.

Damage Analysis
These are not bullet holes. They're too irregular and varied, including larger pieces of shell casing. As most people initially said, these marks were made by explosive fragments from an artillery shell or rocket. Elongated marks from glancing impacts across the hood and windshield vs. more circular marks from direct hits to the side means the shell detonated on the driver's side, just barely ahead of the car. Here are some compiled good views of the damage, which we'll consider more below.

There is no shelling crater visible, in a passing video where the relevant area is covered with water. There probably is one under the massive puddle, I would expect, some meters on the northwest side of the pipes. Below, I traced the scene on the satellite view, oriented to north. The white car at upper left is about where the affected taxi wound up (probably after someone pushed it off the road from its original stop point).

 Overhead pipes color-coding, as used below: green = southeast, blue = northwest. Estimating impact at the red star, fragments from the back side (yellow) would mainly hit the pavement. In the forward direction, all lines marked orange would have fragments above ground, from low at the sides to highest to the SW, up into the pipes from below. Fragments will angle higher on the forward side, so this proves the shell arrived from the northwest, flying southeast, roughly towards this car. The shell and the car headed towards each other at just the wrong moment, and virtually collided. 

The car was logically headed northwest and was just passing the pipes, taking fragments lower on the arc than the pipes would - front end hit low, angling up the driver's side to the back of the car- in a band wide enough it covers the whole car's side pretty fully - but note above almost no marks at the back end, where fragments were angling up into the pipes instead. To hit the left/driver's side so much means the blast was south of the car, probably south of center on the road or at its far edge - not quite how I showed it above. 

Side-view sketch, from the driver's side. Orange dots where fragments would hit the car (basic idea - not mapping every actual hit), red where they'd hit the driver and passenger. Other frags would pass above the car and into the overhead pipes, shown here extra-large with color-coding: again green = southeast pipe, blue = northwest. Orange lines to the underside areas that might be hit with fragments. (note this isn't to exact scale - just basic idea)


Pipes cross-view - no hit to the pipes except in the orange zone = the fragments came from the northwest side.



Southeast side as seen on the way in: water is spraying away from the camera, mostly from unseen surfaces, seeming to appear at each pipe edge (middle pipes marked white).

... vs. northwest side on the way back out: water spraying towards the camera, from various holes in the underside and this side of perhaps all four pipes (it's unclear if the blue NW pipe is punctured - a railing blocks our view of its lower edge - but it was just lightly hit at best - another clue to the impact's relevant angles). 

Add 11/3: a video I happened upon shows the pipe s being repaired - the southeast side is free of visible marks, while at least 9 punctures are seen from the northwest side, including at least 2 in the blue NW pipe. https://twitter.com/gporter812/status/1562098455299907584

Conclusion

The weapon type is not clear from reports or images. It could be a cannon shell, GRAD rocket, or something else not terribly powerful. They all work on the same basic principles. The disc of fragmentation damage, from car bumper to overhead pipes in a short span, suggests a fairly horizontal impact (well under 45 degrees), so I'd venture this was a relatively long-range use of the weapon, whatever it was. Close-range mortar fire by the Russians can probably be ruled out, along with their gunfire.

As noted above, the munition's suggested trajectory was from the northwest, basically down this road or perpendicular into the pipes. Considering an impact point south of what I showed above, around the edge of the road, I'm leaning towards a few degrees south of perpendicular. One line I tried at right was just bareky so, and it runs back to around Prydniprovske at 20 km or Chkalove at 32 km distance. Perhaps even better would be a line passing closer to Kamianske. The direction can't be called with precision, but it was probably fired from the north bank, somewhere in that area, depending on the weapon and its range.

This artillery fire from the northwest killed two Ukrainian citizens, besides disrupting power to the nuclear plant. Some extremists in Kyiv's unaccountable, Western-backed forces fired those shells and then - in another crime against reality -they denied the act. They blamed the Russians for shelling themselves again, complicating their own occupation again, with mortar shells or Grad rockets or just shooting. Kyiv's ideological extremists recast their unlucky victims here as heroes, partly because the facts of their actual lives and deaths in this physical reality don't matter to them, 

Friday, October 28, 2022

How a Ukrainian Fake Confirms Russia on ZNPP Invasion Claims

October 28, 2022 

The Energodar "Dead Commandos" video was briefly posted as proof that Ukrainian forces had staged a brazen assault on the Russian-held city surrounding Europe's largest nuclear reactor. Some retracted that in embarrassment when the video was revealed to be a hoax. In this post, I aim to reclaim this hoax video as evidence in the same case, but from another direction.

Invasion: Energodar - a Real Assault or a Staged Play? 

In the hours before a high-level team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was to visit, Early on September 1, a battle broke out at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) and the surrounding city of Energodar (or Enohodar). Ukrainian special forces allegedly crossed the Dnipro river and opened fire on Russian forces, trying to seize control of the area. It was surmised that Kiev's plan was to reclaim the nuclear plant, curtail the IAEA investigation there, and then use the agency's stay-on team as human shields while they launch attacks from the plant. Maybe they just wanted the ensuing battle to force the team back for their own safety and keep them from investigating the signs of Ukrainian shelling of the plant, as the Russians had requested. 

The importance of this allegation is highlighted by another alleged invasion attempt, on October 19 amid intensified Ukrainian shelling that knocked out power and water to the city. (RIA Novosti - RT) ...

Compiled reports at Athens News explain the September attack, as reported by pro-Russian local sources. Some 60 Ukrainian special forces operatives landed overnight "in the area of dachas north-east of the ZNPP and secretly occupied the initial lines of attack by 5 o'clock in the morning." That was when Ukrainian artillery opened fire on Russian forces at the ZNPP, hoping to crack the shell and let the commandos in. A larger second wave had set out from Nikopol in 2 barges to reinforce them, but Russian aircraft sunk these en route, "after which the entire capture plan was foiled, and part of the advanced assault group withdrew to the landing site, where it was pressed to the ground" and by 11 AM "now it is being finished off there." They also managed to squeeze in a shelling attack on "the alleged point of crossing the front by the IAEA mission." It sounds like no one escaped.

A crude mapping of the claims that came with this report, English labels added by me (black circle, "unknown wave" - see below):

Boris Rogozin "At the moment, 47 DRG fighters (infiltrators) have been killed, three have been taken prisoner (!), two are in serious condition between life and death. A group of 12 people is blocked on three sides and cut off from the water and boats, by 15:00 WHO will be finished. The operation was coordinated by MI6 officers from their headquarters in the suburbs of Kiev. All 64 people from the DRG have recently been trained in the UK and travelled from Warsaw to Odessa on 29 August.


Add 10/29:
AyazK tipped me off to a Rybar analysis including of barges used in the landing. Their infographic includes a view of one barge shown only half sunk and pouring smoke at the shore (mapped some ways west of the ZNPP - geolocation tweet), while another view they have claims to show one of several killed Ukrainian soldiers who washed up on the Nikopol shore. These 2 images are cropped together at right. 

Rybar also shows satellite images of two barges supposedly peeling off, on September 1, from a group of 12 long moored near Nikopol. "This happened for the first time in a year," they say. "With all our skepticism, we do not believe in the version about the insidious Russian sabotage and reconnaissance group that crossed the Dnieper, stole barges in Nikopol and drove them to the south coast to simulate the landing of Ukrainian troops on the south coast." End 10/29

I can't vouch for the details like numbers involved or whose plan it was, nor can I entirely prove there was an assault at all. But as I'll show, there probably was, and Ukraine's denials tend to confirm the fact. We'll need to consider the "Russian account" timeline of the attack:

* 5.20 first SOF team in place, artillery strikes from across the river. "Since 5:20 Energodar was subjected to the most severe artillery fire from the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Arrivals were recorded in residential areas, reported dead and wounded civilians." (Rybar

* about 6 am the attack of the first wave of troops begins, and a second wave (2 barges) leaves Nikopol, expected arrival around 7.30.

* about 7.00 a.m. and after: "Russian aircraft (or helicopters) sank both barges with the second echelon, after which the entire capture plan was foiled, and part of the advanced assault group withdrew to the landing site, where it was pressed to the ground (now it is being finished off there)." 

* "at 8.00 the artillery of the Armed Forces of Ukraine shelled the alleged point of crossing the front by the IAEA mission."

* before 8:59: video shows shelling on a street in Energodar on or near the IAEA route (depending what the route actually was)

* by 11 a.m.: the situation apparently settling but still not settled as fuller reports including deaths among the attackers emerge by 11:04, most claiming the violence was ongoing. 

Boris Rogozin at 11:04 AM local time: attack death toll of 47 so far, fighting expected to be done by 3PM. Yury Podolyak at 11:36 claimed "the loss of two platoons of the MTR of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and up to the battalion of the second wave on barges. That is about 300-400 people. Without any result." Telegram: Contact @yurasumy at 11:56 "The Russians, of course, have already liquidated almost all of this Ukrainian landing force. There was no chance of survival. ... this strategy was prepared by NATO experts."

Key details, images and audio posted by the Ukrainian side are largely consistent with these reports even as they disputed the narrative behind the evidence. Video posted at 9:28 and again at 9:28 - shows a tank on Kurchatova Street by city hall (47.4916788,34.6632712), driving NE towards the coast as if for battle there. At 11:16 AM local time, Saint Javelin posted audio from Enegodar sounding like clashes between opposing forces in the near distance. Hromadske at 12:17 PM: Since 5 am "the Russian occupying forces have not stopped constant mortar shelling ... Machine guns can be heard. ... Later, the Mayor announced that the occupiers were firing mortars and machine guns, and involved aviation (helicopters were circling over the city)." The helicopter photo below was included with this tweet (geolocation seems possible, but I leave it to anyone else). 


UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric would say of the day's events “We are glad that the Russian Federation did what it needed to do to keep our inspectors safe,” It's not clear if that relates to stopping an alleged effort to seize the plant, or to nothing in particular, but it was read as "UN thanks Russia for keeping nuclear team safe." (RT)

However... Yevhen Yevtushenko, Head of the Nikopol District Military Administration: "the Russian army is shelling Enerhodar ... to create a suitable picture for the IAEA commission and to form a pool of local residents who, under the media’s cameras, inform the commission about the attack on the city from our side of the reservoir." Source: Yevtushenko on Telegram; Dmytro Orlov, Mayor of Enerhodar, on Telegram; Enerhodar City Council on Facebook. (UP)

More to the point: "Russia simulates fighting in Enerhodar by shelling the area near the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in order to disrupt a visit by an IAEA team, Andriy Yermak, the head of the Ukrainian President’s Office, said." (Euromaidan Press)

Coastal Shelling? 

One interesting angle of this I've been developing is the day's record of shelling attacks. team arrived at the plant - despite the morning's battle - The IAEA's September report (PDF) would fail to mention the battle (or staged performance?), and also notes no shelling or noteworthy developments at the ZNPP on this day. But Ukrainian sources said new "Russian" shelling of the plant triggered the emergency protection system and the 5th power unit was shut down." (Hromadske)  "A shell exploded near the first power unit. It is also reported that the reserve power supply line of the station at 330 kV was broken." (Rybar 9/1 9:28 am) A Sept. 1 Russian news video showed where a "Ukrainian" shell landed near the liquid nitrogen cooling station at the plant's south end, not far from reactor 1 ("first power unit"), blowing a crater in a raised mound, damaging a building to the west and some water pipes overhead. (video - geolocation - small view in the image below). 

This is the only ZNPP strike from the east that I've noticed, and it happened to come on this day when Kiev's forces might have new attack positions including to the east. 

This same morning, prior to a video posting at 8:58 AM local time, a shell was seen hitting a square next to a medical clinic in eastern Energodar (geolocated), from up the street to the northeast (my call). As it happens, it was quite near the IAEA's team's planned roue to the site, and was called a Russian attempt to stop them (Meduza). Podolyak mentioned Ukrainian shelling of "the alleged point of crossing the front by the IAEA mission," but this is probably another spot they'd pass well after "the front." And I'm not sure anyone knows the exact, planned route.

I noticed this trajectory from NE and the one at the plant from the east could well intersect at a coastal spot by Energodar (tweet or see here). Later I noticed another shell that day hit an apartment building across the street from the clinic impact. Hromadske Int. on Twitter. All three of these shells might have been fired from the same spot. One good option is shown below, 1.4 km from the clinic and apartment strikes, 6.8 km from the ZNPP impact. 

Landing sites given by Russian sources don't include this spot, and operational areas aren't clearly described. But maybe there was another landing here they didn't know about, or the ones they did had some guys sent this far in to launch some shells. Maybe the same people also escaped unnoticed and made it back to the north shore.

Kyiv Says it was All Staged, Stages Some "Proof"

It was all a Russian "simulation," according to the President's office, as noted above; "Russia simulates fighting in Enerhodar ... in order to disrupt a visit by an IAEA team" (Euromaidan PressBut the only ones caught simulating anything were some Ukrainian soldiers - likely involved in the real assault - playing dead on a beach. 

They caught themselves, and that was the idea. An edit of their video was posted  - apparently via some fake pro-Russian channel they ran (?), on the day after the assault, September 2. The idea was to trick Russian-affiliated channels into running the video as visual proof for the Russian reports of a foiled offensive

The bait was taken, by at least one channel. As Newsweek reported, Vladislav Pozdnyakov, who runs a right-wing pro-Russian Telegram channel "Male State" passed the video on, but then deleted that after "a Ukrainian channel posted the full video, showing some of the "dead" soldiers stand up, Bellingcat's Aric Toler first reported, noting that the footage was intended to trick Russia." 

New York Post: "it was all a sly ruse to embarrass the enemy. ... And it seems the ruse worked because the edited version of the clip showing the “dead” Ukrainians was picked up by Kremlin propagandist Vladislav Pozdnyakov. Immediately after Toler tweeted about the fake video, Pozdnyakov switched his Telegram channel to private. “Pozdnyakov is annoyed he got faked out,” Toler gloated in a tweet."

The video is viewable here, with some discussion, on Reddit, September 6. Toler has blocked me after ~0 contact, the dude is so "open-source", but ... here's his tweet linking to Pozdnyakov's post and to "The reveal of zombie soldiers from today." (9/6) post link: https://t.me/kristianudarov/855 (not visible to me) by Kristian Udarov, like the video stamp says. Is that the "Ukrainian Flag" conservative party leader? The MMA fighter? All the same? His Youtube channel looking like the fighter, and with patriotic flags. He seems well-connected. Was he involved in this?

AFAIK "Male State" is just as fake as the channel first publishing the video, or Pozdnyakov is not very bright. But either way, "multiple channels" on Telegram and others were fooled, and passed on this hoax video. It got around so that I had seen it on Twitter - in passing - and I didn't doubt it on first glance. I believed the reports of a foiled landing with losses, and this looked like video of that. If I had looked closer, I like to think I'd form doubts - there was not even an effort at fake blood anywhere - did they all suffer heart attacks? 

But others rejected the bait, some of them pointedly so. SITREP on Twitter, Sept 2: "IPsO shot a staged video of the corpses of their yesterday's failed landing party in #Energodar at #ZNPP and started spreading it in 🇷🇺 Telegram feeds. Tomorrow the 🇺🇦 media will start refuting it and accusing the Russians of being fakers." In a second tweet: "the "🇷🇺" cameraman has a GRU commander's watch. In short, it doesn't work, you fools. You don't have to bother with denials, anything is clear." 

Replies largely ridiculed their assessment, like: "Your fake is so fake you had to say it's Ukrainian fake." But it was a Ukrainian fake, although SITREP were wrong about "tomorrow." It was a few days before the hoax was revealed, on or by September 6. Maybe they kept hoping more people would be fooled before they finally had Udarov call time on the operation. 

It was "intended to trick Russia" by showing them to be gullible, and therefore total liars. They nabbed "Male State," a few un-notable others. "It seems the ruse worked." It worked slightly better than the reckless, criminal, and hushed-up assault on Energodar they were probably engaged with just before this video stunt.

How Ukraine's Fake Video Confirms Russian Claims 

We know it was Ukrainian troops who staged this vide. Most of should realize that doesn't mean the whole alleged operation must be a lie. In fact, it might do more to support the "Russian" claims than to discredit them. I had to ask who, when, where, why, and why not.

Who? Russian reports sound like all attackers were killed, captured, or sure to be that way, with none escaped. But there may be a whole landing they didn't know about and some escapes they didn't notice or report, and this might be them. Otherwise, it's other soldiers who went to the shore to play out Russia's claims to make them seem fake. 

The one filming wears a Soviet-themed (costume?) wristwatch. Ukrainian GRU issue like SITREP said? The "killed" are only about six in number (not "3 dozen"). They wear patches someone else knows better. I see a sonnerad (Nazi black sun) on one of them. Similar patches are shown with US cash and such the "killed" were said to have on them. Simple props, obviously. 

When seems easy: it's 11:05 am by that man's watch. But it could be set wrong, and 11:05 on what day? I'm not sure. Is the first postings on Sept. 2 after or before 11:05? Can 9/2 be ruled out? Even if it can't be, I suspect this is filmed on the 1st, as the fighting was wrapping up across the river.

Where: on a washed-out strip of kind of north-south coast. The solar azimuth at that time on September 1 or 2 would be 145° SE (NOAA). This at right isn't exactly how to draw a 145° line, but it should give an idea. The local coastline is on an angle something like 45° different - so the coast here runs south, something like 190°. That's quite approximate, but it helps narrow things down.

To the east is the river with land visible a few kilometers beyond, and to the west, a cut bank all along, with small, dense trees along it - maybe an uphill path to the north - some land and/or larger trees extend out in the water to the north and to the south ... note this panoramic view makes the fairly straight coast seem to curve extremely.


I found no such spot around Energodar on the south bank, but a few possible matches back on the Ukrainian side. This one by Illinka (47.5849009,34.6683481) is the best fit and the closest, due north of Energodar's east coast (2 sub-spots - yellow box below)- trees in the water not so clear here or anywhere, but there are some right at the edge - maybe the water level has risen (but historically it seems quite steady - see Google Earth). A couple of other possible matches on the north shore noted here.

Why? The idea, presumably, was to cast all the Russian allegations as fake by getting them as attached as possible to something that was fake and under their control. But their denials and absurd counter-accusations would have been widely bought anyway, and succeeded well enough without this stunt. The unneeded help just adds to the reasons to believe Ukraine really did launch this brazen assault.

An offensive on Energodar would explain the mortar and rifle fire heard, the tanks and helicopters sent out, and the observed shelling that likely traces back to a coastal landing site. (Add 10/29) It would explain the 2 barges that set out, the one seen half-sunk, and the dead Ukrainian troops washing up. It would explain Kiev's allowance of an IAEA visit that they previously complained "would legitimise Russia's presence" at the ZNPP [Energoatom]. Maybe they meant to end that presence before the visit and have it legitimize their presence instead? 

And the reported offensive ending in deadly failure could explain Ukrainian forces staging this video at that place and at that time.

Allegedly, the assault had been routed, with deaths to explain away, sometime before the earliest report I've seen to mention deaths, at 11:04 am. One minute later, this video was made. Did they rush to the shore to stage this so quickly to discredit even earlier reports they heard? Maybe they already know about the alleged losses because they witnessed them actually occur? If barges were sunk, or the advance team never returned, or both, others would know pretty quickly. Their government couldn't admit to this mission or any related deaths. And they would soon be forced to deny the Russian claims. 

Any mission survivors might have time to discuss this on the crossing back, and decide the first thing they would do back on land is to play dead and make those claims seem fake. And, of course, other comrades on land could decide to do the same. Their bosses might appreciate it, you know, "just in case" the imminent Russian claims weren't fake enough on their own.

Why not? It would be a pretty astounding thing to most people - a plan to snatch a city and a nuclear plant with a military assault just hours before international inspectors were set to arrive. It would endanger or at least disrespect the IAEA, whose Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi headed the team. It would risk forcing them back from their mission just to avoid the new and optional battle zone. Kiev was probably more than willing to risk that. I believe they did risk it, and largely for that reason. 

If they had done all this, we could surmise they have no interest in the truth, and no concern about anyone holding them to account. And true to that form, when their reckless violence was exposed, they resorted to victim-blaming denial and - here - to outright fakery in a "clever ruse" to make the Russians look like the fakers. As often happens, the Ukrainians failed in a ridiculous and criminal mission, and they failed at covering it up. It's only through massive external assistance and international embargoes on truth that this regime in Kiev avoids the embarrassment and accountability it deserves for its ongoing crimes against reality and against Humanity.