After a careful study of the below photo, the group identified the exact shooting location and found out weapons were pointed at the direction opposite to Ukrainian forces.
The picture was posted by a Russian militant in his social media profile, who also disclosed his military camp in Donetsk. In this very place, back in April 2015, InformNapalm registered military equipment prohibited by the Minsk agreements. GoogleMaps and Yandex.Maps also confirm this area has been long time used by Russian occupation forces as a ground for deploying a military camp.
Here is a Liveuamap screenshot showing the shooting location (48.185633, 37.996295) on the map (marked with a green circle) near the village of Panteleimonivka (the Donetsk region).
After consultations with military experts (Andrii Moruha and Maksym Shpak) it emerged that the firing range of a mortar depends on gun's attachment angle and a type of mine ranging from 1 to 6. With the attachment angle seen in the photo and the use of type 1 shell, the firing distance will be 1,100 meters, while type 6 will allow to hit a target at 4,800 meters. The maximum firing range of this kind of mortar is up to 7,200 meters.
Approximate firing direction of a 120-mm mortar
Media have often written about provocative shelling by militants but it was rather difficult to find some photo or video evidence. With the revealed photo, not only was it possible to prove the fact of 120-mm weaponry being present near the demarcation line but also to establish the fact of a provocation.
Delivering friendly fire, militants try to:
- convince the world community that Ukraine breaks the cease-fire;
- continue the psychological pressure on the militants who are convinced that "the Ukrainian junta" is responsible for those attacks.