31 Oct 2018

Civilian harm as a result of alleged russian airstrikes

Several years of monitoring alleged Russian airstrikes in Syria reveals a pattern of indiscriminate targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure. In an analysis of 3303 videos documenting alleged Russian airstrikes from 116 sources between 30 September 2015 and 9 September 2018, Syrian Archive has identified 1418 incidents in which Russian forces allegedly targeted civilians or civilian infrastructure of little to no military value. Content included in this database can be viewed, analysed and downloaded.

While data presented in this collection does not include all incidents of alleged Russian airstrikes on civilians between 2015 and 2018, it presents all incidents for which visual content was available and verifiable as of the date of publication. Syrian Archive hopes this will support reporting, advocacy, research, and accountability efforts.

These databases includes verified videos that show:

  • Airstrikes published by the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD)
  • Casualties as a result of alleged Russian attacks including children and women
  • People being treated in medical facilities and other locations including children and women as a result of the alleged Russian attacks
  • Remnants of munitions used in alleged Russian attacks
  • Alleged Russian attacks impact sites, including civilian homes, mosques, schools, bakeries, hospitals, markets, and cultural properties
  • Alleged Russian attacks against humanitarian relief personnel and objects
  • Alleged Russian attacks on water sources
  • Witness testimonies of alleged Russian attacks from victims, medical workers, and civilians through video interviews
  • Information about locations of alleged Russian attacks
  • Details on names of people killed or affected as a result of alleged Russian attacks
  • Rescue missions by humanitarian groups to help victims of the alleged Russian attacks
  • Engineering experts removing the remnants of unexploded munitions
  • Russian aircrafts launching airstrikes on civilian locations

This open source database is fully searchable and queryable by date, location, keyword, relevance, and confidence score. It consists of two collections: 1) various documentation efforts of citizen journalists, media groups, humanitarian groups, human rights groups and others in Syria, and 2) archived and geolocated videos published by the Russian Ministry of Defence. Both collections have been fully verified by Syrian Archive staff.


Added value

There have been several efforts by various parties to document atrocities and human rights violations committed by Russian forces in Syria. These include efforts by the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic and by many human rights monitoring organisations (e.g., Syrian Network for Human Rights, Violations Documentation Center, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Syrian American Medical Society, Syrians for Truth and Justice, and many others).

The added value of the publication of this collection is that every piece of data is preserved, verified, standardised, and clustered into incidents.

Additional metadata has been added to the database, making it to be searchable. This is useful for journalists, lawyers and human rights monitors, and investigators for reporting, advocacy and accountability work.

It is possible to search the database using keywords. This means a user can search for attacks, filtered by the use of particular munitions, a particular location, or a particular type of target (e.g., medical facilities). Results can be sorted by relevance, date or the number of videos and reports provided for each incident. The map and timeline can be used to see the scale and breadth of attacks.


Syrian Archive is a civil society group that has been documenting the Syrian conflict since 2014. To date over 3.3 million units of digital content have been located and preserved. Like many monitoring organisations, Syrian Archive is unable to go into Syria to investigate these attacks. Relying on a network of journalists and video makers it is essential to monitor, document and report on the crimes in Syria and preserve these pieces of evidence for accountability and justice initiatives.

Civilian documentation of alleged Russian airstrikes
This collection contains videos published by individuals including journalists, activists, media and humanitarian groups, who claim to have witnessed a Russian airstrike targeting civilians or civilian infrastructure in Syria. Syrian Archive preserved and verified video content in this collection and clustered it into an incident database.
Russian Ministry of Defence documentation of airstrike operations in Syria
This collection contains videos of Russian airstrikes publicly published on the Russian Ministry of Defence’s official YouTube channel since September 2015. Videos have verified by Bellingcat and other open source investigators (e.g,. Samir). Syrian Archive preserved this documentation, standardised the data, mapped it, and made it searchable. In some cases, Syrian Archive staff linked documentation from the Russian MoD to civilian documentation of alleged attacks on civilian infrastructure.
Pattern of Attack
Wed Oct 31 2018
Munitions Identified
Wed Oct 31 2018
About the Data
Wed Oct 31 2018
Methodology
Wed Oct 31 2018
Errors and Corrections
Wed Oct 31 2018
Acknowledgements
Wed Oct 31 2018
About Syrian Archive
Wed Oct 31 2018