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Published in Stream:
Ukraine Live Day 341
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Smerch Geolocated in Makeyevka from Two Recent Videos
2 years
OSCE Official Statement Says Rockets Which Killed 30+ Civilians In Mariupol Came From DNR Territory

A Smerch ("whirlwind") rocket launching system has been spotted in Makeyevka outside of Donetsk on January 22, 2015.

A video  was uploaded January 22 titled "Russian occupiers' Smerch, city of Makeyevka. Generala Danilova St. in the direction of Zelyony micro-district. 22.01.2015

That description would mean the video was taken here, near Donetsk in Makeyevka:


UPDATE: The account that uploaded this video was removed.

Another copy of the same video is available:

 At 0:10, the Smerch is visible.


This looks to be a 9T234-2 transporter like this one:


The blogger @5urpher found the exact location in Makeyevka:

The location here on Yandex maps was also confirmed by @DajeyPetros.

But the geolocation has been debated because the buildings don't look quite like in the video. Some found it "good enough":

We could add that additional confirmation of the location comes from the camera view toward the end, when the camera man in the wooded area swings up to the right, and a rounded yellow building in the distance in the middle, and a building with a lettered sign can be seen on the right.


The street view on Yandex looks like this:


Another video uploaded the same day, January 22, is also labeled "Smerch in the center of Makeyevka" and is near the same location, so that confirms that the Smerch was indeed in Makeyevka.


This is located a little further east from the last location, on Moskovskaya Road here on Yandex. maps.

The slag heap visible from Makeyevka and seen in the video gives us an orientation, and shows us the Smerch is likely to have been filmed here on Moskovskaya Street, not far from the first video's location (Moskovskaya  St. runs into Generala Danliova Road.)


The curved roof to the underground passage, the stop light, the roof, and the house can be seen in Yandex street view.




There have been a number of reports of Smerch systems in the past.

Back in August 2014, Semyon Semyonchenko, the commander of the Donbass Battalion and now a member of parliament, said on his Facebook page that Smerch rockets were fired by Russian invaders.

On October 22, the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council provided a photo of a Smerch cluster dispenser, which they said was used by the Russian-backed separatists.


But until now, there hasn't been evidence of an actual Smerch on the move.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick and Pierre Vaux