According to the experts, it proves that Russia was involved in the conflict in the south-east of Ukraine.
During the period of active hostilities in the Donbas, Russian servicemen received more than 4,000 medals “For Distinction in Combat.” The study covered the period from November 2014 to February this year. Analysts of Bellingcat suggest to compare these statistics with the period from 2003 to 2008: in 5 years, the medal was received by only 253 soldiers.
To get the recent data, researchers have studied photos of awards that soldiers published in social networks. A total of 19 images were found, but the serial numbers of medals can show the extent of the awards.
Experts estimate that the maximum number of medals “For Distinction in Combat” (more than 60 in one day) was awarded in December 2014. The report stresses that it is precisely the time when the intense battle for Donetsk airport was going on. The same dependence was noted later, when an offensive in Debaltsevo started.