Tens of thousands of Russian military were involved in fighting in Donbass. It is stated in the Bellingcat report "Russian soldiers in Ukraine: the devil in the medals," – reports Ukrainska Pravda.
The organization analysed from open sources the number of medals awarded in Russia in previous years.
The report analyzed the situation in regard to four medals: Medal of Suvorov, medal "For Courage", medal "For Service in Battle", Medal of Zhukov.
"We can prove that the number of medals awarded in 2014 and 2015 suddenly and dramatically increased compared to the number of medals awarded until 2014. A significant number of medals in 2014 and 2015 "For battle honours" - from 07.11.2014 to 18.02.2016 was handed, in particular 4300 awards - indicates that the Russian army has been actively involved in major combat operations in this period, " - says the report.
"The data indicate that more than ten thousand of all four types of medals were awarded in the reporting period. Accordingly, we can conclude that: in 2014-2015, thousands of Russian soldiers took part in the hostilities and were awarded with medals for their performance during these operations," - writes Bellingcat.
It also indicates that the Russian soldiers were "probably involved" in the fighting in the east of Ukraine and in the quieter stages of the war after signing the Minsk II in February 2015.
The organization notes that if one considers the fact that all Russia soldiers, that were involved in the fighting in Ukraine, are unlikely to have been presented with the medals, two conclusions can be drawn: "more than ten thousand of Russian soldiers were likely to take part in military operations in the east of Ukraine, but rather tens of thousands of Russian soldiers took part or contributed to the conflict in the east of Ukraine."