Entry type: Single project

Country/area: Ukraine

Publishing organisation: TEXTY.org.ua

Organisation size: Small

Publication date: 2022-06-23

Language: Ukrainian, English

Authors: Kateryna Herasemchuk,
Yevhenia Drozdova,
Oleksii Nabozhniak,
Nadia Kelm


_Oleksii Nabozhniak_: editor in Texty.org.ua, Ukraine. Communications expert, media trainer, thought leadership consultant, senior lecturer at Mohyla School of Journalism, associated trainer at StopFake.org.

_Yevheniia Drozdova_: data journalist at Texty.org.ua. Works with R, Python, JavaScript, specializes in interactive graphs and maps.

_Nadja Kelm_: designer at Texty.org.ua. Author of the course about design in data visualization, School of Infographic, winner of the national competition The best book design 2019 (the Arsenal Book Festival).

Project description:

We decided to show what happens around the Ukrainian frontline position when it’s showered with “lead rain” by Russians. This is the reality of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. We made a graph that illustrates one minute of shelling when several Russian systems are firing on Ukrainian positions simultaneously. Using a hypothetical trench as an example, which we reproduced based on the data from one of our previous projects, we decided to show what kind of fire our soldiers can experience in the hottest spots at the frontline.

Impact reached:

Up to 3-5 thousand shells can be fired at a single section of the frontline every day. This is the reality of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Our project gives a real view on the frontline reality, with “lead rain” Russian tactics. To turn the tide, Ukraine needs even more arms, including long-ranged weapons, such as M777 howitzers and HIMARS, as well as shells in very large quantities.

Nevertheless, in this text, we are not consider the quantitative indicators of the weapons available to the conflict parties. Instead, we are trying to systematize the key factors that will allow readers to better understand what is happening in the hottest spots on the battlefield of Russian-Ukrainian war.

This project was well-shared on Facebook and prevailed 100,000 views on different platforms. It really works as an explainer, responding to a high demand from people in a rear.

Techniques/technologies used:

We decided to show “a wall of fire” on a hypothetical trench, which we reproduced based on the data from [one of our previous projects](https://texty.org.ua/articles/101984/vkopani-u-kamin-yak-vlashtovani-ukrayinski-okopy-na-shidnomu-fronti/). We made a graph that illustrates one minute of shelling when several systems are firing on our positions simultaneously.
Shelling pattern was reconstructed from a [detail discription](https://texty.org.ua/articles/106927/ya-bachyv-peklo-doba-na-donbasi-v-lysti-ridnym/) of a real day of Ukrainian defender Oleksander Yeremiahin near Bakhmut.

We found the real sounds of volleys of this caliber and set up the program to simulate the stated intensity of the shots. The project also shows differences between several types of artillery, and how it works in reality – on another graph.

We used D3.js and Adobe illustrator for design and layout.

Context about the project:

This project was spontaneously born in editorial office. One day, we thought in the office about what kind of reality it is, given in sensations, for our fighters. And then decided to visualize artillery fire from those weapons that are currently on the frontline.

In fact, we superimposed the content of one of our articles about artillerymen onto the reconstruction of a trench, which was reproduced in another project of ours. Then applied sound, added a visual component and so created an explainer that has been showing stable interest for more than six months.

What can other journalists learn from this project?

After the publication of the material in the comments on our Telegram channel, one of the Ukrainian defenders added important clarifications about what is happening directly on the battlefield. We decided to publish it in its entirety and thus made the material more accurate.

Project links: