Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ukrainian soldier run over by a tank talks about his gruesome experiences

In a half hour long video a Ukrainian commander, who was run over by a Russian tank, explains how it was at the frontline in Debaltseve:

This is (briefly) how he was run over by a tank that drove through the trench with one track:

Here are some more 'highlights'...

This is something that has been noticed many times before indeed.

The tank driver was still alive:

That's the difference between Ukrainian and Russian soldiers. After killing four in such a gruesome way, anybody would want to kill the perpetrator. The Ukrainians didn't do it. The Russians kill for less and even kill their own...

After infantry attacked them:

This is a known pattern within the Russian army, but not seen or reported in this way before in Ukraine.

This may be hard to believe, but many of  'their own soldiers' are criminal inmates forced to fight. They have them rather dead than alive... See this blog.

Just to mention a couple of things.
All these are confirmations of what we have noticed many times before.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Never published before satellite images of Russian BUK battery near Ukraine border

On special request @finriswolf published satellite images of BUK units near the Ukrainian border at the level of Marinovka, close to the MH17 launch site.

At this moment it is not very clear from these images that these are indeed BUKs. But @finriswolf promised to send some better images.
When available, we'll let you know.

This position is a little bit South of the position where very clear VK-photos had appeared of BUK vehicles. See this blog.

Of course they reposition them once in a while.

The exact date of the satellite images is not revealed, but falls within 'a number of weeks of July 17th'.
With these exact coordinates an interested party with good money may want to buy these images themselves...

Remember: when BUKs are within operational range to connect and communicate with each other, it would be very illogical NOT to make such a connection. It is safe to assume that if they could connect, they indeed did.
That shows the command to launch the rocket must have come from Russian territory.

Also see: One Russian radar identified at 19 kms distance of MH17 launch site
Also see: Why RUSSIA shot down MH17 and not 'local separatists'

Now Yandex shows these images in its full glory!! Check it out here.
Take note of the white tips of the missiles:

Some more (other kind of) vehicles can be seen closeby:

Link to Yandex maps.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Evidence of Russian BUK battery near Ukrainian border at Marinovka

This is Russian soldier Rasul Khasbulatovs VK-page:

He has only 13 photos in his photoalbum:

But two of those are significant. One shows a BUK and the last backside of another:

Link to original

The second shows part of a BUK with two soldiers posing in front of it:

This photo is particularly interesting, because it has the geolocation in it:

In other words: we finally have evidence that Russia deploys a BUK battery near the Ukrainian border at the level of Marinovka.

This is relevant because the BUK that shot down MH17 could have been connected with the command and control BUK and/or the Russian BUK radar on the Russian side at this distance.

The distance between the two locations is 22 kms:

The date that these BUKs were published is March 17th 2015 (during the Minsk II ceasefire). MH17 was shot down on July 17th 2014. Yet, this still shows Russia deploys BUK batteries near the Ukrainian border.
We are still waiting for good satellite images of the area to determine whether and where the BUKs where deployed on July 17th 2014.

This article from Informnapalm shows the same BUK image and more, but with a different date: October 19th 2014. Nevertheless the geotagging is the same.

This is another photo from that article at the same location:

It shows a BUK loader.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

App for quickly publishing geolocated photos and videos

One of the first and main things we have to do with photos and videos coming available in the public domain is assess whether they are real or fake. One of the most important things that helps is to geolocate them. When you can position a photo on a specific (time and) location is says a hundred times more then without it.

With so many GPS-capable smartphones it is strange that not more photos and videos with geolocation appear.
Basically the reason for this is, that there is no easy way to implement this. And because it is not easy, little people use it. Only VK has a implemented feature that is often used. But the disadvantage here is that it is a nuisance to search in geotagged photos that are of your interest.

So, why not build an app that does this conveniently?

I cannot be too specific here, because others might run away with my idea, but the plan consists of two parts; an app and a webapplication:

The app:
  1. Build an app that can make photos and videos AND stores the gps information.
  2. When an internet connection is available ask to upload it immediately
  3. Get it published on social networks (first on Twitter)

  1. a good search engine must be made with a map as basis and filters for convenient selection
  2. in first instance the twitter API can be used for this
  3. in a later stadium (when it grows beyond a certain magnitude) an independent webapplication with their own servers might be build for this

At this moment test have already been done and what we know we can build the app. We have successfully made photos, connected to twitter and tweeted the photo. 
Next steps we want to make is to read and include the gps information and give the app a neat look and feel. And then we can already launch the app for beta-testing.

This app can be used by journalists, activists and others who want to report with geotagged media. This might be about an accident, a fire, a festival or a war as in East-Ukraine.

Phase 1
For building and maintaining a professional version of the app we need 5.000 euros in 2015. This amount is used to pay the programmer and a part is used for making a functional description and project management.
This first version will be distributed for free so everybody can use it. The app can be used in combination with a twitter account.
Depending on how quickly the money comes available, the beta-version might be released after one or more months.

Phase 2
If the app is successful we will build a webapplication based on the Twitter API.
The money needed for this, is not clear yet.

Phase 3
If the Twitter-webapp is successful we might build an independent application where the geotagged media can be uploaded to and which would be easier and quicker to search than by using the Twitter-API. 

Sponsor the project
If you want to contribute to this project, you can use any of the buttons below:

for a single donationfor monthly subscription

When you live in Ukraine, DO NOT DONATE. Your country needs your money more than we do. (Unless you are an oligarch of course...)

If you have questions, good ideas, suggestions for this project, please let us know.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Never published before satellite images of Russian border crossings into Ukraine

Breach #1

Breach #2
Breach #3

Map of the breaches:

To be continued as @finriswolf will tweet more updates...

Friday, March 13, 2015

Where is Putin?

Putin has not been seen in public after March 5th. Of course all media are spinning theories.
Here is my 50 cents opinion:

1. Putin's mistress/girlfriend has a daughter
Nice try. That's not a reason to stay away for more than a week now.

2. Putin is playing mind tricks with the world
Stalin died on March 5th... What a coincidence. Putin is a master in creating diversions that take away the attention of the world. Like the first 'humanitarian (r)aid trucks'. What a show. Meanwhile he invaded Ukraine with his regular army on several locations and defeated the Ukrainian army/volunteer battalions.
But the question is: what is Putin trying to hide now? There is not much going on at the moment that needs diversion.

3. Putin has the flu.
In first instance this is very likely of course, because many people suffer from this. But why don't just say he has the flu? The silence about the whole matter is what is bothering and makes it suspicious. Therefore it seems to be something more serious than just the flu.

4. Putin got a serious illness/accident
Some suggest he got a stroke or he might have something similar severe and he is fighting for his life or it is just largely impossible for him to work. Since sickness can be seen as a form of weakness and Putin wants to appear as a strong man, he instructed people to be silent on this until he is recovered.

5. There was a murder attempt
Putin is bringing Russia down. Thousands of Russians die as mercenaries or regular soldiers. The economy is going bad. Sanctions hurt. Opposition leader Nemtsov has been killed in front of the Kremlin...
Some people might not be happy with Putin AT ALL.

If there was a murder attempt, of course they won't go public immediately. They want to investigate first and/or see if Putin will survive it.

6. He is dead.
Either by a fatal illness (heart attack) or by a murder attempt. If so, why wait with telling it? Maybe they first want to investigate the matter and then come with a unified statement.
If he was killed, it might be difficult to cover it up with ad hoc theories like they always do.
If he died from illness they might want to be very sure that it was an illness first?
Even though this is a possibility, it just seems 'to good to be true' and if he died they don't have to wait a week with it. Therefore it is not the most likely option to me.

Furthermore the Kremlin says they will make a big announcement this weekend:

Although they did not say what it is about, it SHOULD/MUST have something to do with Putin. And they are not going to announce that he recovered from the flu...

7. A coup took place
Of course this is a very good possibility too. And a very good reason to keep silent about it until all new power is established...

My impression is that there is more going on and it is not a trifle. The reason why they linger(ed) must be that the outcome is/was very unclear and therefore they waited until it was clear. Either he got a serious illness or accident or it might even be a murder attempt or a coup. The fact that the Kremlin ANNOUNCES to make a big announcement, indicates all is (sort of) well now.

If I had to choose between illness, accident or murder attempt, murder attempt is my number one. Then comes illness and last accident (because if it was an accident, it could have been announced normally too). A coup with Putin still alive and not murdered is also possible of course.

This means the big announcement they are going to make could be like this: "There was a murder attempt on Putin. It was critical for a while, but now we can tell you he survived and all will be well."

Or... "Putin has been released from power and here is the new government..."

I mean... something like that is big enough to keep reporters on standby for the weekend, isn't it?

Maybe they are going to build a big podium for the big announcement?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ukrainian POW witnessed execution of his friends at Krasnyi Partizan

(This blog is a translation of this article)

Tied-up, the half-dead Cyborg is kneeling at the barrel of an assault rifle. "Look, ”Dill”, look up ..." – the enemy’s voice accompanies a powerful blow in the back. In front of his eyes the Ukrainian soldier sees his friends - those who have long been his brothers and whose lives are about to be interrupted - 0ne shot, two, three ... blood ... The end ...
A terrible unreal scene of our soldiers being shot, the hellish scenery of war, all is still in front of Cyborg Dubrava’s eyesAlmost every night he sees that scene again and again in his nightmare ...

August 26… Vitaly Dibrov was invited to the Army Recruitment office in Dnipropetrovsk. In his civic life he is a guard, a beloved husband and father. With tears in her eyes Vitaly’s wife escorts him to the war and two-year daughter says: "Dad, come back soon, I'll wait for you ..."
In a few days he will be in a real hell. Fifty-four days of fighting in Donetsk airport. There was no respite there. Constant attacks, death of friends, it seemed that the universe was being destroyed. Psychological, physical and mental exhaustion was felt more and more. Not everyone is able to stand such pressure.

Once he unwittingly became a witness of his ‘hell shop’ friends’ conversation: “If we had not formed a friendship the Ukrainian Army would have already collapsed. We are kind and friendly people and we have to cling together”. Lately he has been recalling those words a number of times.
January 22 in the village of Krasny Partizan twenty of our soldiers are holding two posts. At about nine o'clock the first shot are heard. In a moment the bullets of "saushok" and multiple rocket launcher systems of the Russian terrorists are trying to wipe out Ukrainian soldiers as well as civilians from the land of Ukraine.
Our guys stubbornly hold their positions. The first, second, and third volley... the enemy’s shooting back is even more ferocious. The forces are unequal. Ten meters from Vitaly a shell brakes. Shot by a tank .. fire, dust, darkness in front of his eyes and terrible pain ... by shock wave his crippled body is thrown away in a hole ...

Consciousness returned to him only after a few days. Contusion, crippled hand ... swollen, cold as ice feet. "Thank God, the phone works" - the guy thought. Vitaly was moving towards his friends according to SMS - adjusting. The fighter will probably never forget that difficult way back. Passing minefields, overcoming terrible pain, going through the darkness of a frosty January night, on bent legs, with a small flashlight he lighted up his path. Suddenly he saw a house with the thrilling light of a candle in the window. Looking into the window, Vitaly saw an old man, who was looking at the icon and silently cried. Somewhere nearby he could hear voices of an enemy patrol. He knew that his entering the house can be too risky for the old man. As it is known, terrorists do not spare those who hide so-called “Banderovets” or a “slaves-owner”, So he decided not to stop but keep on walking. He went to the road.
“Just not to be noticed" - flashed in his head. And suddenly: “Stay still! I told you! - Shaken up shots of the four automatic guns, - Weapons on the ground! Quickly! Next shot for you!”
January 28. Captivity. A cage of 2 by 2 square meters. In a bowl there is barley porridge, in a glass there is drawn water ... A pool of blood on the floor ... Interrogation, torture, beatings. Almost every day he was taken to be shot, twisted arms and legs. Information was literally knocked by telling the following words: “"Gunner, you must pass the card to us ..." He got back with a smile and half dead silence.

Then according to the daily schedule was watching movies. Not just movies but special, psychological ones. Two to three times a day that violent video was broadcasted by local militants to form their rage and hatred towards Ukrainians. Fantastic abomination of a number of anti-Ukrainian dirty surrealism about raping women, eating children destroys their brain every day. Performances of terrible morbid fantasy seemed even worse than raving madman. He has never seen such dirt... in his mind involuntarily flashed: "Of course, this is where rage to all Ukrainians come from. I feel sorry for you. Are you sick people and you have nothing sacred ... "

February 5. On behalf of "DNR" jeep with a siren, bus, eight cars, each with one captive and two militant guards. “Get Up! We are leaving you alive for your courage and fortitude. " Shaking hands, pulsating thoughts ... But the main thing is that he is returning home as his daughter begged him to do when he went to the war…

Also see: another translated POW witness account by Interpretermag.
Also see: the original blog about the execution of Ukrainian POWs south of Krasnyi Partizan

Monday, March 9, 2015

Things Russia can still do during a 'cease-fire'

For Russia a cease-fire is only just another phase in their hybrid war. People may have the false impression that everything is quiet now and maybe peace will settle down. This is an illusion. Russia has not fulfilled its bigger plans with Ukraine yet.
These are the things Russia can still do during a 'cease-fire'

1. Attack on all fronts without the risk if a (big) counter attack!

2. Fool OSCE (and the West) 

3. Withdraw your troops (which means ROTATE them)
Russia can not keep the same troops fighting all the time. It must rotate troops and get fresh ones on the battlefield. What better time to do this then during a 'cease-fire' without any risks?

4. Regroup
Russian hybrid army has had SEVERE losses in manpower as well as vehicles during the battle of Debaltseve and Donetsk Airport. They need to regroup and reorganise these forces. And they need to evaluate their performance and make plans for their next move.

5. Train (new batches of) fighters.

What better opportunity than to train the new waves of  fighters that will flood Ukraine?

6. Detonate bombs on specific targets in the next cities on the most-wanted list.

7. Repair damaged and captured tanks

8. Consolidate your position in other annexed territories

9. Steal anything of value in the occupied territory

10. Kill a political opponent that was about to reveal how Russian troops are involved in East-Ukraine

11. Solve internal problems with the criminals that you gave weapons and now try to settle issues amongst each other with those.

12. Try to prevent the West from arming Ukraine
Minsk II came WHILE the US was about to decide to arm Ukraine. Since there is something like decrease in hostilities, the West is tempted to postpone that decision.
As soon as the decision is made NOT to arm Ukraine, hostilities can intensify again.

For Russia, while waging a hybrid war, a cease-fire is not just the end of hostilities with the possibility on lasting peace. It is just another phase in the war with its own opportunities and possibilities.
All the things mentioned above are clear indications the war is NOT OVER YET.

Meanwhile the whole conflict destabilizes Ukraine, with prices going through the roof and the risk of a financial default, which is almost as good as a surrender right away.

The West must use this period to use all non-military means to isolate Russia until it withdraws from East-Ukraine AND Crimea:
I only wished these were more than just words and empty threats, because that's what they unfortunately are.

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