Monday, August 29, 2016

Ukraine Unspun

Social-Media Posts Belie Russian Denials About Ukraine Involvement

By Glenn Kates

Russia has sought to maintain plausible deniability about its involvement in the conflict in Ukraine's east.

Granted, separatist leaders like Igor Girkin and Igor Bezler are Russian citizens with alleged pasts in Russia's security services, but Moscow says they came to Ukraine on their own accord.

And although some high-powered weapons have been traced back to Russia, the Kremlin has argued -- albeit not particularly convincingly -- that any weapons in separatist hands were taken from the Ukrainian side.

But some Russian military personnel may not have gotten the memo.

Aleksandr Sotkin, a 24-year-old Russian soldier who BuzzFeed first reported had been posting updates apparently from inside Ukraine, is the most recent culprit in the series of what appear to be social-media snafus.

"Night shift..working up a sweat," says this post from June 30, apparently posted inside Ukraine in the town of Krasna Talivka, 3 kilometers from the border with Russia.

According to an Instagram map, Sokin posted two of his photos from within Ukraine:

Internet sleuths were also able to make screen captures of posts apparently belonging to other soldiers before they managed to close their social-media accounts.

Mikhail Chuganov allegedly uploaded photos of military trucks carrying Grad rockets toward Ukraine's border on Vkontakte, Russia's most popular social-networking site. His account has since been deleted.

And in late July, a soldier named Vadim Grigoryev posted photos of launchers and artillery near the border with Ukraine. 

"We battered Ukraine all night," he allegedly wrote:

After deleting his account, Grigoryev appeared on Russia's state-run Rossia-24 TV channel and claimed his profile had been hacked. 

His defense, though, had some holes.

He first told the interviewer he hadn't heard about the controversy until contacted by the TV channel. But later in the interview, Grigoryev said he had called his family members, who then deleted his account. He also claimed his phone was incapable of posting the photos, which he said had been taken over a month ago -- a claim that seems to suggest the photos do indeed exist.

Some Russian State Duma deputies appear to be at least tacitly acknowledging the veracity of the photos.

A Communist Party deputy is reportedly preparing legislation that would ban soldiers from posting photos and videos on social networks that revealed military equipment or positions.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Anonymous
July 31, 2014 17:05
truth in this conflict is difficult to detect.

in Ukraine and Russia it's easy to give money money for many things:

to fake military service, pictures, get weapons, get parts of university degrees (exams if you put money into a folder, etc.), get an operation much faster, etc. etc.

That some guys may hack into an account in vkontakte is also something that is not far from reality.

Besides, the pictures show nothing much: weapons, artillery, etc. somewhere, nowhere.
What kind of proof is this? The photos could have been taken anywhere.

But what is strange in this interview is that the guy keeps saying "possible"..."possible" all the time. And if the photos were taken during military service without any connection to the conflict he could have said so.

In any case, haven't heard that grenades ans shells were flying over Ukraine like over Gaza. Some media would probably have reported this ?!
In Response

by: Craig Thomas from: Australia
August 04, 2014 05:13
There's nothing difficult to detect about the truth: Russia has been sending provocateurs, military leaders, political leaders, and bandit militias into Ukraine to cause violence.
And which side kidnaps journalists or fires on them? Not the Ukrainian side. Why do the bandits see the media as a threat? Hmmmm?
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
August 10, 2014 22:24
Craig Thomas is right here:

Russia might preparing for attack on Ukraine.
All reporters and contributors to free speech must be protected.
I am ordered to prepare and leave my apartment this Monday, for a forged
pest control inspection, probably by KGB-CIA mafia.
(CIA and others usually promised make me intellectual slave, or at least steal some papers to plagiarize for inferior, but deadly, entities and races)
They might destroy my files and computer, or worse.
In 2008, before invade, Russia-CIA mafia destroyed my computers and all files.
I used some parts and manage in time send to McCain and UN alert to help Georgia.
Russians avenged, they used KGB-CIA mafia to shot me with modified "Bolgarian pin"
with viruses.
It took three days to wash me with antibiotics, my lag is still black.
It was a team of Russians and Levites, Belorussia, and a symbolic message -
a young lady and two young men with "vivisected" noses of big cats, from Ossetia.
In 2012 they murdered my mother.
Any Russian attempt to silence freedom of speech is often a sign of invasion, or worse,
by treasonous "Stervyatnik", that use all arsenals and resources of USSR security to
expand tyranny of Varag-Prussak inferior race war over us all...
In Response

by: Roo from: Australia
August 06, 2014 02:11
Sort of true!!!
GPS tracking and another method can give very accurate co-ordinance with lat and longitude as to the position they were sent from though!

by: Ray Finch from: Lawrence, KS
July 31, 2014 19:07
Couple thoughts. Imagine yourself a Russian officer/soldier, where every day your media is blaring that the Kievan fascists are slaughtering your brothers/mothers on the other side of the border. Wouldn’t you be inclined to fight back? Moreover, the folks in the Kremlin are coming under increasing pressure from the narod to do something, and though it sounds quite cynical, these media leaks may be an attempt to let off steam.
In Response

by: Skeptic from: USA
August 01, 2014 01:06
Soooo... "Ray Finch" from Lawrence Kansas happens to be defending the Kremlin propaganda line, and slips and uses the Slavic term "narod" referring to the people... yeah, buddy. You're as American as Apple Borscht.
In Response

by: Ray Finch from: Lawrence, KS
August 01, 2014 15:29
Sir, I’m not “defending the Kremlin line,” but was merely trying to express what I gather to be the popular sentiment toward the conflict in Ukraine among those wearing a Russian military uniform. In my profession, I spend considerable time trying to understand how Russians view the world. A recent sample of my work:
In Response

by: aleksi from: finland
August 03, 2014 11:23
heh, this conversation was a bit funny. but then again, you seem to be someone who points fingers, takes sides and tries to discredit certain commentators. ...this actually refers to a lot of people.

i find it hard to believe that these leaks were planned. more like normal selfies to me, or people letting off steam and so kind of inevitable. and they were "social media leaks". though especially with military i think it would have been so easy just to forbid using these devices. maybe there's more in vkontakte
In Response

by: saucymugwump from:
August 01, 2014 14:20
As "Skeptic from USA" noted, narod is the Russian word for people, so "Ray Finch" outed himself as a Russian national. And I seriously doubt if he lives in Lawrence, Kansas.

"Ray Finch" asked us to have pity on Russians in Ukraine because they only understand Russian. It is true that Russian is a minor language nowadays, even though Russia is the largest country in the world. But there are alternatives for information, for example Radio Free Europe, Euronews, and Deutsche Welle, all of which offer Russian-language news not controlled by the Kremlin.

P.S. Apple borscht.sounds positively gross. Perhaps apple pirog.
In Response

by: saucymugwump from:
August 01, 2014 23:18
Wow, it appears that Ray Finch is who he says he is. Who knew that some military intelligence is done in the middle of Kansas, in the Foreign Military Studies Office in the Fort Leavenworth complex?
In Response

by: Dmitry from: Russia
August 03, 2014 16:07
Imagine you are posting photos made in belarus, march 2014, and mark them as "i'm russian soldier and we are bombing ukraine".

by: Petkov
July 31, 2014 23:19
So USA is allowed to arm alleged "rebels" in Syria, can lie about Iraq, Iran, Russia, Syria, Lybia, Iran, but it's the Russians who are doing the lying? After ALL the lies USA has said about everything, I wouldnt trust USA to tell me the correct time of the day.

I'm just going to leave a list here that I have complied of the known lies USA has said over the last decade.
insolent lies USA has used in the last decade to start up wars:

1990 babies taken out of incubators and left to die on cold hospital floor
1990-1999 Saddam working on nuclear weapons
2001 Osama engineered and did 9-11
2001-2003 Saddam has ties with Ali Queda
2001-2003 Saddam has weapons of mass distraction (Colin Powell, Bush jr, Cheney, Condy Rice, etc)
2002-2203 Saddam working on weapons of mass distraction
2002-2003 Saddam working on acquiring nuclear weapons
2001 Iran will have nuclear bomb
2001 Iran has ties with Ali Queda
2002 Iran will have nuclear bomb
2003 Iran will have nuclear bomb
2004 Iran will have nuclear bomb
2005 Iran will have nuclear bomb
2006 Iran will have nuclear bomb
2007 Iran will have nuclear bomb
2008 Iran will have nuclear bomb
2009 Iran will have nuclear bomb
2010 Iran will have nuclear bomb
2011 Iran will have nuclear bomb
2012 Iran will have nuclear bomb
2013 Iran will have nuclear bomb
2013 Assad gassed his own people (part 1)
2013 Assad gassed his own people (part 2)
2014 Iran will have nuclear bomb
2014 Assad gassed his own people (part 3)

Let's leave for now the lies USA used to start the Vietnam war, the Korean war, WWII, war againts SPain and so on.
I think I'm dealing with rational people and not paid shills but I could be wrong.
In Response

by: jojnjo from: jojnjo/Dublin
August 02, 2014 04:37
Petkov, you better come up with another list...because that list you printed is all true. You Pro Putinists or Pro Russia are well versed by your masters as to what to write as lies. But you should do some proper research before writing up a propagandist twisted list.

Now go & have a lie down...
In Response

by: Too from: Australia
August 06, 2014 02:05
Yea, America lies or distort s the truth!
Only a fool would believe that Russian properganda does not do the same!
Who can believe any government that is overcome by nationalistic furour ?
Not me!

by: Bill from: UK
August 01, 2014 12:36
So the Yanks are now relying on social media to make aggressive allegations against Russia. Ridiculous spineless muppets. Where is all this evidence your lying politicians keep harping on about - "We have knowledge based on knowledgeable knowing and are confident that maybe, probably Russia is directly involved and everything including the bad weather and your kettle breaking down is also Russia's fault", now repeat ad nauseaum "Russia, Putin, Russia, Putin, Russia, Putin, Russia, Putin, Russia, Putin!!!!"

Who believes these idiots and how did they even get to power? Even your own intelligence community doest believe you (, and frankly why would they or anyone with half a brain, all the US does is lie to create conflicts which destabilise vast regions and end up killing millions. Regime change? Like change from democracy to monarchy (Iran), democracy to dictatorship (Iraq), dictatorship to Islamic Caliphate (Iraq, Syria). Yanks have the anti-Midas touch, anywhere they stick their predatory noses in, the place turns in to an abattoir. US is the greatest threat to world piece this planet has ever known, all they do is spread death and destruction for their own sole benefit and the continued brainwashing and inaction from their uneducated, obese, GM guzzling putrid populace. When is the world going to wake up and kick this virulent cancer back to its land built on genocide and slavery. Sick, sick, sick!
In Response

by: jojnjo from: jojnjo/Dublin
August 02, 2014 04:45
The world has woken up Putin's lies.

Now go & put on your broken down kettle & brew your self a cuppa of what ever you fancy so as to control your blood pressure...but watch that you don't burn your "Tongue".
In Response

by: Bill from: UK
August 04, 2014 15:34
Oh is that right Mick? Putin's lies, would you care to elaborate on these? Which lies are you talking about?

I'll tell you which lies I remember most vividly, I recall the recent lies about Iraqi WMD's, Syrian chemical weapons attacks. I bet the people who told you Putin is a liar are the same ones that have lied repetitively, and not just lied, but killed millions in the process, and still kill hundreds of innocent civilians through drone strikes, keep prisoners for decades without trial and outside all normal conventions, kidnap and torture civilians without due process or trial, this list is endless, yet you believe the perpetrators??? I'd say brainwashed, but that assumes that Mick has a brain and that certainly is a wild assumption.
In Response

by: Craig Thomas from: AUstralia
August 04, 2014 05:10
"Who believes these idiots", asks Bill....

Not I, that's for sure.

Ukraine has arrested many Russians who have entered Ukraine to perform acts of violence. There are numerous eye-witness accounts of Russian army units entering Ukraine in recent days, and plenty of evidence of cross-border fire coming from Russia in support of the Russian bandits currently terrorising parts of Ukraine.

So, no, you shouldn't believe the idiots. Idiots like Bill, for example, - don't believe them.
In Response

by: denwa from: Indonesia
August 04, 2014 08:25
After your govt and US spies on us, I don't think I would believe you either.
In Response

by: Bill from: UK
August 04, 2014 15:43
Been listening to your buffoon Tony Abbot again Craig? Yes, he's also just a parrot for Ukrainian Junta and Yank disinformation campaign, as is RFERL, a US state sponsored mouthpiece.

Words like "we believe", "we are confident", "we have evidence" and the like, accompanied by failure to present actual evidence, is slander and defamation. In the commercial world, you get your moth shut and your wallet emptied for such childish action. Now I would expect any adult to be able to descent allegation from evidence, but I guess you should be forgiven. It not your fault that just like the Yanks, your country is built on genocide and blood, so I can understand your motives in trying to whitewash their murderous and ill thought out global adventurism.

About #UkraineUnspun

The information war is in full swing in the tense standoff between Ukraine and Russia. In an attempt to present a clearer picture, #UkraineUnspun will unravel information coming from Russian and Ukrainian media, politicians and activists. Written by Glenn Kates and contributors from RFE/RL.

Follow the hashtag #UkraineUnspun on Twitter and let us know what we should be covering -- or to weigh in on any of our stories. Or write us at

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