January 30, 2015

The GNU project

FSF Blogs: You've brought us this far. One last push before Sunday.

In the past twelve months alone, the free software community has:

  • Written 268 new releases to GNU packages, keeping world-class software in the hands of everyone

  • Helped the FSF write, test, and translate Email Self-Defense, so that computer users of all levels can enhance everyone's email privacy using free software

  • Used the User Liberation video and free software badges to get newcomers thinking about free software for the first time

  • Made LibrePlanet 2014 our biggest (322 participants!) conference ever and helped us fund fourteen travel scholarships, enabling important face-to-face meetings between free software activists, developers, and newcomers from all over the world

  • Pounded the pavement in multiple cities on the International Day Against DRM, building public opposition to unethical technological restrictions

Meanwhile, the FSF's experts and activists have

  • Provided vital technical infrastructure to the GNU Project, connected developers to projects, and helped get them funded for their work

  • Helped twenty companies and organizations properly respect the GNU General Public License and other free software licenses, so that free software remains truly free

  • Certified five new devices to Respect Your Freedom, getting us closer to a world where you can walk into a store and buy from a selection of hardware that works 100% with free software

  • Worked with hardware companies to bring you awesome deals through the 2014 Giving Guide, while also encouraging more ethical gifting

  • Called a gathering of free software experts to breathe new life into the High Priority Projects initiative, which will bring attention and resources to the key stumbling blocks for users trying to win back their freedom

Our part of this work relies on your financial support, and this is the time of year that we need it most. Our annual fundraiser is coming to a close on Saturday, and we're still short of our goal of $525,000. Many of you have already chipped in, and we are thankful to every one who has.

The FSF can't rest now, though -- we need to meet our goal so that we can keep doing amazing things for computer user freedom and providing every tool and resource we can think of to help the free software community thrive.

More than 10,000 people visit this site every day. If each of you give $14, it will be enough to push us over our goal and ensure we can win new victories for free software in 2015. If only a small portion of you become members, it will be enough.

Because we receive 80% of our support from individuals like you, this yearly winter fundraiser is incredibly important us -- all of our decisions about how much we can do the following year depend on how well the fundraiser goes. And since it's our thirtieth anniversary year, we want to do a lot! This coming year, the money that we raise now will help us

  • Fund more hardware, bandwidth, and infrastructure used by GNU software developers and free software activists worldwide

  • Supply modest salaries for staff to work full-time defending your freedom

  • Build an emergency reserve to defend free software against legal threats from proprietary software companies

  • Get FSF representatives to events around the world to spread the word and strengthen regional free software movements

  • Create high-quality communications campaigns to show the injustice of proprietary software and point to a better way

We have the highest possible rating of four stars from Charity Navigator, an organization that evaluates how effectively and responsibly nonprofits use donations. Part of the reason for this is that we use 79% of all money raised for our program work promoting and defending free software, rather than administrative costs or fundraising.

No matter how carefully and strategically we use the resources we have, we don't even come close to the arsenal at the disposal of proprietary software giants like Microsoft and Apple. But that doesn't mean we can't take them on. Thirty years ago, we were just a handful of hackers with a dream. Now we're a powerful global movement. For the next thirty years, we'll keep pushing towards a future where proprietary software is a thing of the past, and the rights of all users are respected.

If this vision of the future inspires you as much as it inspires us, we hope you join us by donating or becoming a member.

GNUnet News: 2nd Dev Mumble - Feb 2nd, 8pm CET @ gnunet.org

Hi devs,
next round for the dev mumble on Monday, Feb 2nd, 8pm CET.
The mumble server is running @ gnunet.org.
Cheers!

/tmp/lab

HEXAGONLAZER

We cannot confirm nor deny such activities may or may not have occured.

by alban

The GNU project

FSF Events: Richard Stallman - "The Free Software Movement" (Ankara, Turkey)

The Free Software Movement campaigns for computer users' freedom to cooperate and control their own computing. The Free Software Movement developed the GNU operating system, typically used together with the kernel Linux, specifically to make these freedoms possible.

Richard Stallman's speech will be part of the 11th edition of BİLMÖK (2015-03-06--08). It will be nontechnical, admission is gratis, and the public is encouraged to attend.

Exact location: Ankara Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi / Ankara University School of Medicine Campus - Morfoloji Binası / Morphology Building - Ord. Prof. Dr. Abdülkadir Noyan Konfreans Salonu / Ord. Prof. Dr. Abdulkadir Noyan Conference Hall - Sıhhiye/Ankara/Türkiye / Sihhiye/Ankara/Turkey.

Please fill out our contact form, so that we can contact you about future events in and around Ankara.

FSF Events: Richard Stallman - "Free Software and Your Freedom" (Ankara, Turkey)

Richard Stallman will speak about the goals and philosophy of the Free Software Movement, and the status and history of the GNU operating system, which in combination with the kernel Linux is now used by tens of millions of users world-wide.

Richard Stallman's speech will be nontechnical, admission is gratis, and the public is encouraged to attend.

Exact location to be determined.

Please fill out our contact form, so that we can contact you about future events in and around Ankara.

FSF Events: Richard Stallman - "Copyright vs Community" (Istanbul, Turkey)

Copyright developed in the age of the printing press, and was designed to fit with the system of centralized copying imposed by the printing press. But the copyright system does not fit well with computer networks, and only draconian punishments can enforce it.
The global corporations that profit from copyright are lobbying for draconian punishments, and to increase their copyright powers, while suppressing public access to technology. But if we seriously hope to serve the only legitimate purpose of copyright--to promote progress, for the benefit of the public--then we must make changes in the other direction.

Richard Stallman's speech will be nontechnical, admission is gratis, and the public is encouraged to attend.

Exact location to be determined.

Please fill out our contact form, so that we can contact you about future events in and around Istanbul.

FSF Events: Richard Stallman - "A Free Digital Society" (Istanbul, Turkey)

There are many threats to freedom in the digital society. They include massive surveillance, censorship, digital handcuffs, nonfree software that controls users, and the War on Sharing. Other threats come from use of web services. Finally, we have no positive right to do anything in the Internet; every activity is precarious, and can continue only as long as companies are willing to cooperate with it.

Richard Stallman's speech will be nontechnical, admission is gratis, and the public is encouraged to attend.

Exact location to be determined.

Please fill out our contact form, so that we can contact you about future events in and around Istanbul.

January 29, 2015

/tmp/lab

Atelier photo du 24 janvier 2015 à la médiathèque Aragon

20150124_164044_resized

It was fun!

Un atelier libre fait de plusieurs ateliers individuels entre lesquels les visiteurs pouvaient circuler.

Développement photo argentique et numérique à base de produits bio, photo musical, prises de vue en studio, atelier raspberryPi Cam.

 

DSC_4380 DSC_4347 DSC_4352 DSC_4382 DSC_4363 Escalier de la mediatheque 10402405_788419497894837_142686875191649499_n 10953285_788419467894840_6201594149018177474_n

by alban

The GNU project

FSF News: Libreboot X200 laptop now FSF-certified to respect your freedom

LibreBoot X200

This is the second Libreboot laptop from Gluglug (a project of Minifree, Ltd.) to achieve RYF certification, the first being the Libreboot X60 in December 2013. The Libreboot X200 offers many improvements over the Libreboot X60, including a faster CPU, faster graphics, 64-bit GNU/Linux support (on all models), support for more RAM, higher screen resolution, and more. The Libreboot X200 can be purchased from Gluglug at http://shop.gluglug.org.uk/product/libreboot-x200/.

The Libreboot X200 is a refurbished and updated laptop based on the Lenovo ThinkPad X200. In order to produce a laptop that achieved the Free Software Foundation's certification guidelines, the developers at Gluglug had to replace the low-level firmware as well as the operating system. Microsoft Windows was replaced with the FSF-endorsed Trisquel GNU/Linux operating system, which includes the GNOME 3 desktop environment. The free software boot system of Libreboot and the GNU GRUB 2 bootloader were adapted to replace the stock proprietary firmware, which included a BIOS, Intel's Management Engine system, and Intel's Active Management Technology (AMT) firmware.

The FSF has previously written about Intel's ME and AMT, calling attention to how this proprietary software introduces a fundamental security flaw -- a back door -- into a person's machine that allows a perpetrator to remotely access the computer over a network. It enables powering the computer on and off, configuring and upgrading the BIOS, wiping the hard drives, reinstalling the operating system, and more. While there is a BIOS option to ostensibly disable AMT, because the BIOS itself is proprietary, the user has no means to verify whether this is sufficient. The functionality provided by the ME/AMT could be a very useful security and recovery measure, but only if the user has control over the software and the ability to install modified versions of it.

"The ME and its extension, AMT, are serious security issues on modern Intel hardware and one of the main obstacles preventing most Intel based systems from being liberated by users. On most systems, it is extremely difficult to remove, and nearly impossible to replace. Libreboot X200 is the first system where it has actually been removed, permanently," said Gluglug Founder and CEO, Francis Rowe.

"This is a huge accomplishment, but unfortunately, it is not known if the work they have done to remove the ME and AMT from this device will be applicable to newer Intel-based laptops. It is incredibly frustrating to think that free software developers may have to invest even more time and energy into figuring out how to simply remove proprietary firmware without rendering the hardware nonfunctional. On top of that, the firmware in question poses a serious security threat to its users -- and the organizations who employ them. We call on Intel to work with us to enable removal of ME and AMT for users who don't want it on their machines," said FSF's executive director, John Sullivan.

In order to remove the ME, AMT, and other proprietary firmware from the laptop, the Libreboot developers had to first reverse engineer Intel's firmware. They then created a small software utility to produce a free firmware image that conforms to Intel's specifications. Finally, to install their firmware on the device, they used special hardware (an SPI flasher) that they directly connected to a small chip on the motherboard itself. After many months of work, the Libreboot developers managed to completely overwrite the proprietary firmware with Libreboot and GNU GRUB 2. Those who purchase a Libreboot X200 from Gluglug will receive a laptop that has had all of this work already done to it and will be able to update or install new firmware to their device without needing to make use of any special hardware or complicated procedures.

To learn more about the Respects Your Freedom hardware certification, including details on the certification of the Libreboot X200, visit http://www.fsf.org/ryf. Hardware sellers interested in applying for certification can consult http://www.fsf.org/resources/hw/endorsement/criteria.

Subscribers to the FSF's Free Software Supporter newsletter will receive announcements about future Respects Your Freedom products.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

About Gluglug and Minifree, Ltd

Francis Rowe is the Founder and CEO of Minifree Ltd in the UK, which owns and operates Gluglug, a project to promote adoption of free software globally. To purchase products sold by Gluglug, visit http://shop.gluglug.org.uk.

Media Contacts

Joshua Gay
Licensing & Compliance Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
licensing@fsf.org

Francis Rowe
Founder & CEO
Gluglug
info@gluglug.org.uk

Annamaria Monteverdi

Media mutations 7 Space invaders. Call for proposals

Media Mutations 7. Space Invaders. The impact of digital games in contemporary media ecosystems. Bologna, Dipartimento delle Arti, Salone Marescotti, May 26th and 27th 2015 Confirmed keynote speaker: Tanya Krzywinska (Falmouth University) and Geoffrey Long (Annenberg Innovation Lab – University of Southern California). Final remarks by Peppino Ortoleva (Università di Torino) Organized by: Paolo Noto […]

by annamaria monteverdi

Belling Cat

Russia’s Project Altair Makes an Appearance at Kazan

Altius-M

It’s well known that Russia lags behind the rest of the world’s drone powers in a range of missions.

Following Russia’s war with Georgia in 2008, it became clear that Russia required substantial investment for indigenous UAV development—and still does if it wants to catch up.

In 2012, the Russian government publicized the intent to pour up to USD 13 billion into drone development by 2020, an intent reiterated by Russia’s Defense Minister in 2014. But as everyone knows, drone development takes time.

A quick look at the drones currently in service with Russia’s armed forces and it’s easy to see that Russia’s UAVs are constrained, carrying out limited reconnaissance or command and control missions.

By 2013, when President Putin called for the speeding up of Russian drone development, few were left wondering why. This year Putin was apparently answered by Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov.

On January 25, Borisov said that the Russian military was putting the finishing touches on several drones. “We are finalizing research and development work related to the drones that will solve an array of tactical, operational and strategic tasks,” Borisov commented.

One of these drones appears to be the Altius-M, a medium-altitude long endurance UAV capable of performing the elusive ground strike mission.

DG (24OCT14) Kazan

DigitalGlobe imagery from 24 October 2014

Recent satellite imagery acquired by DigitalGlobe from 24 October 2014 shows an Altius prototype parked in front of an engine test stand at the Kazan Aircraft Production Association airfield.

According to measurements taken in Google Earth the V-tailed Altius has a wingspan of 28 meters and a length of about 11 meters. Due to the low image fidelity, these measurements are only an approximate value.

Despite lacking exact dimensions the long thin tapered wings depicted suggest a high aspect ratio supporting the assertion that the Altius is a medium altitude UAV. More specifically, the long wings should produce good lift but inhibit high speeds and maneuverability—characteristics of more advanced drones.

Some have suggested that the design was influenced by the U.S. Reaper UAV. In comparison however, the Altius exceeds the wingspan of the Reaper whose similarly shaped wings only measure 20 meters. It also falls short, as expected, of the higher altitude U.S.-built Global Hawk at 39 meters.

However, it is powered by two German-built Red A03 engines which provide up to 500 hp each, similar to the Reaper’s single propeller driven TPE-331 sporting 950 hp. Built by the Raikhlin Engine Development GmbH in Adenau, these propeller driven turbo-intercooled V-12s run on both diesel and jet fuel which make the platform easier to support in the field.

While few additional details of the drone’s characteristics are known, it was reported in the Russian press that flight tests should begin in the 2014-2015 period. Satellite imagery may help support that assessment.

FEB 2013 Sergei Shoigu Kazan

Also known as Project Altair, the design of the drone was first revealed to the public in February 2013 when Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited the regional republic of Tartarstan.

There at the Kazan Aircraft Production Association, Shoigu had his picture taken with the drone model which later appeared on Tartarstan’s official website. The handheld was subsequently removed, but not before several other Russian-language sites picked up the story.

While 2013 brought images of the Altius to the public, the development of the drone actually began in 2011 when the Tartarstan-based Sokol and St Petersburg-based Tranzas won the RUB 1 billion contract to build the five-ton class aircraft.

However, it wasn’t until March 2014, footage of Russia’s first Altius-M prototype appeared online giving watchers a small taste of what to expect (header image).

Given this timeline, some interesting implications can be drawn. For example, while all of Moscow’s armed forces are interested in drone development—largely as a result of Russia’s new defense doctrine—only Russia’s Ground Forces General Staff has established a directorate to handle UAV-specific doctrine and development issues. That directorate was stood up in December 2012.

That suggests that whatever lessons learned in the field may not have been incorporated in this drone’s design. Like with MIG’s Skat this may be just another technology demonstrator never to support troops in actual service. Never mind the potential discussions about sanctions and the fact that the aircraft is driven by German engines. Or perhaps that Russia’s DARPA has consistently said that domestic optics and electronic systems are of low quality.

In the meantime, Russia’s 20 year gap in UAV development has left it with a sizable technological hurdle—meaning it still has some serious work to do to catch up.

by Chris Biggers

The GNU project

FSF Events: Richard Stallman - "Por una Sociedad Digital Libre" (Zaragoza, Spain)

Existen muchas amenazas a la libertad en la sociedad digital, tales como la vigilancia masiva, la censura, las esposas digitales, el software privativo que controla a los usuarios y la guerra contra la práctica de compartir. El uso de servicios web presenta otras más amenazas a la libertad de los usuarios. Por último, no contamos con ningún derecho concreto para hacer nada en Internet, todas nuestras actividades en línea son precarias y podremos continuar con ellas siempre y cuando las empresas deseen cooperar.

Esa charla de Richard Stallman no será técnica y será abierta al público; todos están invitados a asistir.

El lugar exacto de la charla será determinado.

Favor de rellenar este formulario, para que podamos contactarle acerca de eventos futuros en la región de Zaragoza.

January 28, 2015

The GNU project

guix @ Savannah: GNU Guix 0.8.1 released

We are pleased to announce the next alpha release of GNU Guix, version 0.8.1.

The release comes both with a source tarball, which allows you to install it on top of a running GNU/Linux system, and a USB installation image to install the standalone Guix System Distribution.

The highlights for this release include:

See the original announcement for details.

About GNU Guix

GNU Guix is a functional package manager for the GNU system. The Guix System Distribution is an advanced distribution of the GNU system.

In addition to standard package management features, Guix supports transactional upgrades and roll-backs, unprivileged package management, per-user profiles, and garbage collection. It also offers a declarative approach to operating system configuration management. Guix uses low-level mechanisms from the Nix package manager, except that packages are defined as native Guile modules, using extensions to the Scheme language.

At this stage the Guix System Distribution can be used on an i686 or x86_64 machine. It is also possible to use Guix on top of an already installed GNU/Linux system, including on mips64el and armv7.

gnuzilla @ Savannah: IceCat 31.4.0 release

GNUzilla is the GNU version of the Mozilla suite, and GNU IceCat is the GNU version of the Firefox browser. Its main advantage is an ethical one: it is entirely free software. While the Firefox source code from the Mozilla project is free software, they distribute and recommend non-free software as plug-ins and addons. Also their trademark license restricts distribution in several ways incompatible with freedom 0. https://www.gnu.org/software/gnuzilla/

Source tarballs, binaries for generic GNU/Linux systems and translations are available at http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gnuzilla/31.4.0/
GPG key ID:D7E04784 GNU IceCat releases
Fingerprint: A573 69A8 BABC 2542 B5A0 368C 3C76 EED7 D7E0 4784

The most noticeable change for the users in this release would be the addition of the html5-video-everywhere, that allows video playback from several popular services without either Flash or JavaScript.

The user manual pages are at http://libreplanet.org/wiki/Group:IceCat/
You can contribute by joining the wiki and editing the manuals.

Changes since v31.2.0

  • Updated to v31.4.0ESR
  • Search form in about:icecat now searches in default search engine
  • Disabled accessibility.blockautorefresh
  • Replaced references to Open Source with Free Software where applicable
  • Added html5-video-everywhere v0.1.1 extension:

https://github.com/lejenome/html5-video-everywhere

  • Updated LibreJS to 6.0.8
  • Updated https-everywhere to 4.0.3

Pix and bits

how about being free to switch updates off?

Walking the walks of code, from the sources to the rivers.

The post how about being free to switch updates off? appeared first on Pics and bits.

by jaromilrojo

Belling Cat

A Reconstruction of Clashes in Mariupol, Ukraine, 9 May 2014

On 9 May 2014, the center of the Ukrainian city Mariupol was the site of violent clashes between anti-government activists and the Ukrainian army. More than 200 recordings of the events were uploaded onto YouTube by anonymous protestors, often in an attempt to prove that soldiers used excessive force. In this article, I’ll use these videos to reconstruct the course of events that day. In doing so, I will show why it’s important to scrutinize video content with a critical eye.

This report is split into four sections. The first section examines the outbreak of the clashes, the arrival of Ukrainian forces, and shootings near theater square. The second section discusses some of the clashes’ key figures. The third section examines renewed clashes at the city’s police headquarters and the subsequent retreat of Ukrainian forces. The final section lists and discusses the known casualties.

Background

The city of Mariupol had already seen outbreaks of violence before the events in Mariupol on 9 May. Pro-Russian activists of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) had occupied the city council building since 18 March. In the evening of 13 April a large crowd, many of them dressed in camouflage and wearing masks, stormed military unit 3057 using Molotov cocktails. The military responded with warning shots and then by shooting at the legs of the attackers. The confrontation ended with three activists killed and 16 injured. In one of their reports, the Memorial Human Rights Center held the attackers responsible for the deaths and injuries during the confrontation. Nonetheless, pro-Russian activists used the incident to spread rumors of a “massacre” by Ukrainian forces. On 7 May, two days before the Mariupol clashes, small confrontations between protestors and Ukrainian forces occurred throughout the city. Ukrainian forces were able to retake the city council building with the help of tear gas, but the next day it was overrun once more by the DPR activists. According to Memorial, no one was seriously injured, but rumors again began to spread alleging that Ukrainian forces had shot civilians.

In the former Soviet republics, 9 May is known as Victory Day – a holiday commemorating the capitulation of Nazi Germany. This day coincided with Vladimir Putin’s first-time visit to the recently annexed Crimea. Since the Donbass region had a significant amount of pro-Russian sentiment, it was expected that the Donbass region would have pro-Russian rallies. Indeed, just two days later, a separatist referendum on the status of Donbass was planned.

Section One: The separatist attack (10:0011:00 AM)

At 10:00 AM local time hundreds of residents began marching through the center of Mariupol in honor of Victory Day. Pro-Russian slogans and calls for the referendum made it clear that it was more than just a Victory Day celebration. Several policemen could be seen marching along, showing Kiev was beginning to lose its grip.

Initially there were no signs of unrest, but soon a video was uploaded showing a small confrontation in front of military unit 3057. The video captures a small group of men unsuccessfully attempting to block National Guard forces from leaving their base:

Another video of the same event shows warning shots being fired. One person was wounded during the confrontation but was able to walk away with the help of others:

The confrontation may have been related to the outbreak of clashes at the police headquarters. Here, a meeting of the heads of law enforcement agencies was interrupted when the building was attacked by a group of armed men. Official estimates of their strength range from 15 to 60. According to Memorial, these militants attacked shortly after 10:00 AM without wearing visible insignia. Intensive shooting was heard from inside the building, and the armed men managed to occupy the first two floors of the building. The meeting members barricaded themselves on the third floor and called for reinforcement. In response, units of the National Guard headed toward the scene. The first troops to arrive were members of the infamous Azov Battalion. The battalion’s deputy commander stated that his unit consisted of 10 fighters. They were dressed in plainclothes. Considering that Azov fighters normally wear uniforms, they were most likely unprepared for the separatist attack. The Azov fighters entered the police headquarters and managed to secure the first floor of the building.

While the armed separatists held the second floor and besieged meeting members continued to maintain their barricade on the third floor, additional forces from Ukraine’s National Guard began to arrive. Due to a lack of coordination, the National Guard didn’t know how to distinguish between friends and foes; they arrested three members of Azov and Mariupol’s head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

The separatist attacked went unnoticed by most residents, as the police headquarters was not close to the Victory Day march. The fighting did, however, cause rumors to spread that Ukrainian forces were attacking policemen because they had chosen to side with the DPR. This was later also alleged by the leader of the Ukrainian Communist Party, Petro Symonenko, who stated that the policemen refused to carry out orders to disperse a pro-Russian rally. This version of events still remains popular on the Internet and in pro-Russian circles. Evidence to the contrary appeared in the form of anonymously taken photographs depicting the separatist militants in action, which were posted on a pro-Kiev social networking website:

These photographs show eight plainclothes men in front of the police headquarters, some of them armed with automatic rifles. Since no damage to the buildings can be seen, it’s clear that these were taken in the morning before the fighting. Some of the attackers were later identified on social networking sites as citizens from Mariupol.

Entry of the Ukrainian military (11:15 AM)

At approximately 11:15 AM, the first armored personnel carriers (APC) from Ukraine’s 72nd Guards Mechanized Brigade drove into Mariupol. They drove on Lenin Prospekt (Lenin Avenue) in the direction of Mariupol’s theater. The time of their arrival is based on webcam footage filmed at the intersection of Lenin Prospekt and Metalurhiv Prospekt, which showed the first two APCs (numbered 240 and 241) passing at about 11:25 AM. Their arrival was delayed because, just prior, one of the APCs had crashed into a billboard. Some commentators suggested that the APC deliberately knocked over the billboard because it may have advertised the Donbass referendum. It seems more likely that the APC had mechanical issues, since later that day the same APC (240) was abandoned due to engine failure. Residents by this time had begun recording clashes between soldiers and protestors. To reconstruct what happened, I will use the following video as a reference point:

Video 1 (1st part) – Duration: 39m19s (2nd part is here).

Based on the webcam footage, this video starts just before 11:25 AM, which allows us to understand how the standoff began. The beginning of the video shows APCs driving eastward on Lenin Prospekt. An angry crowd of about a hundred people gathers at the crossing with Ulitsa Kazantseva (Kazantseva Street). This crossing is near the city council building – the headquarters of Mariupol’s separatist movement. Some of the protestors throw rocks and tires and manage to block one of the APCs by forming a human chain. One of the activists climbs on top and tries to cover the vehicle’s sights. Two warning shots are fired from within the APC, and eventually it manages to pass. One protestor receives a wound to the head from a brick thrown at the APC, which can be seen at 3m39s.

As the cameraman runs after the APCs, distant firefights are already audible in the background. Ukrainian soldiers can be seen covering the northwestern and southwestern corners of Ulitsa Engels in order to secure the crossing of troops coming from the south. The crowd follows but initially keeps its distance. They are then persuaded by advancing protestors to close in on the soldiers. Warning shots are heard, but the crowd ignores them and slowly continues forward.

Injuries near theater square (11:56 AM)

Another injury can be observed at 31m45s, when one of the protestors, who I will call “Victim 1,” can be seen kneeled down on the road. Earlier on, Victim 1 persuaded the crowd to block the APC at Ulitsa Kazantseva and to close in on soldiers covering Ulitsa Engels. This video (Video 3), shows him nagging one of the soldiers at 4m04s. When a new column of APCs passes by, Victim 1 crosses the street. Three shots are then heard, and at 4m24s, a bullet impact next to him shows he’s being shot at:

This video (Video 2) shows how one of the soldiers fires two shots at the ground near the victim’s feet (at 6m40s):

Afterward, bystanders help Victim 1 stand up and assist him toward the sidewalk. Memorial judged Victim 1 to be “heavily intoxicated” and suggested that the shot may have saved his life, as otherwise the APC, driving at high speed, would have hit him. Video 3 shows a wound near his armpit (at 5m47s). Since the soldier aimed downwards, it seems that the victim was struck by a ricocheted bullet. This is a recurring feature throughout this reconstruction; sometimes soldiers seem unaware that shooting at a hardened surface can cause a bullet to ricochet.

As the last soldiers cross Lenin Prospekt, soldiers standing at the northwest corner of Ulitsa Engels fire more warning shots. One of the protestors, wearing a suit and holding an ID-card (Victim 2), moves closer towards the soldiers, and at 32m58s a 7 bullet strikes near his feet. He ignores the warning shots and continues forward, closely approaching one of the soldiers. He is joined by another protestor (Victim 3), who is crawling forward on his knees. The end of Video 2 shows the soldiers consistently signaling them to keep their distance. Warning shots are fired, but the two continue forward. At 34m16s three shots can be heard. After the second shot, Victim 3 drops to the ground and grabs for the left side of his face. He crawls away shortly afterward. Victim 2 also tries to walk away from the scene but drops to the ground due to an injury to his leg. Right after the third shot, a photographer in blue (Victim 4) can also be seen dropping to the ground against a small kiosk:

When Victim 2 and 3 drop, the cameraman can be heard saying “ricochet wounded.” Footage from the aftermath reveals that Victim 2 has a small wound to his left upper leg. It appears that he was either hit by a ricocheted bullet or impact debris from the pavement. Shock probably contributed to his collapse. In this video (Video 5), at 0m30s, Victim 4 can be seen sprinting around the kiosk, while seemingly unaware that a soldier is squatting just around the corner. When another soldier fires a shot the impact of the bullet is clearly visible in front of the photographer:

Since no other shots can be heard, it can be concluded that Victim 4 wasn’t hit by direct fire. Furthermore, Victim 3 doesn’t really appear to be seriously injured; at 34m54s he can already be seen trying to throw a chair at the soldiers. After the shootings, one frame at 36m58s shows that he has a small amount of blood above his left eye.

A stabilized version of the shootings confirms that Victim 4 was most likely hit by a ricocheted bullet or by debris from the bullet’s impact. 46 seconds later he can be seen standing up. The video also shows more clearly what happened to Victim 3: just before he drops, an unknown projectile coming from above can be seen hitting his face. Since the victim had a bruise on his left side, the projectile came from his left hand side. It’s unclear what hit him, but it was certainly too slow for a bullet.

Note: Victim 4 wasn’t Russia Today’s Ruptly stringer Fedor Zavaleykov, as some had reported. Zavaleykov was instead wounded later near the police headquarters. There, under unknown circumstances, he was shot in the stomach but was saved by a bulletproof vest. He was also present in the crowd at Lenin Prospekt; he can be seen in Video 1 at 12m45s (and not yet wearing a bulletproof vest).

Deadly shootout at café Arbat (11:59 AM)

When the three victims are seen dropping to the ground, the crowd becomes bolder and the situation quickly escalates. Just before this happens, a gunman makes his first appearance. In this video he can be seen (at 5m12s) talking to the crowd near the crossing with Ulitsa Engels, and can be heard saying: “look, there/who is walking, [we] must by, fuck, by, inaudible“:

At 5m33s, when the three victims are injured, he grabs for his gun:

Given his location at the time, he didn’t witness firsthand the injuries of the three victims. When part of the crowd begins charging towards the soldiers, the gunman runs with them:

At 34m42s of the main video he aims his revolver toward the soldiers and fires two shots (a protestor can also be seen handing out Molotov cocktails in the same frame):

The shots can also be observed in this video (Video 4) at 2m52s:

A protestor can also be seen shooting a slingshot toward the soldiers shortly thereafter.

After firing the two shots the gunman walks around the kiosk. One of the frames reveals his gun more clearly, which looks like a standard .38 revolver:

Together with the sound of clearly audible gunshots, this proves that Memorial’s assertion that he was firing a stun gun is incorrect.

At 34m50s a victim who is about to become mortally wounded (Victim 6) makes his first appearance; he can be seen running towards the tent outside café Arbat:

Another person, (Victim 5) is seen lying on the ground; at 2m59s, Video 4 shows how he is shot in the leg when he runs toward a soldier with a chair:

At 35m05s two rapid shots can be heard that resemble the earlier shots from the .38 revolver. This is followed by five rapid shots fired by the soldiers. This is when Victim 6 is shot in the head, which is confirmed by graphic footage of him lying in a pool of blood. He has a large wound to the head and another on his right lower leg:

In Video 5 the gunman can be seen firing two shots at the soldiers (at 1m15s) and then quickly ducking behind the crowd. One of the soldiers responds by shooting five times at the crowd. The original video is too shaky to establish how Victim 6 is shot. A stabilized version of this video (originally produced by the Ukraine@War blog), however, shows that the third bullet hits him in the leg and, as he is dropping to the ground, the fourth or fifth bullet hits him in the head.

Video 1 can be used to find out which one of the soldiers fired the shots. Again a stabilized version shows more clearly that one of the soldier fires the shots as he’s walking backwards:

The footage allows us to establish all positions during the shootout:

Judging by the footage and these positions, the soldier who fired the five shots was most likely also the one shot upon by the gunman. After firing his revolver, the gunman hid behind another member of the crowd, using him as a human shield. The soldier noticed someone trying to shoot him, and responded by shooting five bullets at the crowd. Because Victim 6 was only shot at leg height, it can be concluded that the soldier was still aiming at legs, which means that despite being shot at, he still didn’t intend to use lethal force in response.

Note: The Ukraine@War blog made a handy video reconstruction of these shootings with some of the recordings synched together.

After the shootout, the crowd temporarily stops chasing the soldiers. The wounded receive first aid from bystanders and are driven away from the scene. The body of Victim 6 is covered until someone finds out he still has a pulse. With help from the gunman he is carefully lifted into a car and driven away. Later reports stated he didn’t survive (see below for a list of casualties). One more protestor is shot less than one minute after the shootout; it turned out to be the man who previously fired a slingshot. Video 4 shows that he is about to shoot again from just around the corner (at 4m02s), but is stopped by a bullet to the leg. Though this might seem like a disproportional response, it should be taken into account that by now soldiers are wary of a gunman in the crowd.

After the wounded are evacuated, part of the crowd chases the soldiers north toward Ulitsa Varganova (4m6s). The rest of the crowd walks towards the theater square. A large firefight is audible in the background, most likely coming from the police headquarters, which is also where the soldiers are heading to.

Section Two: Tracking the Assailants

The aftermath of the deadly shooting allows us to observe the crowd more carefully. Though most of the crowd seems to be made up of local residents who had participated in the Victory Day march, some of them seem connected to the separatist movement and prepared for clashes. Also, there were two men dressed in military uniforms, but they didn’t appear to be armed. One of the two can be seen chatting at 37m42s; the other, wearing a Spetsnaz jacket, is later present at the police headquarters as evidenced by videos taken on 10 May, where he can be seen burning down an abandoned APC in front of the National Council building.

At 36m42s, one of the protestors is clearly identifiable as one of the individuals who had been present at the separatist attack on the police headquarters. There, a photograph of him shows how he helped set up a blockade by placing dumpsters on the road. On Lenin Prospekt he was also dressed in black and wearing the same backpack:

During the protests he was one of the instigators who began closing in on the soldiers. On social networking sites he has been identified as a local resident, but I will continue to refer to him as “the activist with the backpack.” After the shootings, the activist with the backpack also followed the soldiers towards the police headquarters.

The identity of the gunman remains unknown, even though his face is visible in many videos, such as this one recorded later at the police headquarters:

The gunman couldn’t have participated in the assault on the police headquarters, since at the time of the assault he was present at the Victory Day parade. In this video, taken shortly after 10:00 AM, he can be seen as a participant in the Victory Day march (at 4m45s), which started at the theater square:

Several minutes later he can be seen in the webcam footage carrying and using a loudspeaker:

The activists around him waved blue-black flags, which belong to a local charity organization named “Iskrennost” (“Sincerity”). On 23 February, the final day of the Ukrainian revolution, some members of this organization participated in an Anti-Maidan demonstration that turned violent. Mariupol’s community website 0629 described how anti-Maidan protesters, including members of Iskrennost, had confronted a group of Maidan supporters. There, the leader of Iskrennost, Valeriy Onatsky, stated his readiness to take up arms (see this video at 3m15s, 7m14s, and 7m41s). The Maidan supporters left, but one of their activists named Yevgeni Korablyov was beaten by a mob, resulting in injuries to his head, hand and foot.

Several videos and photographs of the February 23 protests show how the gunman was present during these protests, often at the side of Onatsky. He’s visible in several photographs, which were posted on 0629, such as this one (Note: he’s wearing the same shirt as on May 9):

In one video he can be seen aggressively confronting a cameraman of Mariupol TV on Lenin Square, demanding that the cameraman show “only the truth” and threatening to put the camera “up his ass.” Afterwards he ensures the cameraman’s safe passage. Another video shows he was part of the mob that dragged the Maidan activist Korablyov (wearing the yellow-red scarf) on stage. Onatsky was also part of this mob (wearing a flat cap):

Though both act provocative, they also try to prevent the rest of the crowd from assaulting Korablyov and in the end secure a free passage for him.

By browsing through social media accounts related to Iskrennost, I was able to confirm that the gunman is a local resident. There is no evidence, however, linking Iskrennost to the 9 May assault, which means that the gunman may have acted on his own. Furthermore, after the website 0629 had accused Iskrennost of participating in the assault on the police headquarters, Iskrennost posted a message on VK denying any involvement.

Section Three: Clashes at the police headquarters (12:10 PM)

Fighting had intensified after the military arrived at the police headquarters. Heavy gunfire and explosions are audible in the last 15 minutes of Video 1 (2nd Part). This tells us that intensive fighting had occurred from about 12:10 to 12:25 PM. Much of the fighting was not recorded, as most protestors kept their distance. One video, filmed from the south, shows Ukrainian soldiers during the fighting. Another video, filmed from the north, shows one of the soldiers firing an RPG towards the eastern side of the police headquarters. A fire later started inside the police headquarters, but it’s unclear what started it. After the fighting ended, more videos were made by protestors. The deputy commander of Azov later alleged that the operation was muddled because Ukrainian forces were taking sniper fire and because many of the protestors were armed.

To found out what happened, I use the following video as a reference point: Video 6 – Duration: 48m56.

A crowd of protestors is seen standing near Ukrainian soldiers in front of the police headquarters. National Guard forces are also present, most of them in uniform, some in civilian clothes (Azov members). Some of the protestors are clearly recognizable as coming from Lenin Prospekt. These include the gunman and the activist with the backpack. Soldiers can be seen trying to calm the protestors and trying to prevent them from approaching further. At 5m20s, some protestors, including the activist with the backpack, begin charging towards Ukrainian troops, who appear to be taking away a handcuffed person:

This video shows (at 2m29s) that a lot of wrestling occurs after the charge. A single shot of unknown origin can be heard, after which Ukrainian forces begin firing into the air. Part of the crowd runs away.

Afterward, two wounded protestors are seen lying on the ground (at 5m35s and 6m18s). This video shows that one of them is carried away with a leg wound (at 0m35s). Another video shows the other victim receiving first aid (at 3m10s); he has considerable blood loss and some bystanders attempt to quell the bleeding by pinching his leg.

Two minutes after the shooting, soldiers can be seen helping a wounded soldier entering an APC. The soldier is able to walk, but not on his own.

At 11m16s another handcuffed protester can be seen. Judging by his clothes, he was one of the protesters who charged towards the soldiers:

 

Another interesting video is this recording from a live stream. The video suffers from considerable frame loss, but still reveals something important. It’s apparent from this video that the shooting incident begins at 44m11s, when the cameraman runs away 25 and ducks for cover. Next to him is a man wearing a black leather jacket and for a few seconds an AK magazine is clearly sticking out of his trousers (44m31s), which suggest there was at least one other armed man in the crowd. I have been unable to recognize him in other footage:

Shooting at the Courtyard Gate

After this incident, the main video moves onto Ulitsa Georgiyevskaya, where Ukrainian forces cover the courtyard gate of the police headquarters. At 15m33s, a shot from nearby can be heard, and the Ukrainian forces run for cover. Video 7 helps us understand what happened: right after the shot, the soldiers turn their heads toward one of their comrades who appears to be hit by sniper fire:

As soldiers fire their weapons, the wounded soldier is dragged inside the courtyard and given first aid. This is also seen in this video (video 8) (at 3m33s):

One of the protestors standing nearby is the activist with the backpack, who starts clapping as it happens (see Video 7; 0m30s, Video 8; 15m35,).

According to statements by Ukrainian forces, a sniper was positioned on the upper floor of the polyclinic opposite the police headquarters (other spokespersons alleged there were several snipers). Ukrainian forces claimed that they were later able to neutralize the sniper, who was either killed or captured.

Video 6 further shows a man being held by soldiers at the courtyard gate. At 29m20s a soldier can be seen hitting the man’s legs with his rifle butt, perhaps because of his association with the sniper. A higher quality video shows the captured man more clearly:

The detainee was later identified on social media as a local resident. He appears in the morning photographs as one of the armed men in the separatist assault, which further substantiates that these photographs are genuine:

Escape by Ambulance

When fire trucks arrive, protesters begin smashing the windows of the police headquarters to evacuate those trapped inside. Ukrainian forces continue to cover the courtyard, where they were able to evacuate several civilians and two of their wounded. One more incident was captured in two videos: Five men coming from the eastern side of the police headquarters can be seen rushing toward an ambulance:

As the ambulance takes off, soldiers fire at the ambulance, but are unable to bring the vehicle to a halt:

The ambulance driver was later interviewed, claiming that he drove away three individuals without knowing who they were. After driving as far away as possible they exited his vehicle and ran away. Judging by the speed with which they rushed toward the ambulance, and the fact that they later exited the vehicle, I think it’s safe to assume that the ambulance was simply used by militants to avoid capture.

Dust clouds in the second video suggest that the soldiers aimed at the tires of the ambulance. The last video shows that the ambulance ended up with at least one flat tire and that other parts of the vehicle were hit as well.

Retreat (approximately 13:00 PM)

Eventually Ukrainian forces began their retreat. One large unit of Ukrainian soldiers moved on foot toward military unit 3057, accompanied by a bus. Some of the protestors continued to follow the soldiers, some of them throwing stones at the bus. On Ulitsa Apatova, more people were injured by shootings. This video shows the soldiers firing into the air in an attempt to disperse the protestors. This happens shortly after an object is thrown at the soldiers, which can be seen in several frames (at 3m27s):

The object can be seen lying on the ground shortly after. It could be a bottle, but it’s hard to make out. While the soldiers are firing into the air, a soldier on the left fires two shots toward a protestor who refuses to keep his distance. Another soldier attempts to stop his colleague from firing the second shot, but he’s too late. Both shots land in front of the man, with two dust clouds clearly visible, but once again the hard surface causes the bullets to ricochet:

The man is hit by a ricocheted bullet and quickly suffers from large amount of blood loss. Bystanders immediately attempt to quell the bleeding. Another video (from RT) shows that another protestor was hit in the arm at around the same time.

On Lenin Prospekt, the webcam footage shows the first five APCs leaving the city at 1:03 PM and the last APC at 1:26 PM. In a video recorded at the intersection with Kazantseva Ulitsa, the last four APCs can be seen driving through newly setup barricades at high speed:

The APC numbered 240 didn’t return. Several videos show this vehicle standing still near the eastern end of Lenin Prospekt. Protestors can be seen confronting soldiers who had manned the vehicle. At one point another APC tries to tow the vehicle away, but eventually the vehicle is left behind. Residents begin to loot the vehicle, which causes a rather absurd event: This video shows (at 0m51s) one of the looters accidently firing the vehicle’s gun, resulting in a damaged wall and at least one wounded bystander:

Eventually a truck tows the damaged APC away. In an apparent claim of victory, flags of the DPR are planted on top, and bystanders cheer as the vehicle is towed westward on Lenin Prospekt. The next day, the vehicle is torched by activists in front of the city council building.

Section Four: Casualties

The fighting in Mariupol caused many casualties. The Ukrainian Interior Minister of Internal Affairs, Arsen Avakov, reported the death of one law enforcement officer and said five more were wounded. He further claimed that “at least 20 terrorists” were killed, while the rest had escaped. In addition, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry stated that eight soldiers had been wounded. On 10 May, Anna Neistat of Human Rights Watch (HRW) confirmed that seven people had been killed. She also cited a reliable witness who said no more than 10 people were brought to the morgues. Memorial’s report stated that about 41 wounded individuals were brought to the hospital, one of them being a soldier with a stomach wound who later passed away. On 14 May another body was found inside the police headquarters, which “certainly wasn’t a member of the Mariupol police,” according to the new Mariupol police chief.

The website 0629 collected information on and portraits of those who had been killed. Based on this information and other reports, I´ve been able to list 13 alleged casualties with varying degrees of confidence:

  • Viktor Sayenko – 41-year-old lieutenant colonel and chief of Mariupol’s traffic police, died during the clashes at the police headquarters. Sayenko was one of the meeting members. After the Ukrainian forces retreated, his body lay in front of the courtyard gate, and was later covered with a blanket. Because rumors had spread that Ukrainian forces that wanted to switch sides attacked policemen the cause of his death was disputed. A report on his funeral in Mariupol indicated that even funeral attendees weren’t sure who was responsible. Now that it’s certain that meeting members were attacked by separatists, Sayenko can be considered a casualty on Kiev’s side of the conflict.

Note: on 10 May a video was posted showing Sayenko discussing anti-terrorist operations with Radical Party leader Oleg Lyashko. This video is now circulating with the suggestion that the video is from 9 May, insinuating that Ukrainian forces had planned an attack on this day. The video, however, was taken before 9 May. We know this because Sayenko received an arm injury during a confrontation with DPR activists at the city council building on 8 May. Photographs of his deceased body show that his arm was bandaged. Since his arm was not yet bandaged in the video with Lyashko, the video was very likely recorded before the 8 May confrontation.

  • Mikhail Ermolenko – 38-year-old praporshchik of Mariupol’s patrol police, died during the clashes at the police headquarters. Ermolenko was also one of the meeting members.

On 22 June 2014, both Sayenko and Ermolenko were posthumously awarded the Order for Courage (3rd class) by presidential decree. This was celebrated with a procession in Mariupol, which was by that time government controlled.

  • Sergei Demidenko – 41-year-old professional soldier and deputy commander of the Dnipro Battalion, died during clashes at the police headquarters. Demidenko was one of the meeting members. According to Ukrainian reports, he was killed by sniper fire. Because of burns sustained in the fire, his body had to be identified by DNA.
  • Oleg Eysmant – 39-year-old mobilized soldier of the Dnipro Battalion, died from sniper fire at the police headquarters. Eysmant was also one of the meeting members. On July 19 Eysmant was also posthumously awarded the Order for Courage (3rd class) by presidential decree.
  • Rodion Dobromolov – 29-year-old resident of Kiev and member of Azov, died near the police headquarters. According to Ukrainian reports, he was killed by a separatist ambush in the courtyard during Azov’s counterassault. He was shot in his heart through the side of his body. Videos show his body lying behind a truck which closed off Ulitsa Georgiyevskaya during the clashes. One video shows a protestor tries to take off Dobromolov’s Ukrainian armband, but other crowd members stop him.
  • Bogdan Shlemkevych – 21-year-old resident of Biloberizka and conscript of the National Guard, died near the police headquarters. According to a Ukrainian report, someone in the crowd shot him.
  • Nikolay Kushnir – 53-year-old resident of Mariupol. According to 0629 he was one of the separatist militants who had attacked the police headquarters. His body was found inside. The last thing he wrote in text message to his relatives was, “I am wounded; we are barricaded in the police department.”
  • Sergei Drozdov – 32-year-old resident of Talakovka. According to 0629 he was also a separatist militant who was killed inside the police headquarters.
  • Gennady Zabovsky – 52-year-old resident of Mariupol who died at the police headquarters. According to 0629 he was also one of the separatist militants.
  • Peter Yeliseyev – 38-year-old resident of Mariupol, died from a gunshot wound to the head during the assault on the police headquarters. His affiliation is still unclear.
  • Oleg Koloshinskiy – Resident of Mariupol, reported by 0629 to be the man who was shot in the head by a soldier’s bullet in front of café Arbat.
  • Alexey Vorobyov – 39-year-old citizen from Mariupol. He was killed by a stray bullet to the heart while walking his dog in front of his house, two blocks away from the police headquarters. (Note: Another person named Leonid Vorobyov was also listed as a casualty, but I believe this may have been the same person. Their years of birth are close, and in other reports Alexey’s patronymic is the same as Leonid’s. I also couldn’t find anything more on Leonid).
  • Garnik Arzumanyan – 45- to 50-year-old Armenian, killed by a “blow” to the head. An Armenian archbishop reported his death, saying that he was unsure about the circumstances surrounding his passing. He further called upon Armenians to remain neutral in the conflict.

In addition to these casualties, the chief of Police, Valery Andruschuk, had been kidnapped by armed separatists during their assault on the police headquarters. He was one of the meeting members. On 12 May, Ukrainian officials reported his release, but stated that he was seriously injured, suffering a traumatic brain injury, broken ribs, and a number of bruises. The attached photograph confirms that he was still wounded upon release. (Note: Andruschuk can also be seen the video with Lyashko.)

Conclusion

The results of this investigation have shown that on 9 May, Ukrainian forces did not arrive in Mariupol to shoot at police officers and peaceful demonstrators. Instead, they were forced to support Ukrainian forces that were trapped and surrounded by separatist militants inside Mariupol’s police headquarters. The separatist attack was deliberately carried out at the start of the Victory Day march in a successful attempt to cause havoc. At least four men were killed on Kiev’s side, and their local police chief was kidnapped. After Ukrainian forces had withdrawn, most of the city remained in hands of the DPR. Nevertheless, Kiev demonstrated that it wouldn’t give up the city without a fight, and on 13 June, Ukrainian forces successfully recaptured the city.

The foregoing reconstruction of events was produced to counter allegations of Ukrainian forces using excessive force. Not surprisingly, Russia Today referred to the events as a “massacre,” but even mainstream news outlets criticized Ukrainian forces. Shaun Walker, writing in The Guardian, contended that “unarmed civilians were shot at by Ukrainian forces” during their retreat. Anna Neistat of HRW wrote, “My preliminary findings suggest that Ukrainian units might indeed have used excessive force near the drama theater, which resulted in deaths and injuries of some unarmed people.” In Memorial’s final report, the organizers of the anti-terrorist operation were held liable for criminal negligence, as they had failed to arm the soldiers with non-lethal material such as stun grenades and tear gas. They further suggested that the protestors were only armed with Molotov cocktails and stun guns.

The available video evidence shows otherwise: at theatre square soldiers received fire from someone who used a hostile crowd as a human shield. Only afterward did soldiers shoot protestors in the legs. Many of the protestors wrongfully believed that they were under attack by Ukrainian forces, which largely exacerbated the standoffs. At the police headquarters, Ukrainian forces were also attacked by some of the protestors, while simultaneously taking sniper fire. Here too the crowd behaved in an overtly hostile manner, and at least two protestors carried firearms. Though the soldiers did seem inexperienced and unaware that bullets could ricochet, they generally restrained themselves, despite operating under very difficult circumstances.

 

by Pieter van Huis

January 27, 2015

Belling Cat

Is this the Launch Site of the Missile that Shot Down Flight MH17? A Look at the Claims and Evidence

In a previous investigation related to the 17 July 2014 downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) in eastern Ukraine, the Bellingcat investigation team provided the origin and movements of a Buk M1 missile launcher filmed and photographed that same day that travelled from Donetsk past Zuhres, through Torez and Snizhne. Before reaching Snizhne, the Buk M1 missile launcher was transported on a red low-loader hauled by a white Volvo truck featuring a telephone number and unique blue stripes. In Snizhne, however, the Buk was unloaded off the hauler and driven south out of Snizhne under its own power. In the early hours of 18 July 2014 the missile launcher was spotted in Luhansk, where it was again being hauled by the same white Volvo truck, but this time it was missing one missile.

The location of the Buk between its last sighting in Snizhne and its appearance in Luhansk the following morning is a vital question that will shed light on the culprits and circumstances of the MH17 tragedy. This report will consider four vital clues that allow us to estimate the launch location for the missile that downed MH17: 1) photographs of a white smoke trail taken a few moments after the crash of flight MH17, 2) visible burn damage to a wheat field that appeared between 16 and 20 July 2014, 3) audio recordings reportedly from 17 July 2014, and 4) a US intelligence satellite image from 22 July 2014.

Two hours after the crash of the MH17, a photograph that showed a vertical white smoke trail and a smaller grey smoke patch to the left of the white smoke trail was posted on Twitter by someone who claimed that this photograph, provided by an anonymous photographer, depicted the launch site of the Buk launcher that downed MH17. A few days later, a number of bloggers geolocated features in the image, including the approximate location of the photographer and an approximate origin point of the white smoke trail. In December, the photographer provided additional photographs, and a Dutch news outlet enlisted the help of outside research experts to review the pictures. They assessed that they were authentic.

On 20 July, 1 August, and 15 August 2014, Google updated its satellite imagery to include images of Snizhne and Torez, revealing suspicious tracks in wheat fields and a part of what seemed to be a burned wheat field with scorched earth south of Snizhne.

On 22 July 2014, US intelligence officials published a blurry black and white satellite image with the flight paths of both MH17 and the Buk M1 missile that downed the passenger plane. Because of the relative low quality of the image, many were disappointed by the declassified intelligence. However, after re-examining this image, it turned out to be far more informative than first thought.

On 24 July 2014, conversations in Snizhne and Torez over the smartphone app Zello recorded at the time of the downing of MH17 were posted on YouTube. One conversation was of a woman recounting that she saw a missile flying overhead while she was in a garden and describing the direction of the missile. In addition, tapped phone conversations on 17 July 2014 between pro-Russian separatists published by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) provided information about the destination of the Buk missile launcher on 17 July 2014.

In consideration of all of these clues, this report concludes that the likely missile launch location was in a burned wheat field south of Snizhne.

The Separatists’ Buk Missile Launcher in Snizhne

In Bellingcat’s earlier investigation, “Origin of the Separatists’ Buk,” the Bellingcat investigation team established the route of the Buk on 17 July 2014: Donetsk to Zuhres to Torez to Snizhne and then to Luhansk the following morning. The first of two Snizhne sightings took place in the center of the city, where it was moving under its own power. A photograph taken of the missile launcher was posted on Twitter on 18 July, and after this photograph was taken, a video was shot of the missile launcher driving south through Snizhne. This video was first posted on YouTube on 17 July 2014. Both the picture and the video have been geolocated by Bellingcat and others.

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The picture and video raise two important questions: Why was the Buk headed south toward the city limits of Snizhne? And why was the Buk no longer being hauled and instead driving under its own power? From various sources it is apparent that from July until the end of August, an ongoing battle between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian army was taking place south of Snizhne in the villages of Stepanivka, Marynivka, and near the monument hill of Savur-Mohila in Saurivka. The road south of Snizhne (T0522) leads directly to this area, so it is possible that the Buk intended to provide anti-air support in the area. This may shed some light on the second question, as the Buk must be unloaded from the truck in order to fire its missile.

Map of the area south of Snizhne on Google Maps with the conflict area in a green circle, the location of the picture of a Buk M1 missile launcher in a small red circle and the location of the video of a Buk M1 missile launcher in a small blue circle.

Map of the area south of Snizhne on Google Maps with the conflict area in a green circle, the location of the picture of a Buk M1 missile launcher in a small red circle and the location of the video of a Buk M1 missile launcher in a small blue circle.

To our knowledge, no other pictures or videos have been made of the Buk M1 missile launcher in this area, and only one other video was posted on YouTube on 18 July 2014 of the missile launcher being hauled again by the white Volvo truck in Luhansk, this time clearly missing one missile.

July 2014 photographs of the white smoke trail

Just two hours after the crash of MH17, a picture was published on Twitter that appeared to show a ropeway on the horizon between “Lutugina” and “Tsof” in the area of Torez, which is close to Snizhne. The image was posted at 6:23 PM local time, two hours after the crash of Flight MH17.

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Several claims have been made that assert that the picture was a fabrication of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). This is unlikely for the following reasons: The photograph was posted only two hours after the MH17 crash, the general location of the white smoke trail is in the same area where the Buk was seen heading toward when last seen in Snizhne, and the weather matches that of July 17 as demonstrated in subsequent photographs that were released. Additionally, the SBU did not share this photograph until two days later, while, in contrast, the 18 July 2014 Luhansk video was released very quickly by the SBU itself. The photograph did not appear on any official Ukrainian channels before it was posted on Twitter, and the earliest posting of the photograph by a Ukrainian official was by Ministry of Internal Affairs official Anton Gerashchenko on Facebook at 7:45 PM (local time).

On 21 July 2014, the blogger Ukraine@War geolocated the photograph. The Bellingcat investigation team has verified the geolocation, which indicates that the photograph was taken north of Torez in the direction of a mine in eastern Torez. A detailed look at the geolocation of this photograph can be found here.

Dutch news outlet RTL Nieuws conducted an interview with the anonymous photographer of the white smoke trail in December 2014. Along with the interview, RTL Nieuws acquired additional photographs taken right after the original photograph in the same location. Two research organizations, FOX-IT and NIDF, verified the authenticity of the photographs, while two other organizations, NEO and TuDelft (the Technical University in Delft), examined the white smoke trail and geolocated the photographs. The anonymous photographer has given the original photographs, including the memory card holding them, to the official Dutch investigation of the downing of MH17.

Second picture taken on 17 July 2014 from the north of Torez.

Second picture taken on 17 July 2014 from the north of Torez.

Considering the previous geolocation evidence, there can be no doubt that the photographs that claim to show the Buk launch site from 17 July 2014 were taken from northern Torez and show the area of eastern Torez near the Lutugina mine in the direction south of Snizhne.

Authenticity of photographs

There have been many claims that the 17 July 2014 pictures are not genuine, manipulated, or were taken at a different date.

As part of this investigation, Bellingcat contacted the photographer who took the smoke trail images, and provided the images in  a RAW image format. To protect the privacy and safety of the photographer, we have decided not to publish anything about the exact file type of the pictures or any other metadata, as it would reveal the type of camera the photographer used. What we will publish is that the second published picture was taken first at 16:25:41 EEST, and the first published picture was taken 7 seconds later at 16:25:48 EEST. According to the photographer, the first picture was taken about 30 seconds after the explosion. Because we know that flight MH17 was hit around 16:20 EEST, the camera’s time stamp was approximately 4 minutes to 4 minutes and 30 seconds ahead of the real time. The metadata (or Exif data) of the original files show that all date and time properties like camera date, digitized date, modified date, and file date show a date of 17 July 2014 and times of 16:25:41 and 16:25:48.

Images in a RAW format can be edited in photo editing software and saved as a different format, like BMP, JPG, PNG, TIFF, etc., but this will always result in a different file date, namely, the date and time the file has been saved after editing. Photo editing software is not able to save files in a RAW format, because this is not a “positive” image format. In addition, because pictures can only be edited by photo editing software, changes to the pictures will always result in modified metadata.

While software capable of saving images in RAW format does exist, it is usually the software of the camera itself and cannot edit images because images in a RAW format first have to be converted to an editable image format (e.g. BMP, JPG, PNG, TIFF). Also, when the file in RAW format is saved, the modified date of the metadata will be changed.

Based on the metadata of the RAW files we received, we can be completely certain that these files are the original files and that the pictures were taken on 17 July 2014 at 16:25:41 EEST and 16:25:48 EEST, according to the date and time set in the camera. Though it is possible to set the camera itself to a different date and time, when we take into account that the first picture was released two hours after the crash, the only scenario where what we see on the pictures is not the launch of the Buk missile that was seen above eastern Torez on 17 July 2014 is that the photographer took a picture of a missile launch on a previous date, and his camera date and time was inadvertently set to 17 July 2014 at 16:25 EEST. The probability of this being the case, of course, is close to zero.

Another interesting detail noted by the Bellingcat investigation team is that, based on the movement of the smoke between the photographs, the smoke was moving toward the east, which corresponds to reports about the wind direction that day. The weather conditions in the photos are also consistent with the weather conditions that day, with clouds visible in the unzoomed photograph. A more detailed examination of the photographs can be found here.

Full-sized, uncompressed copies of the original RAW files can be found here.

The Possible Launch Location

With the smoke photographs geolocated, it was then possible to establish where the smoke was originating from. Early attempts by the person who tweeted the original photograph and the Ukraine@War blog pointed to fields to the south of Snizhne, where the Buk filmed heading out of Snizhne would have had easy access. The following image was created based on Bellingcat’s own geolocation and analysis of the photograph and closely matches the work done previously on Ukraine@War:

View lines of the first picture of 17 July 2014 with the view frame (blue lines), the view lines of the white smoke trail (red lines) and the view lines of the smaller grey smoke trail (brown lines).

View lines of the first picture of 17 July 2014 with the view frame (blue lines), the view lines of the white smoke trail (red lines) and the view lines of the smaller grey smoke trail (brown lines).

On 20 July 2014, social news agency Storyful shared satellite map imagery taken the same day that showed areas south of Snizhne, including the road the Buk missile launcher was filmed heading south on three days earlier and the fields at the end of that road. Track marks in those fields were noted by a number of individuals, including Ukraine@War and Roland Oliphant, a reporter with the Daily Telegraph who visited the area.

Oliphant discovered one field where a corner had been burnt over a wide area. He took a number of photographs, which were subsequently used by the Ukraine@War blog to geolocate the exact location of the field. This geolocation has been reviewed and confirmed by the Bellingcat investigation team and shows a field just south of where the tracks were visible on the 20 July 2014 satellite map imagery.

Part of a wheat field where scorched earth and burned wheat was seen by Roland Oliphant of the Telegraph from 15 August 2014 satellite image.

Part of a wheat field where scorched earth and burned wheat was seen by Roland Oliphant of the Telegraph from 15 August 2014 satellite image.

In the map below, the partly burnt  and ploughed area of the field has been highlighted in yellow, and is in line with where the grey smoke was visible on the photographs of the smoke trail, marked with brown lines:

6

Audio Recordings

Shortly after the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) on July 17th, an audio clip was shared on social media sites claiming to be a recording of civilians near the town of Snizhne discussing the crash on the audio chat application Zello. Zello is a popular service in separatist areas, and this particular recording purports to capture what would be a key discussion about events on July 17th.

The individuals in the video describe both an “upward” missile launch and the crash of MH17. While it is difficult to independently verify the authenticity of the audio, it is possible to compare what is described in the audio with other evidence about the downing of MH17, including the launch location of the missile.

Multiple times throughout the recording, people are heard referring to the location they are in or the location where they can see something happening. Two people talk about KhimMash (Химмаш in Russian), an industrial plant to the north of Snizhne, probably because they saw smoke rising from north of Snizhne. Other locations, like “mine 8” (“Шахта №8”) in the west of Snizhne and “Cheryomushky” (“Черемушки”) next to the KhimMash plant, are also mentioned, but one person describes a missile flying over her while she was in a garden. She says the missile came from the direction of Saurivka, a small village to the south of Snizhne near Stepanivka, where the Savur-Mohyla monument is located. The woman claims that the loud noise of the launch caused her to seek shelter in the basement of her home with her mother. This would seem to indicate the missile was launched relatively close to her house.

The woman describes herself as being in “Oktyabr” (“Октябрь”), which can be found south of Snizhne on the Russian Yandex Maps site:

1

With some uncertainty, she goes on to describe the direction she believes the missile was launched from, namely, Saurivka, which is south-southeast of her location.

On 18 July, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) published another audio recording relevant to identifying the missile launch location. In this conversation, we first hear separatists talking about a Buk M1 surface-to-air missile system and later that the Buk is in Donetsk. We then hear that the Buk was unloaded somewhere and driving under its own power and that the Buk has to be delivered to an area nearby called “Pervomaiskoe.”

A search for this location yielded a “Pervomaiske” near Donetsk, a “Pervomaisk” near Luhansk, a “Pervomaisk” near Mykolaiv, a “Pervomaskyi” near Kharkiv, a “Pervomaiske” near Dnipropetrovsk, a “Pervomaiskyi” to the southeast of Snizhne, and another village north of Snizhne called “Pervomaiske.”

The image below shows the locations mentioned in the audio recordings in relation to the suspected launch site visited by Roland Oliphant:

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US Intelligence Satellite Map Imagery

On July 22nd, 2014, US intelligence officials published a black and white satellite map image showing what they claimed to be the path of the Buk missile that downed MH17.

Although the map marks Snizhne as the launch site of the missile, the exact location of the site was not immediately clear due to the quality of the image.

0

While the quality of the declassified satellite map image is relatively poor, it is nonetheless possible to find the approximate launch site indicated on the map. Certain large geographical features are visible on the satellite map image, and by examining Google Earth satellite map imagery, it is possible to find these same features.

For instance, there is a curved lake and two areas of forest northeast of the location identified as the launch site:

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To the southwest, there are a series of small lakes running north to south which match perfectly with what is visible on both sets of satellite map imagery:

2

Zooming in closer, we can make out other features, including an oddly shaped field just south of the launch location:

3

The oddly shaped field is a just to the south of the village Chervonyi Zhovten, which is north of the Savur-Mohila monument in Saurivka and slightly west of Stepanivka. Due to the width of the line and the resolution of the US satellite map imagery it is not possible to find the exact location the line originates from, but it appears that it would be very close to the area where the lines below intersect, south of Snizhne:

5

Based on the image above, the line comes very close to originating from the suspected launch site:

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Conclusion

Based on the foregoing information, it seems clear there are a number of pieces of evidence pointing toward one specific location south of Snizhne. Photographs published online two hours after MH17 was shot down point directly to an area that is clearly visible on satellite map imagery, showing a field that was unburnt on 16 July 2014 but visibly burnt only a few days after that date. On 17 July 2014, a Buk missile launcher was filmed only a few kilometres to the north of this site heading south in the direction of the location we have identified. US intelligence also points to the same field, and audio recordings, while difficult to authenticate, also point to roughly the same area.

Taken separately, these pieces of evidence are not particularly compelling. When combined, however, they provide strong support for the assertion that the missile that downed MH17 originated from the potential launch site we have identified.

by Daniel Romein

Examining the MH17 Launch Smoke Photographs

Just two hours after the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17), a picture was published on Twitter that appeared to show a ropeway on the horizon between “Lutugina” and “Tsof” in the area of Torez, which is close to Snizhne. The timestamp of the tweet suggests it was sent at 9:23 AM on 17 July 2014. Considering the fact that the plane crashed around 16:20 local time (EEST, or Eastern European Summer Time), this timestamp is remarkable, because it would suggest that the tweet was sent seven hours before the crash. The default setting of Twitter, which is headquartered in San Francisco, displays timestamps in Pacific Time. (More precisely, Pacific Time in the US is Pacific Daylight Time [PDT] between late winter and mid-fall and Pacific Standard Time [PST] between mid-fall and late winter.)

At the time of writing (January 2015), we have to correct the time difference by one hour, because the tweet was posted in the summer. Twitter displays a relative time, and since the time in summer was one hour ahead, we have to subtract one hour, which comes out to 8:23 AM PDT. Converting the time from PDT to EEST shows that the image was posted at 18:23 EEST, two hours after the crash of MH17.

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Various individuals online have asserted that the picture was a fabrication of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU). This is unlikely for the following reasons: The photograph was posted only two hours after the MH17 crash, the general location of the white smoke trail is in the same area where the Buk was seen heading toward when last seen in Snizhne, and the weather matches that of July 17 as demonstrated in subsequent photographs that were released. Additionally, the SBU did not share this photograph until two days later, while, in contrast, the 18 July 2014 Luhansk video was released very quickly by the SBU itself. The photograph did not appear on any official Ukrainian channels before it was posted on Twitter, and the earliest posting of the photograph by a Ukrainian official was by Ministry of Internal Affairs official Anton Gerashchenko on Facebook at 7:45 PM (local time).

On 21 July 2014, the blogger Ukraine@War geolocated the photograph. The Bellingcat investigation team has verified the geolocation, which indicates that the photograph was taken north of Torez in the direction of a mine in eastern Torez. This detail did not come as a surprise, as the 17 July Twitter post mentioned a ropeway between Lutugina and Tsof in Torez, close to Snizhne. Wikimapia reveals in the area of the mine both Lutugina (‘Шахта им Лутугина’, им stands for имени which means name, so a mine called Lutugina) as Tsof ‘(ЦОФ им. Киселёва’, ЦОФ being the abbreviation of ‘Центральная обогатительная фабрика’ which means enrichment plant, so an enrichment plant called Kiselev).

Wikimapia, showing Lutugina (red), the mine Ukraine@war noted (green), and Tsof (blue).

Wikimapia, showing Lutugina (red), the mine Ukraine@war noted (green), and Tsof (blue).

Ukraine@War’s work establishes that the houses visible in the foreground of the picture are in the east of Torez, close to the mine. He reaches this conclusion after asking a local resident to recreate the photograph of 17 July 2014, who took pictures from a hill in the direction of the mine. Ukraine@War was able to identify a number of matching features between the two photographs, including a particular pole between the houses and similar types of houses. The Bellingcat investigation team also identified houses under a hill on both photographs.

Below is the photograph recreated by a local for the Ukraine@War blog with these particular features marked:

The picture recreated by a resident from the area east of Torez several days after 17 July 2014 with a red arrow pointing to the long light pole (added by Ukraine@war) and houses marked in a red circle (added by Bellingcat)

The picture recreated by a resident from the area east of Torez several days after 17 July 2014 with a red arrow pointing to the long light pole (added by Ukraine@war) and houses marked in a red circle (added by Bellingcat)

Comparing this recreated image with the 17 July 2014 photograph, the features seem to match:

The 17 July 2014 photograph with the same houses marked by a red circle.

The 17 July 2014 photograph with the same houses marked by a red circle.

A photograph from Panoramio, taken from a hill next to these houses, further illustrates the scene. The description of the picture (“вид на пос. Крупский,” or, “view of the village Krupskiy”) points to a street called вулиця Крупської (Krupskoi street), where a long light pole can be seen (marked with a red circle) along with other recognizable landmarks, such as two wooden electricity poles:

Panoramio picture taken from a hill toward the east of Torez.

Panoramio picture taken from a hill toward the east of Torez.

This Panoramio photograph was taken in 2009, making Google satellite imagery from 2010 more useful to show landmarks that are not as visible in more recent satellite imagery. In this satellite image, the wooden electricity poles are visible (orange circles), which are not visible on recent images, likely because they have been removed. The rectangular shape of ground is visible (pink rectangle), the two houses in the front match (blue and green circles), and the long light pole can be seen with a big building behind it (red circle):

2010 Google Earth satellite image showing the area near a hill in the east of Torez with the long light pole (red circle), two similar houses (blue and green circles), two wooden electricity poles (orange circles), and a rectangular piece of ground (pink rectangle).

2010 Google Earth satellite image showing the area near a hill in the east of Torez with the long light pole (red circle), two similar houses (blue and green circles), two wooden electricity poles (orange circles), and a rectangular piece of ground (pink rectangle).

When comparing this image with the 17 July 2014 picture, there are not many obvious matches apart from the long light pole. However, after taking a much closer look at another recreated image, some similarities become apparent, as seen in this cropped image:

A part of another recreated photograph taken by a local and published by Ukraine@war showing the hill the Panoramio picture was taken from as well as the houses marked by a blue and green circle. The wooden electricity poles aren’t in the picture here because they have likely been removed.

A part of another recreated photograph taken by a local and published by Ukraine@war showing the hill the Panoramio picture was taken from as well as the houses marked by a blue and green circle. The wooden electricity poles aren’t in the picture here because they have likely been removed.

It’s clear that the photograph of 17 July 2014 and the recreated image taken by the local show nearly the same location: an area in eastern Torez, east of a hill, and close to a mine on the edge of Torez, near Snizhne, and photographed in the direction of that mine and Snizhne.

Further examination of the photograph when compared with the Google satellite imagery reveals additional matches, especially when the view in Google Earth is turned in the same direction.

The blue lines in the images below are the frame of the 17 July 2014 picture, the brown lines show the direction where a small trail of grey smoke is seen, the red lines show the direction where the white smoke trail can be seen, and matching landmarks are in circles with various colours:

First image with matches between the 17 July 2014 picture and the Google Earth satellite image.

First image with matches between the 17 July 2014 picture and the Google Earth satellite image.

Second image with matches between the 17 July 2014 picture and the Google Earth satellite image.

Second image with matches between the 17 July 2014 picture and the Google Earth satellite image.

Third image with matches between the 17 July 2014 picture and the Google Earth satellite image.

Third image with matches between the 17 July 2014 picture and the Google Earth satellite image.

Fourth image with matches between the 17 July 2014 picture and the Google Earth satellite image, which show correspondence between the picture and the trees near the mine at the eastern edge of Torez.

Fourth image with matches between the 17 July 2014 picture and the Google Earth satellite image, which show correspondence between the picture and the trees near the mine at the eastern edge of Torez.

Dutch news outlet RTL Nieuws conducted an interview with the anonymous photographer of the white smoke trail in December 2014. Along with the interview, RTL Nieuws acquired additional photographs taken right after the original photograph in the same location. Two research organizations, FOX-IT and NIDF, verified the authenticity of the photographs, while two other organizations, NEO and TuDelft (the Technical University in Delft), examined the white smoke trail and geolocated the photographs. The anonymous photographer has given the original photographs, including the memory card holding them, to the official Dutch investigation of the downing of MH17.

Second picture taken on 17 July 2014, north of Torez.

Second picture taken on 17 July 2014, north of Torez.

With this second photograph, it becomes even clearer that the scene is the same as that of another Panoramio picture, where the same hill is visible:

Panoramio picture of the hill east of Torez.

Panoramio picture of the hill east of Torez.

It’s also worth investigating where the photograph was taken. Many have concluded that the picture must have been taken from a tall building in northern Torez, since a field is visible behind the houses in eastern Torez, and fork-shaped poles near the mine are visible in the distance, which could not be seen from a hill where the local photographed the same area. The Bellingcat investigation team verified this conclusion, and we judge that the assessment that the photograph was taken from a tall building in northern Torez is correct.

Approximate location the picture was taken from (red circle), the view frame of the picture (pink lines), the hill visible in the second picture (orange), the eastern part of Torez (green), and the mine with the poles visible on the 17 July 2014 picture (blue) .

Approximate location the picture was taken from (red circle), the view frame of the picture (pink lines), the hill visible in the second picture (orange), the eastern part of Torez (green), and the mine with the poles visible on the 17 July 2014 picture (blue) .

Considering the previous geolocation evidence, there can be no doubt that the photographs that claim to show the Buk launch site from 17 July 2014 were taken from northern Torez and show the area of eastern Torez near the Lutugina mine in the direction south of Snizhne.

The White Smoke Trail

There are many claims that what we actually see on the picture, the white smoke trail, is not a smoke trail of a rocket that just has been launched, but just a contrail of an airplane that has been spread out by wind. Various images of contrails or vapour trails show what they look like:

Contrails or vapor trails of airplanes, arranged from fresh to dispersed.

Contrails or vapor trails of airplanes, arranged from fresh to dispersed.

When we look closely at the white smoke trail of the 17 July 2014 pictures, it’s clear that it doesn’t resemble the contrails of airplanes. Plane contrails are quite straight, and even after being dispersed almost entirely, the shape of the contrail stays straighter than the white smoke trail we see in the 17 July 2014 pictures.

We have also compared the 17 July 2014 white smoke trail with several pictures and movies of Buk M1 missile smoke trails. When we compare the white smoke trail of the pictures of 17 July 2014, there is much more similarity with the images of the Buk M1 missile smoke trail than with the contrails of airplanes, the main difference being that the white smoke is more dissipated and dispersed by the wind in the 17 July 2014 pictures. Even the cloud of grey smoke characteristic of the first stage of a Buk missile launch (shown on the following images) can be seen in the 17 July 2014 pictures.

White smoke trails (and grey clouds near the ground) after a Buk M1 missile launch; images and screenshots from videos found on a Russian website and YouTube.

White smoke trails (and grey clouds near the ground) after a Buk M1 missile launch; images and screenshots from videos found on a Russian website and YouTube.

Other type of rockets like Grads or Tornados don’t leave a long white smoke trail in the air, as they are intended for ground targets at distances of 20 to 35 kilometres and cannot be used for air targets.

So, it is very possible that the white smoke trail (and the smaller grey smoke trail) we see in the 17 July 2014 pictures was caused by the launch of a surface-to-air missile, like the Buk.

Authenticity of photographs

There have been many claims that the 17 July 2014 pictures are not genuine, manipulated, or were taken at a different date.

As part of this investigation, Bellingcat contacted the photographer who took the smoke trail images, and provided the images in a RAW image format. To protect the privacy and safety of the photographer, we have decided not to publish anything about the exact file type of the pictures or any other metadata, as it would reveal the type of camera the photographer used. What we will publish is that the second published picture was taken first at 16:25:41 EEST, and the first published picture was taken 7 seconds later at 16:25:48 EEST. According to the photographer, the first picture was taken about 30 seconds after the explosion. Because we know that flight MH17 was hit around 16:20 EEST, the camera’s time stamp was approximately 4 minutes to 4 minutes and 30 seconds ahead of the real time. The metadata (or Exif data) of the original files show that all date and time properties like camera date, digitized date, modified date, and file date show a date of 17 July 2014 and times of 16:25:41 and 16:25:48.

Images in a RAW format can be edited in photo editing software and saved as a different format, like BMP, JPG, PNG, TIFF, etc., but this will always result in a different file date, namely, the date and time the file has been saved after editing. Photo editing software is not able to save files in a RAW format, because this is not a “positive” image format. In addition, because pictures can only be edited by photo editing software, changes to the pictures will always result in modified metadata.

While software capable of saving images in RAW format does exist, it is usually the software of the camera itself and cannot edit images because images in a RAW format first have to be converted to an editable image format (e.g. BMP, JPG, PNG, TIFF). Also, when the file in RAW format is saved, the modified date of the metadata will be changed.

Based on the metadata of the RAW files we received, we can be completely certain that these files are the original files and that the pictures were taken on 17 July 2014 at 16:25:41 EEST and 16:25:48 EEST, according to the date and time set in the camera. Though it is possible to set the camera itself to a different date and time, when we take into account that the first picture was released two hours after the crash, the only scenario where what we see on the pictures is not the launch of the Buk missile that was seen above eastern Torez on 17 July 2014 is that the photographer took a picture of a missile launch on a previous date, and his camera date and time was inadvertently set to 17 July 2014 at 16:25 EEST. The probability of this being the case, of course, is close to zero.

Despite the ostensible authenticity of the images, our team sought to verify whether the second picture really was made seven seconds after the first and to show that the first published picture is not just an edited version of the second one. One image appears to be a zoomed in version of the second, so we overlaid the zoomed image on top of the unzoomed image.

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As seen above, this was a perfect match, with the camera in the unzoomed image auto-focusing on the cables laid over the image in which the camera causes the background to be out of focus. Because the cables were close to the camera position, the zoomed image no longer shows the cables.

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The Bellingcat investigation team noted that the small grey smoke trail is probably connected to the white smoke trail. Some assessed that it could have been the smoke from a burned field caused by the launch, though we believe this is not likely so soon after the launch. Another view, which turned out to be correct, was that the grey smoke was caused by the first stage of the missile launch. The following enhanced image shows the smoke more clearly:

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We then investigated why the smoke trail appeared to take such a sharp turn:

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We assess, based on the direction of the wind only a few hours earlier, that varying wind speeds at different altitudes caused this sharp turn. In an earlier video showing the Buk linked to the downing of MH17 travelling south out of Snizhne, it’s possible to make out smoke from artillery fire. Based on the movement of that smoke we can see the wind was blowing toward the east:

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The following image shows the smoke in the launch photographs as it is blown east after the launch:

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This is congruent with local weather conditions in Snizhe on July 17th, which show that the wind was blowing east/east-southeast around the time of launch.

Based on the visual information from the pictures and metadata of the original versions of the pictures, it is clear that the white smoke trail has moved because of the wind coming from the east, and it is our conclusion that the pictures are authentic and not fabricated or manipulated.

Uncompressed versions of both photographs are available here.

The weather

The second picture leaves no question regarding the weather on 17 July 2014. In the first picture, an almost completely blue sky is visible, and houses in eastern Torez seem to be in full sunlight, while on every video that has been published about the crash of Flight MH17 the sky is cloudy. The distance between the crash site and this area in Torez is about 15km, and the distance between the area the photograph zooms into and the crash site is about 20km, so it is possible that the weather at the crash site may have been different from the weather where the picture of the white smoke trail was taken (and/or the location from which the Buk M1 missile was fired). There was a lively discussion about the weather in eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014, but a definitive conclusion is difficult to reach.

A satellite image from the site Sat24.com shows that the weather in the eastern Ukraine wasn’t the same everywhere around the time Flight MH17 crashed. Sat24.com displays the time in CET (Central European Time) and UTC (Coordinated Universal Time, or GMT [Greenwich Mean Time]). In the summer CET was UTC+2 (actually called CEST, Central European Summer Time). In Ukraine, which has EET (East European Time) and, in the summer, EEST (East European Summer Time), the time was UTC+3. To establish the cloud coverage around 4:20 PM (i.e., the time of the crash of Flight MH17 in EEST), the map time needs to be set to 15:20 CET/13:20 UTC. Unfortunately, only historical maps of an exact hour are available (e.g., the maps of 15:15 and 15:30 no longer can be retrieved), but the map of 15:00 CET/13:00 UTC offers the required information:

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Zooming in on Ukraine makes clear that the weather in eastern Ukraine at 16:00 on 17 July 2014 EEST was not the same everywhere, as Torez is at the edge of a cloudy and sunny area:

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What these images demonstrate is that Torez would have been on the edge of a cloudy region, so there’s no reason to expect thick cloud in the area. In fact, an earlier photograph taken of the Buk missile launcher inside Torez around midday on 17 July shows a fairly clear sky, which is consistent with the fluctuating weather in the area at the time.

After acquiring the original copies of the smoke pictures from the photographer it became apparent that the shutter speed differed between the two photographs, and the photographs that had been previously published had colour and brightness adjusted to make the smoke trails more visible, which also affected the visibility of clouds in the those images. Based on the original images, it is clear that the weather visible in the pictures matches the local weather conditions at the time.

More information about how this location relates to other claims and evidence about the launch location of the missile that downed MH17 can be found here.

 

 

by Daniel Romein

Annamaria Monteverdi

Jeton Neziraj: la cultura per combattere il fondamentalismo. Su Teatro e critica un intervento dell’autore

Da Teatroecritica.net Pubblichiamo una riflessione inedita di Jeton Neziraj, drammaturgo kosovaro che nel 2013, un anno prima dell’attacco alla redazione di Charlie Hebdo, scriveva un testo sul terrorismo islamico in Francia. Il drammaturgo kosovaro Jeton Neziraj (1977) già direttore del Teatro Nazionale di Prishtina, ha scritto nel 2009 un significativo testo teatrale dal titolo The demolition of Eiffel Tower su religione […]

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New edition of Needle and Opium by Robert Lepage

To miss seeing it is to miss being a part of history. In a time when theatre struggles to refresh itself and bring in a new sort of audience, productions like Needles and Opium must be embraced as they show us not only the stage’s continued ability to captivate, but also its incredible potential to […]

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New solo show by Robert Lepage a Nantes

887 is a journey into the realm of memory. The idea for this project originated from the childhood memories of Robert Lepage; years later, he plunges into the depths of his memory and questions the relevance of certain recollections. How does memory work? What are its underlying mechanisms? How does a personal memory resonate within the […]

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TOUCHDESIGNER BASIC WORKSHOP @ PERIFERICA FESTIVAL

Dal sito Interactivedesign.it L’Academy di Interactive Design in partnership con Fusolab presenta il workshop “TouchDesigner – Let’s Begin!” che si svolgerà all’interno del Festival “Periferica – Art Is Act” il 16 e 17 Febbraio negli spazi del festival dedicati ai workshop. Il corso è di tipo “basic” e permetterà ai partecipanti di iniziare passo passo la scoperta di “TouchDesigner”, […]

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Call for digital artists: digital residence in France

Objet de la résidence : Cette résidence numérique offre aux artistes/auteurs des conditions favorables de création originale s’appuyant sur les technologies numériques. Les projets proposés seront  au carrefour de la littérature, des arts numériques, des arts visuels et sonores. Ils utiliseront les nouveaux supports d’écriture, interrogeront les processus narratifs et  bousculeront les parcours de lecture et […]

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January 26, 2015

Readers Digest

[Dng] Devuan Weekly News IX

 [Devuan Weekly News][current] Issue IX

Volume 02, Week 4, Devuan Week 9

https://git.devuan.org/Envite/devuan-weekly-news/past- issues/volume-02/issue-009

# Editorial

This week we have seen a very technical discussion, with so varied and interesting themes like UEFI and GPT, TPM, PulseAudio, upgrade paths and versioning. And, of course, the star development of libsysdev. I’m sure we all are happy that things behave this way.

But as we have noticed before, the list seems separated from the main development effort, which seems to be hidden in some secluded place.

I’m personally sure this is not on purpose, but from this humble tribune of Devuan Weekly News, I ask the main developers of Devuan Jessie (the name is official, now) to take care of being perceived as more public than they seem now.

Finally, I wish to invite to a discussion about the name of Devuan Weekly News. It has been suggested that it could be improved, and more clearly distinguished from Debian’s DWN.

# Comings and Goings

Daniel Pecka announced his presence to the list. Please welcome">https://lists.dyne.org/lurker/message/20150121.131831.cca7d312.en.html'>welcome Daniel!

# Last Week in Devuan ## [The Countdown][1]

Some impatience is building up. Eyes are turned towards Franco as the announced deadline approaches. Franco Lanza confirmed that the last big chunk to break down before release is the build server for the ARM platform. Detractors and supporters are holding their breath for this most anticipated alpha release. KatolaZ reminds the Debian motto that ‘releases should happen “when it’s time”, not accordingly to a fixed or prescribed schedule.’

## [Upgrade Paths][5]

Our editor Noel Torres is concerned about the upgrade path from Debian stable and testing to the upcoming Devuan release, that he nicknamed Alhambra or Aiken. Franco Lanza insists that part of a smooth upgrade involves keeping the first release named Jessie, and that later releases will have their own names.

Supported upgrade paths include:

  • Debian Wheezy (apt-get dist-upgrade)
  • Debian Jessie (script and fixing dependencies)
  • Devuan installer

Gnome users should prepare for a little more work.

## [Audio Configuration][6]

The PulseAudio replacement thread turns into a useful audio configuration information exchange for pulseaudio and Jack. Joel Roth provides extensive setup">https://lists.dyne.org/lurker/message/20150125.014214.e0aad07a.en.html'>setup information.

## [UEFI, GPT][8]

The start of the thread raised some doubts about if Debian (and consequently Devuan) is able to properly boot from GPT partitioned disks, which seems to imply using UEFI.

Just to be clear: yes Debian (and Devuan) can work with UEFI and GPT partition table schemes. It seems you just need to avoid hardware with known issues.

Also an interesting reminder from T.J. Duchene:

If you have Windows or Linux installed in UEFI mode, you MUST install the other in the same fashion if you expect Grub to dual-boot properly.

## [TPM][10]

The old">https://lists.dyne.org/lurker/message/20141222.214404.dd78e3ac.en.html'>old TPM thread resurrects with a comment explaining why it may be desirable to have it on hardware. Or at least desirable for somebody.

## [Versioning][12]

tilt raises again the question of versioning the packages for Devuan, discussed mid-December with no clear conclusion.

# systemd News ## [networkd][9]

Martijn Dekkers reports that systemd is now deeping into the network system. This seems to be done through networkd. Comparison with The One Ring and black-box transistor chips were unavoidable.

# New Releases ## [libsysdev v0.1.0][2]

Isaac Dunham announced the first version of libsysdev, “a library that aims to provide an easy-to-use API to get information about devices from sysfs.” Meanwhile, a lengthy discussion has been going on under another">https://lists.dyne.org/lurker/message/20150119.190115.cb63c930.en.html'>another thread about coding style, vdev and udev compatibility, etc.

Source code: https://github.com/idunham/libsysdev

# Devuan's Not Gnome

DNG is the discussion list of the Devuan Project.


We at DWN are humans and may both benefit from collaboration and make mistakes. Feel free to join and criticize us at IRC: #devuan-news at freenode

You can collaborate and edit">https://git.devuan.org/Envite/devuan-weekly-news/wikis/home'>edit Devuan Weekly News too!

Thanks for reading so far. Read you next week!

DWN Team

  • Noel, “er Envite” (Editor)
  • hellekin (Co-writer, markup master)

“The Countdown”

“Announcing libsysdev 0.1.0”

“libsysdev preview”

“Hello PPL, just entered a list ..”

“Upgrade Paths”

“sugestion apulse as pulse…”

“Joel’s Jack setup”

“UEFI, GPT”

“systemd’s network”

“TPM”

“Old TPM thread”

“Versioning”

“Subscribe to DNG”

Archive”

issue “Current Issue”

Weekly News”

by Noel Torres

Decentralized Citizen Engagement Technologies

Interview: Marco Sachy

Marco Sachy is the currency designer of the Dyne.org foundation, Ph.D Candidate and Graduate Teaching Assistant at University of Leicester School of Management. His research focuses on the nature of money, currency design and banking engineering in order to proactively expand the representational horizon and the modes of conducting the bottom-up resistance against the unfolding violence of financial capitalism.

Sachy works for Dyne.org in the D-CENT project doing research on Social Crypto Currencies and geo-localized market places.

D-CENT interview: Marco Sachy from D-CENT on Vimeo.

by Kaisa Eskola

January 25, 2015

Jaro Mail 3.2

… – Changes: New ZSh completion extension, now capable of tab-completion for addresses, maildirs and even remote imap folders. Included emlx2maildir script in extras, to import Apple/OSX mail storage into maildirs. New exclude config directive for accounts, to exclude fetching certain remote imap folders. Fixes

by jaromil

Belling Cat

India’s Middle East Foreign Policy

MEW Logo2Shashank Joshi comes on the show to talk about India’s Middle East foreign policy. Topics we covered include:

  • Importance of remittances from Indians living in the Middle East
  • India’s relationship with Israel
  • Why India sees an “advantage in obscurity” in deciding its Middle East strategies
  • Indian hostages in Iraq and India’s inability to effectively respond to the situation
  • India’s need for a “Look West” policy in addition to “Look East”
  • India’s relationship with Iran and Saudi Arabia

Links:

Please support the podcast by making a small monthly donation on Patreon. Thank you!

Download this episode (20 MB mp3)

by Karl Morand

Cizre and the New Turkey’s Kurdish Problem

Turkey Wonk LogoIn the small Kurdish-majority city of Cizre, Kurdish affiliates of the PKK have been digging trenches to prevent Turkish security forces from entering the city center. In recent weeks, two Kurdish children have been killed during these clashes. Against this backdrop, a large majority of Kurds in Turkey have identified with their counterparts in the besieged Kurdish town of Kobane – the small enclave that has been under siege by Islamic State forces since summer 2014. The PYD-IS clashes prompted ore pronounced calls for unity through out the Kurdish majority areas in the Middle East.

In today’s podcast, Aaron first speaks with Noah Blaser about the political impact of the Cizre clashes in Turkey. Later, Aaron is joined by Cale Salih for an in-depth discussion about the politics of the Kurdish movement more broadly and how Kobane and the wars in Iraq and Syria have affected the Kurdish movement.

Links:

Related Turkey Wonk Podcasts:

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes

Download this episode (30 MB mp3)

by Aaron Stein

January 23, 2015

/tmp/lab

Humans need not apply

Ah, Humans need not apply, la belle vidéo que voilà. Montage impeccable, propos au cordeau qui ont fait leur petit effet dans le monde anglo-saxon l’an dernier. Tant que, dans quelques années, on la ressortira volontiers en se disant que tout y était.

Ah, Humans need not apply, such a nice video here. Perfect cut, spiritful script which had its on small effect last year. So much, that in a few years, we’ll unbury it gladly, saying it had it all.

Tout y était, comme celle ci qu’on ne se lasse pas de regarder, et dont on sent que le style a pu inspirer la première. Non ?

It had it all, much like this one a never ending watching pleasure, whose style seemed to inspire much the former. Don’t you think?

by alban

Belling Cat

Were Chemical Weapons Used in Donetsk Airport’s Last Stand?

By Jett Goldsmith

Donetsk International Airport in Donetsk, Ukraine, served over 1.1 million passengers in 2013 before it was seized by Russian-backed rebels aligned with the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in May of 2014.

Large outbursts of conflict followed in the coming months, with Ukrainian forces conducting air raids, and both the Ukrainian army and the DPR heavily shelling the area. As of Jan. 22, 2015, after heavy fighting and with few holdouts from Ukrainian forces (somewhat endearingly termed “cyborgs” for their resilience in combat), Donetsk International Airport — although essentially destroyed — is reportedly under complete control of the DPR.

The Cost of Attack

Since Jan. 16, one of the heaviest days for clashes at Donetsk airport between the DPR and Ukrainian forces, conflicting reports have arisen regarding how the DPR managed to seize the airport in its entirety.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the world’s largest regional security organization with 57 member states, has been consistently monitoring the situation in Ukraine since early 2014 through its Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM). In its most recent report published on Jan. 20, the SMM reported significant shelling in Donetsk over the past several days. Damage to civilian property up to 3km away from the Donetsk city center was observed, with residents in the area citing shelling as the cause for damage.

Multiple other instances of shelling damage in DPR-controlled territory were reported by the SMM. The Ukrainian army and the DPR traded blows for several hours each night, with the SMM noting “approximately 10 outgoing and three incoming artillery rounds” in government-controlled territory north of Donetsk, and “six outgoing artillery rounds” in government-controlled Staronativka, 48km south of Donetsk.

Chemical Agents

Perhaps the most unusual part of the SMM’s Jan. 20 report consists of an interview conducted by SMM members with a Ukrainian soldier hospitalized in government-controlled Konstantinovka, an industrial city 56km north of Donetsk. The soldier stated he was being treated for injuries sustained through combat at Donetsk airport on Jan. 19, and that “80 Ukrainian soldiers in total” had suffered similar injuries, including “uncontrollable muscle spasms, vomiting, difficulty breathing,” and in some cases, loss of consciousness.

These symptoms are consistent with exposure to certain nerve agents and choking agents. Use of nerve agents by either party is unlikely, especially considering the relatively high mortality rate of these chemical weapons along with an absence of fatalities reported among those exposed to the attack. Use of choking agents is more likely – although potentially fatal, the use of these banned weapons often results in a lower mortality rate than their neurological counterparts.

Russia and Ukraine are both signatories of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention. Although Ukraine confirmed it had transferred all chemical weapons in its territory to Russia in early 1992 following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia still possesses a non-negligible stockpile of various chemical agents. Russia possessed 40,000 metric tons of chemical weapons when the Chemical Weapons Convention was ratified in 1997, of which around 10,000 metric tons remain as of 2013.

Among the chemical weapons possessed by Russia, there are several incidentally significant agents, including:

  • VR (a Soviet-developed isomer of VX)
  • Sarin (GB)
  • Soman (GD)
  • Phosgene (CG)

Additionally, Russian news agency RT reported in 2012 that Russia still maintained “vast stockpiles” of mustard gas, lewisite, and other chemical agents.

Precursor Attacks

Another instance of alleged chemical munitions use on Donetsk airport prior to the incident on Jan. 19 was reported several days earlier, on Jan. 16, with both sides accusing the other of using chemical munitions. Russian government-owned news agency ITAR-TASS quoted DPR president Alexander Zakharchenko’s accusations of chemical weapons use by Ukrainian forces during a tour of Donetsk airport on the 16th. “After the shells burst, a pungent cloud of gas spread across the old terminal,” Zakharchenko said. “They are firing banned munitions in breach of the Geneva convention.”

ITAR-TASS similarly quoted one of their correspondents, present at the tour of Donetsk airport, as having “felt the impact of chemical substances, which made his eyes tear and caused troubled breathing.”

These accusations may not be unfounded, but are perhaps overblown; the symptoms of this precursor attack are at least partially consistent with those of illegal chemical agents, but they are also consistent with military chemical compounds such as CS gas and other riot control agents.

The use of these agents are permissible for the purposes of riot control, but remain prohibited for warfare. Nonetheless, military chemical compounds – while still dangerous and potentially fatal – are exponentially safer than explicitly prohibited chemical agents, which are designed to cause severe injury and/or death.

The Interpreter, headed by global affairs analyst James Miller and Foreign Policy columnist Michael Weiss, provides a likely debunking of the Jan. 16 attack. According to their Ukraine live blog, reports of a chemical attack were non-lethal and inconsequential:

Last week, on January 16, the Russian state-controlled media reported a possible chemical weapons attack at Donetsk airport. However, Ukrainian soldiers reported the use of a smoke screen, and we were satisfied that the use of smoke grenades accurately matched the reports of the smell of the gas and the symptoms. It seemed like a “non-story.”

Were Chemical Weapons Used?

The question remains as to whether chemical weapons were used, and by whom, on Jan. 19 in Donetsk. It has been established that the use of chemical agents in warfare, regardless of their classification, is prohibited under OPCW regulations. Yet over the past 24 hours, accusations of chemical attacks via reports on Twitter have sprung up in large number from those in the region.

Environmental factors warrant particular consideration. As noted by 22-year CBRN veteran and former United States Army Chemical Officer Dan Kaszeta, melting points are a major factor in chemical weapons use – particularly in Ukraine, which over the past week has seen temperatures ranging from 20-35°F (-7-2°C).

Many chemical agents, including those mentioned above, are most commonly found in liquid form. The melting point of sarin, an unlikely candidate for the attack due to its high fatality rate, is around -69°F (-56°C), while VX dips as low as -60°F (-51°C). Soman and phosgene have melting points as low as -44°F (-42°C) and -198°F (-128°C) respectively. According to Kaszeta, few chemical agents have sufficient vapor pressure to function effectively at Ukrainian winter temperatures, but relatively mild temperatures in Eastern Ukraine over the past several weeks may mean vapor pressure is a non-issue.

Photographic evidence and social media reports may be more convincing. Frequently retweeted and apparently original photos from biased sources in the region show corpses of soldiers with signs possibly indicative of chemical exposure. Additionally, live footage of Donetsk airport broadcast by Russian television station LifeNews on Jan. 22 shows a DPR crate with what appears to be a Russian PMK-1 gas mask on top, and the caption “by the law of knighthood, militia helps UAF out of the rubble.” Respirators do have practical use in a warzone, but the PMK-1 mask broadcast by LifeNews appears to be equipped with a CBRN cartridge, rated specifically to filter chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear particles.

On Jan. 23, the Ukraine-aligned but independently operated Kyiv Post reported on losses at Donetsk airport. As part of the report, the paper interviewed a wounded Ukrainian soldier who “kept in touch with his comrades fighting at the airport.” The soldier, who chose to remain anonymous due to lack of authorization, detailed use of chemical weapons by DPR forces.

He said the rebels started using grenades with a nerve agent – a prohibited means of warfare – over the last weeks. “If there is vomiting it is definitely a nerve agent. If there is a closed building a person may faint over them,” he said adding that the rebels definitely used such grenades on Jan. 20.

Outside of fiction, nerve agents are typically not weaponized into handheld devices, and certainly not deployed in conflict stricken zones. Phosgene gas, however, is relatively easily weaponized in grenade form, although the Russian military doesn’t have a history of producing chemical grenades. Reports by the Kyiv Post are contentious, but weaponized phosgene with any delivery system fits the description of the unknown agent given by Ukrainian soldiers to Kyiv Post and the OSCE. Symptoms of phosgene exposure, which onset anywhere between 6 and 24 hours after exposure, include difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, and blurred vision.

Russia has a history of using chemical weapons in crisis situations. During the 2002 Moscow theater hostage crisis, in which Chechen separatists held hostage 850 civilians in a crowded theater and demanded the withdrawal of Russia from Chechnya, agents from the Russian FSB pumped an unknown chemical substance into the theater and launched a successful raid. 133 of the hostages died due to chemical exposure, largely as a result of Russia’s refusal to disclose the identity of the chemical to health professionals.

The DPR assumes no responsibility for any chemical attack, nor does the Ukrainian government, and it remains that the symptoms described by the hospitalized Ukrainian soldier to OSCE officials could be indicative of other, lesser types of exposure. Inhalation of debris from the shelled airport remains a major contender, as the effects from overexposure to industrial particulates may mirror certain symptoms of chemical exposure.

Several additional factors, unattainable without on-the-ground presence in Ukraine, should be taken into account: ratio of fatalities to injuries, time of symptom onset, and symptom reports from affected soldiers and medics in the area. Without this data it is impossible to conclusively determine whether either party used prohibited chemical agents, and in what context the agents may have been used. Incidental evidence, however, as well as official reports from observer organizations and news media, speak to the possibility of a chemical attack in Eastern Ukraine – a possibility that could have tremendous effects on the Ukrainian conflict as it stands.

by Jett Goldsmith

Pix and bits

Walking the walks of code, from the sources to the rivers.

The post appeared first on Pics and bits.

by jaromilrojo

Riccardo Orioles

L’Italia riuscirà a sopravvivere fino al 2024?

Questo pezzo chiude l’annuario 2014 di “Stampo Antimafioso”, il giornale degli studenti milanesi che aderiscono alla rete dei “Siciliani giovani”. Li trovi su www.stampoantimafioso.it

Stampo Antimafioso2014Un samizdat (edito in proprio) nella gerontocratica Russia di Breznev era uno scritto escluso dai canali di distribuzione ufficiali che girava fra i giovani oppositori. Non essendoci Internet, la tecnologia era “macchina da scrivere più carta carbone”. Ciascuno ne faceva copie e le faceva girare, dando luogo a una diffusione virale ante litteram. Era un lavoro volontario e gratuito, ma dava l’unica voce libera del Paese.

Uno di questi samizdat, nel maggio 69, fu Sopravviverà l’Unione Sovietica fino al 1984?, di Andres Amalrik. Amalrik era un giovane contestatore di buone letture, piuttosto noto ai commissariati ma rigorosamente nonviolento. Il suo samizdat, sosteneva, avrebbe suscitato dappertutto “lo stesso interesse che presenterebbe un pesce divenuto improvvisamente loquace”. Morì nel 1980, e non seppe mai di avere “avuto ragione” quando l’Urss crollò improvvisamente pochi anni dopo la data da lui indicata.

* * *

Cosa scriverebbe Amalrik, se fosse italiano e vivesse oggi? Intanto, si troverebbe subito a suo agio: il sistema italiano, che non prevede particolari vessazioni fisiche per i dissidenti (purché di razza bianca), è tuttavia gerontocratico, nelle sue strutture profonde, non meno della Russia di Breznev. È vero che la propaganda dice il contrario, e che apparatniki giovani vengono assunti qua e là ai posti di comando; ma anche allora i vari Cernenko, Andropov ecc. erano molto al di sotto della media del Politburò e venivano portati ad esempio del ringiovanimento del regime.

Al vecchio mondo sovietico Amalrik nel ’69 dette una quindicina d’anni (in realtà furono venti) di vita. Ma da allora tutto gira molto più in fretta, e probabilmente il nostro assegnerebbe al sistema Italia qualche anno in meno, diciamo una decina, prima dell’implosione o del collasso. Scrivendo senza paura di gulag, ma solo di disoccupazione e di miseria, avrebbe tutto l’agio di concentrarsi sui cinque punti fondamentali del suo samizdat. Eccoli.

1) Il sistema politico, che in teoria è ancora quello dei padri fondatori, in realtà (dalla Prima alla Seconda Repubblica, e da questa al Secondo Regno) è ormai profondamente rattrappito. Non si vota tendenzialmente più, i governi hanno scarso rapporto con le elezioni, gli organi di garanzia (ad esempio l’antica Presidenza) sono stati assorbiti nell’apparato.

2) L’economia, teoricamente ancora italiana, in realtà non ha più relazione col Paese. La principale fabbrica ormai produce in Serbia, vende in America, paga le tasse a Londra ed ha sede effettiva chissà dove.

3) L’ideologia del Paese, monarchico-autoritaria o fascista (cinque guerre di seguito e sostanziale uscita dall’Occidente), non è affatto scomparsa come si credeva ma era semplicemente latente. Sotto forme diverse (tutte, rispetto al fascismo classico, meno “sociali” e più “razziali”) oggi essa coinvolge circa un quarto della popolazione, e suscita simpatie occasionali su un altro quarto.

4) L’età media nel Paese è piuttosto elevata (un quinto della popolazione supera i 65 anni) e il tasso di natalità (meno di un figlio e mezzo per coppia) è viceversa fra i più bassi del mondo. L’abbandono della famiglia d’origine e la formazione di una nuova è sempre più difficile per cause economico-sociali (il lavoro regolare e regolarmente retribuito è ormai praticamente un’eccezione). Aumenta quindi l’emigrazione dei giovani, soprattutto dei più qualificati, che non è più bilanciata dall’immigrazione regolare. L’immigrazione, in particolare, non dà normalmente più luogo alla formazione di nuovi italiani ma di sacche tuttora “straniere”, circondate dall’ostilità dei pre-residenti e quindi impossibilitate a integrarsi in una vera e propria cultura italiana. Quest’ultimo dato è interessante perché, fra tutti i Paesi del mondo, l’Italia è quello che ha più efficacemente e per più lungo tempo (oltre duemila anni) conseguito successi in quest’opera di assorbimento e integrazione: in Lombardia, ad esempio, si sono rapidamente integrati tanto i Longobardi del decimo secolo quanto i Siciliani del ventesimo. Questo processo negli ultimi decenni s’è improvvisamente interrotto, probabilmente a causa dell’abbassamento del livello civile medio della popolazione già residente.

5) Come gli avvenimenti di Roma – ma anche di Milano, di Reggio Emilia, ecc. – hanno ad abundantiam dimostrato, i poteri mafiosi (coi meccanismi economici e culturali conseguenti) sono ormai endemici di quasi ogni parte del Paese. L’antimafia che li contrasta, e che riguarda comunque una parte minoritaria (ma prevalentemente giovane) della popolazione, mostra notevoli limiti o di assorbibilità nel sistema mediatico o di difficoltà a percepire il proprio ruolo come politico (“antimafia sociale”) e non unicamente di testimonianza e denuncia.

Questo, considerato il collasso ormai avvenuto delle formazioni politiche ufficiali (tradizionali, “rinnovate” e “nuove”), rende alquanto credibile la predizione di Amalrik. Per fortuna, fino a questo momento, solo virtuale.

by Riccardo Orioles

Vlax

Ni Internet ni gratis (en Colombia)

Ni Internet ni gratis (en Colombia)

http://www.las2orillas.co/ni-internet-ni-gratis/

Lee el articulo completo aqui

...Finalmente, mucho se ha hablado sobre la gratuidad del servicio, pero jamás hay que olvidar que cuando alguien te vende algo gratis el producto eres tú. Facebook gana en usuarios, información y poder. Tigo gana clientes. El gobierno gana en estadísticas. Los usuarios de internet.org ganan un acceso a 16 páginas web. Me pregunto, ¿vale la pena?, ¿es simple humo digital? o ¿estamos ante una discriminación más, un interné pa’ pobres que ni es Internet, ni sale gratis?

por @mapisaro

January 22, 2015

Pix and bits

Walking the walks of code, from the sources to the rivers.

The post appeared first on Pics and bits.

by jaromilrojo

Walking the walks of code, from the sources to the rivers.

The post appeared first on Pics and bits.

by jaromilrojo

January 21, 2015

Pix and bits

Walking the walks of code, from the sources to the rivers.

The post appeared first on Pics and bits.

by jaromilrojo

Vlax

Pix and bits

January 20, 2015

Belling Cat

A Call to Arms: Open Source Intelligence and Evidence Based Policymaking

Originally posted on King’s College London’s Policy Institute blog Policy Wonkers.

By Mick Endsor, Research Assistant and Dr Bill Peace, Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the International Centre for Security Analysis.

Policymakers have access to a wealth of open source information that has yet to be incorporated into the policymaking process. As Eliot Higgins argued in a previous post on this blog, social media provides a crucial and yet untapped source of evidence which can underpin effective policymaking in relation to conflict zones. We wholeheartedly agree with this – indeed, it can be taken much further. Policymaking based on information that has been acquired through open source intelligence techniques can provide a template for decision-making based on rigorous evidence and a verifiable methodology. In the business world, for example, OSINT is now common analytical practice. But as yet, it has not gained anything like the same kind of traction in the policy sphere, and there is a genuine lack of evidence-based policymaking based on open source intelligence.

From our perspective, this is a worrying state of affairs. There is a powerful case for incorporating OSINT approaches to evidence-based policymaking. In the first place, evidence produced by OSINT methods can be both robust and rigorous, not least because it can be underpinned by extensive datasets. And in the second, it has the potential to be both transparent and verifiable; all open source evidence is, by definition, based on data that is publicly (and often freely) available.

A powerful case indeed, then – so why is open source evidence rarely used to inform policymaking? At the heart of the problem is the fact that OSINT approaches are still relatively ‘young’ and, all too often in our experience, lack the rigour and reliability needed to underpin effective policymaking.

For us then, we need a call to arms – or, more accurately, three calls to arms. First, those who specialise in OSINT need to develop a much stronger, more reliable set of approaches for collecting open source data and, perhaps more importantly, for analysing that data. All too often, analyses rest on a set of assumptions that remain untested. One of the most obvious and frequent of these assumptions is that Twitter and other online populations are representative of wider public opinion and that software can accurately assess the sentiment of these populations. We should critically challenge such assumptions as Nick Halstead, CTO of DataSift, a provider of sentiment analysis software, did when he bluntly stated that any company that claims they can achieve better than 70% accuracy in tracking sentiment is ‘lying’. It is also imperative that we address the real issue of the availability and reliability of information, particularly as organisations are often reluctant to share that information with researchers and academics. This is a policy issue in its own right that could be addressed by developing public-private-academic partnerships, and by broadening the evidence base for policymaking through open data initiatives.

In the second place, those who champion open source intelligence approaches must communicate the advantages of those approaches. Compelling arguments can be, but aren’t, made and as it stands, policymakers lack a real understanding of the potential for OSINT to inform policymaking. To overcome this challenge we need to be far more proactive not only in establishing more effective partnerships and information-sharing practices, but also engaging with policymakers to highlight the policy-relevant benefits of open source research and analysis. OSINT has real potential to add significant value to policy debates: it has the power to identify knowledge gaps, analyse the efficacy of existing policies and, to stress our key point again, to provide new, rigorous evidence bases to support the development of effective policy.

The third point is that policymakers need to be receptive to the enormous advantages that OSINT as an evidence base for policymaking can provide. The big data phenomenon has filtered through to OSINT and opened up new, and as yet underused, avenues of research. As open source approaches become more rigorous, and researchers become better at communicating their applicability to the major policy issues of the day, policymakers should capitalise on this opportunity to improve – significantly – the quality of policymaking.

by Bellingcat

Social Media and Conflict Zones: The New Evidence Base For Policymaking

Originally posted on King’s College London’s Policy Institute blog Policy Wonkers.

In recent years, content shared via social media from conflict war zones has allowed us to gain a far deeper understanding of the on-the-ground realities of specific conflicts than previously possible. This presents a real opportunity for providing robust evidence which can underpin foreign and security policymaking about emerging, or rapidly escalating, conflict zones. Despite this opportunity, however, policymakers have generally been slow to adapt to the volume of information disseminated on social media from various armed groups in Syria and slower still to use this as an evidence base for policy generation.

In the case of the Syrian conflict, for example, far more information in the public domain comes not from journalists on the ground (who, it goes without saying face extreme danger in attempting to report from many parts of Syria) but from social media and user generated content online.

In 2012, the video streaming site Bambuser was adopted by groups opposing the Syrian government to livestream videos of protests and violence from across Syria. The situation changed as violence escalated and internet access in opposition-controlled areas became increasingly limited. Today, this means that the vast majority of social media accounts being used by the Syrian opposition are associated with specific locations, media centres, or armed groups. This provides researchers with a real opportunity to understand the actors and events taking place on the ground.

This approach has its advantages: because comparatively few people in opposition areas are using social media, and they tend to be associated with specific groups, it is possible to collect and organise the majority of the social media accounts that are being used in opposition controlled areas. These accounts can be monitored for activity, and cover the majority of information coming from opposition controlled areas through social media. This can provide a detailed and dynamic picture of the conflict as well as a detailed understanding of the various armed groups.

There are challenges in this approach, however. The most obvious, in the Syrian context, is that researchers are limited to what those groups post online – and perhaps more importantly, that this often represents a narrow perspective on the conflict in opposition areas. A second problem is neatly illustrated by the Bellingcat research on the current conflict in Ukraine. Here, the opposite is true: because internet access is not limited, anyone can post anything they like online and they can post to a wider variety of social media sites. Granted, this vast amount of information posted from a huge variety of sources provides a richer picture, but it is also one that is harder to access through the ‘noise’ of other material.

Open source intelligence analysis has the potential not only to inform us about various actors and events on the ground, but also to allow us to piece together disparate pieces of information into a wider, more investigative, piece of research. In Bellingcat’s MH17 investigation, the research team compiled information from dozens of different sources, discovered by searching through thousands of social media accounts from Ukraine and Russia, on a wide variety of social media sites. Using this information it was possible to track the movements of a Buk missile launcher on July 17th through separatist-controlled territory to the likely launch site of the missile that downed MH17. The team was also able to find videos from multiple sources of exactly the same missile launcher travelling as part of a convoy through Russia towards the Ukrainian border a few weeks before MH17 was downed. The evidence was sufficiently robust to allow us to conclude that the Buk seen in Ukraine on July 17th originated from the Russian military.

Our research on the Buk missile launcher demonstrates that not only is there a wealth of largely untapped information available online and especially on social media, but also that a relatively small team of analysts is able to derive a rich picture of a conflict zone. Clearly, research of this kind must be underpinned by an understanding of the way in which content is being produced, who is sharing it, and, crucially, how to verify it – and these are methodological challenges which need to be addressed systematically. Nonetheless, the overarching point is that there is a real opportunity for open source intelligence analysis to provide the kind of evidence base that can underpin effective and successful foreign and security policymaking. It is an opportunity that policymakers should seize.

by Eliot Higgins

January 19, 2015

Vlax

#Google escapa también a leyes de #Mexico

#Google escapa también a leyes de #Mexico

  • Denuncian "abundantes y convincentes indicios de que comunicaciones en redes WiFi privadas fueron interceptadas y espiadas ilegalmente por Google” en las ciudades de México

  • Miguel Gallardo, presidente y fundador de la Asociación para la Prevención y Estudio de Delitos, Abusos y Negligencias en Informática y Comunicaciones Avanzadas, dijo a la agencia Apro que sólo ha recibido "silencio e indiferencia" del gobierno mexicano.

http://www.proceso.com.mx/?p=392599

  • Gallardo señala que “Google ha suscrito diversos convenios con el gobierno de México que pudieran explicar, aunque fuera indirecta e indiciariamente, el hecho de que no se haya investigado, o que no se conozca si se ha investigado” el espionaje.

  • En México la filmación de Street View inició en 2008. A la fecha incluye más de 100 ciudades.

  • Google empezó a cooperar con la agencia NSA en 2009, mientras levantaba la base de Street View. Google participa en la ejecución de la Estrategia Digital Nacional, un nuevo proyecto del gobierno mexicano.

#espionaje #ley #seguridad #control #sociedad #comunicacion #wifi #NSA #PRISM #información #sociedad #política #datos

Belling Cat

Growing Pains: Accounts of Localized Resistance to ISIS Rule

It’s no secret that ISIS exerts an ironclad grip over its subject populace. Its media wing is willing and eager to document and exhibit its highly idiosyncratic of Islamic law, whether through distributing video footage of accused homosexuals being tossed from rooftops or the execution of suspected spies as performed by a child.

Less immediately evident is the widespread discontent that ISIS faces from residents under its control who are elided from the ISIS media narrative. But while their voices are stifled, activist and social media accounts can play an important role in illuminating the forms of resistance, passive and aggressive, that occur on a regular basis in ISIS territory in a bid to undermine their political hegemony.

Such resistance has taken many forms. Most notably, perhaps, was the abortive uprising of the al-Sheitat tribe in Syria, which resulted in the reported execution of hundreds of its members. Activists continue to find mass graves attributed to the massacre. This harsh repression effectively blunted any further resistance from the tribe, and pro-government social media sources reported that a number of its members have since allied with Syrian military forces in Deir Ezzor, opting to exercise resistance against ISIS in this capacity rather than fight on their own.

The emergence of the White Shroud, an enigmatic Deir Ezzor-based vigilante group, underscores the extent to which anonymous members of the public, perhaps former FSA fighters or Islamists, are willing to pursue coordinated armed struggle against ISIS. While its exact nature and composition is subject to debate, activists have attributed several assassinations of ISIS members to the White Shroud, and men claiming to be members of the group even made a cameo video appearance. Similarly, other attacks have been attributed to members of the mostly Sunni pro-government Ba’ath Battalions, who have a declared presence in Raqqa.

Yet such widely organized violence is not the only way in which locals have attempted to assert their own authority in ISIS-held Syria and beyond. While these actions have required a large degree of planning and tactical cohesion, organic resistance has taken root in some areas. According to activist accounts, residents have used several opportunities to fight back, whether through sudden acts of violence against targets of opportunity or in more indirect and surreptitious ways.

1

Activist sources converge on the basic details of an encounter in the village of Sbeikhan in mid-December in which local men reportedly killed a number of ISIS fighters. The anti-government Tahrir Syria network reported that a deadly fight erupted after ISIS religious police attempted to apprehend a woman in the village, and a pro-government news site also reported a similar version of the event.

2

Following the confrontation, Tahrir Syria also reported that several men were executed as punishment. A separate pro-government poster on social media seemed to corroborate basic details of the account a few days later.

3 4

A Syrian journalist from Deir Ezzor reached by Bellingcat was able to confirm the violence in Sbeikhan, saying that three ISIS fighters and seven village residents were killed the fighting. The journalist, a member of the DzGraph activist network, said that although ISIS detained a number of men following the incident, it wound up releasing them.

“There was a small deal between the guys from the village and ISIS to release the arrested,” the journalist said. “ISIS was afraid of protests, so they did.”

While he did not verify details of the alleged executions, both his account of ISIS brokering deals with locals, as well as social media accounts from opposition and pro-government sources suggesting a local backlash, illustrates the level to which ISIS authority was briefly called into question, forcing the group to either execute villagers fighting against their religious policing or negotiate with residents to stave off further disruption, or some combination thereof.

Likewise, the journalist said that other forms of more passive resistance are endemic throughout ISIS territory. Parents, he said, find schooling alternatives so their children can continue studying science and other subjects prohibited by ISIS’ austere and religiously focused curriculum. Indeed, in the stridently theocratic world of ISIS jurisprudence, even smoking can be a form of resistance. As the journalist noted, groups of men in Syria have formed secret smoking clubs to keep their habits alive, preferring to stay in their homes and away from the prying eyes of ISIS religious police.

“Now when you walk in the streets you see only kids, girls with scarves and boys with balls. The women don’t leave their houses,” he said. “The number of people hating ISIS is increasing day by day.”

Al Mayadeen, according to the DzGraph member and other activist sources, has become a hotbed of anti-ISIS resistance.

5

In one notable example, the journalist said, ISIS drafted a mentally ill man from the city and sent him to his death on the frontline against the Syrian military. He added that stories such as this are common, and that a silent protest movement has begun to build momentum within the country’s mosques. Others are reported to be taking more stringent measures.

“Lots of fighters and ex-fighters are preparing themselves for the day they can fight both ISIS and the regime,” he said, noting also that some former FSA members chose to join ISIS as a survival tactic when it consolidated its rule in the area, triggering resentment from locals who believe that ISIS uses the men as cannon fodder.

The journalist also said that several men across Deir Ezzor have claimed to be White Shroud members – if only in a bid to gain arms from outside backers, while others have taken to sporadic hit-and-run attacks against foreign ISIS fighters, especially in Al Mayadeen. He added that a Tunisian and another North African fighter were assassinated by unknown gunmen in recent weeks.

6

The alleged beheading of an emir in Al Mayadeen– head lopped off, cigarette wedged between his teeth in a morbid display of poetic justice – suggests that the group’s harsh disciplinary measures may come to haunt them. Yet activists from DzGraph and the activist network Deir Ezzor Under Fire contacted by Bellingcat treated the story with caution.

“Reporters inside are saying they didn’t see or hear something like that,” the journalist affiliated with DzGraph said. “It is only the SOHR (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights) who said that.”

Nor are social media accounts of resistance against ISIS limited to Deir Ezzor, since activist groups in other regions have reported similar acts of violent and nonviolent resistance.

7 8 9 10 11

ISIS members themselves have also engaged in very limited forms of resistance against the group, most recently brought to attention when ISIS arrested alleged Azeri “ghulat,” or extremists, planning a coup against its upper echelons. Pro-ISIS social media reported the arrests widely after ISIS released a video of the alleged plotters. As preposterous as such a plot seems to both outside observers and undoubtedly to the group’s regional and top-tier leadership, the group’s willingness to broadcast the arrests illustrates that it takes such threats seriously and is willing to acknowledge their existence as a way of asserting superiority and control.

12 13

ISIS also exhibited a rare loss of control over its members when revelers flooded Raqqa’s central square in early December to celebrate rumors that the Deir Ezzor air base had fallen. Activists reported swift retribution, alleging that the group quickly rounded up those involved on grounds of inappropriate behavior.

14 15

Nor, according to one prominent activist network, has the group been immune from internal fighting within its own ranks.

16 17

Activist reports must of course be treated cautiously, since they are not immune to fabrication, exaggeration or inaccuracies. Nevertheless, the aggregate body of reports from a multiplicity of sources, which sometimes have competing interests, suggests a populace striking back. And, despite a concerted ISIS propaganda campaign to paint life under its rule in a highly favorable light, a more in-depth account depicts a society slowly tearing at its seams, barely scraping by as the proclaimed caliphate attempts to govern under sustained airstrikes, counteroffensives and shortages as ISIS police in Raqqa go house-to-house in pursuit of those dodging combat duties.

It remains highly unlikely that burning flags or assassinating muhajireen will trigger a collapse, local or otherwise, of ISIS rule, but these varied reports testify to the level of dissatisfaction expressed by some of its subjects, who appear willing to secretly bend their new overlord’s stringent rules or engage in guerilla attacks, showing how a number of people are pioneering creative and sometimes lethal ways to subvert ISIS rule and reclaim social space on their own terms.

by John Arterbury

Instants Suspendus

Pix and bits

via Jaromil Rojo on Instagram jaromil.dyne.org

The post appeared first on Pics and bits.

by jaromilrojo

January 18, 2015

Readers Digest

[Dng] Devuan Weekly News VIII

 [Devuan Weekly News][1] Issue VIII

Volume 02, Week 3, Devuan Week 8 https://git.devuan.org/Envite/devuan- weekly-news/wikis/past-issues/volume-02/issue-008

# Editorial

Welcome to Devuan Weekly News issue VIII. After two months has passed from the start of the project (or better, from the start of the DNG">https://lists.dyne.org/lurker/list/dng.en.html'>DNG mailing list), it seems that trolls have mostly disappeared and the list concentrates on discussing technical issues and solutions in a collaborative environment.

‘Collaborative’ is a very beautiful meaning, and we have used it for DWN">https://git.devuan.org/Envite/devuan-weekly-news/wikis/current-issue'>DWN as well. This Issue VIII comes from the collaboration of hellekin, to which DWN">https://git.devuan.org/Envite/devuan-weekly-news/wikis/current-issue'>DWN is in debt for setting up the processes to make this happen. He has also helped me sleep better with his reading and resuming effort.

Besides, it seems that the week can be resumed with a sentence from karl:

if desktop users wants their usb-disks to be automatically mounted, let them, but don’t force me.

It seems to be the true spirit of Devuan: freedom to choose.

# Last Week on Devuan ## [Jessie Without Systemd][2]

The exploration of TRIOS continues. Dragan warns the LiveCD does not allow removing the CD upon shutdown, leading to unexpected reboot on the TRIOS system. Renaud OLGIATI advises to tell the BIOS to boot on HDD and override the boot sequence to boot on the CD.

karl announces his intention to publish http://turkos.aspodata.se/computing/nonudev/' title='non-udev packages'>udev-independent packages to address the fact that some “packages depend on udev for wrong reasons.”

## [Use/Misuse of Depends][4]

cyteen wonders about the dependency policy in Devuan for using Depends or Recommends when upstream is adding support for, but not reliance on, some other package. Recently the Debian policy changed to pull in Recommends by default. The consensus in this thread is that Recommends should not be installed by default, and metapackages should be used instead to satisfy all use cases. Noel remembers the exact definitions of the current Debian policy.

That way both novices and experts would be satisfied: novices will use metapackages and Tasks that pull in Recommends, and experts will be able to choose for themselves. Joel Roth suggests the --no-install-{recommends,suggests} could have their counterparts, e.g., apt-get install pkgname --install-recommends, to ramp up dependencies.

## [Minimal Init][5]

Karl Hammar reports his experiments on choosing init on-the-fly, inspired by Manjaro">http://www.troubleshooters.com/linux/init/manjaro_experiments.htm'>Manjaro experiments. Isaac Dunham notes that such a script would require running as PID 1 (and then exec(1P) to the relevant executable). Karl concludes it might be easier to use the kernel’s init= command line argument.

## [Itches and Scratches][7]

Gordon Haverland: “The reason Devuan exists, is an itch named systemd. Should we be looking for other itches?” He wonders what if someone scratch makes others itch, and how itches and scratches pass from a distro to the next. He discovered that using debootstrap on Gentoo does not work as expected, and points to dpkg.

Adam Borowski answers that dpkg is rock stable and its files are almost uncorruptible due to all the care dpkg exercises on them. Gordon then clarified dpkg did not corrupt the files, but that he was trying to use debootstrap on Gentoo.

## [What to do with udev? Some ideas...][9]

Karl Hammar reactivates this thread with some experiments he made building">http://turkos.aspodata.se/computing/sketchy_notes_on_X_install'>building X without udev support.

## [Purpose of all this complicated device management?][11]

Karl Hammar comes back on the alleged superiority of a dynamic device manager and argues for freedom of choice: “if desktop users wants their usb-disks to be automatically mounted, let them, but don’t force me.”

Gravis and Jude Nelson argue in favor of vdev: it won’t touch static devices, it may even create detected devices and exit. Isaac Dunham notes that busybox mdev does the latter. Karl and Isaac discuss scanning and mapping devices to kernel modules.

The thread evolved">https://lists.dyne.org/lurker/message/20150119.190115.cb63c930.en.html'>evolved into a discussion about libsysdev, a library to substitute udev’s libsysfs which is being created by Isaac Dunham.

## [Wiki Spam][8]

Go Linux warns the VUA that spam should be prevented instead of erased on the without-systemd.org wiki.

## [UEFI and GPT][12]

Robert Storey wonders if Devuan will support UEFI boot and GPT partition tables. It seems Debian does not boot properly with those parameters, and Devuan should. Gravis notes that Devuan’s first release will be almost the same as Debian Jessie but without systemd, and remembers hardware may be necessary for testing afterwards.

# Devuan's Not Gnome

DNG is the discussion list of the Devuan Project.


No sleepless Monday night this week, thanks to the collaboration of hellekin.

You can collaborate too! Devuan Weekly News is made by your peers: you’re welcome to contribute wiki">https://git.devuan.org/Envite/devuan-weekly-news/wikis/home'>wiki!

Thanks for reading so far. Read you next week!

DWN Team

  • Noel, “er Envite” (Editor)
  • hellekin (Co-writer, markup master)

“Current Issue”

“Jessie Without Systemd”

“Use and misuse of Depends”

“Minimal Init”

“Manjaro Experiments”

“Itches and Scratches”

“Wiki Spam”

“What to do with udev? Some ideas…”

less X”

“Purpose of all this complicated device management?”

“UEFI and GPT”

“libsysdev preview”

https://lists.dyne.org/lurker/message/20150117.174913.1017259a.en.html “Don’t force me”

“Subscribe to DNG”

Archive”

Weekly News”

by Noel Torres

Instants Suspendus

[Chanson] Je ne veux plus le savoir

Je ne veux plus le savoir

François Béranger
1979

REFRAIN:
Je ne sais pas qui tu es
Je ne sais pas d’où tu viens
Et je ne veux plus le savoir

Je ne sais pas qui vous êtes jeunes flics arrogants
Rencontrés l’autre soir sur le quai d’une gare
Pareils à vos semblables sortis du même moule
Moulés de suffisance bardés dans la bêtise
Je me disais hier dans un rêve utopique
Sous l’uniforme bleu sous la visière plastique
Derrière le bouclier à l’autre bout du flingue
C’est pas un chien qu’il y a mais quand même un bonhomme

Citoyens citoyennes alignement par quatre
On veut voir qu’une tête pas un mot dans les rangs
Les suspects au ballon Les chevelus fichés
Les gonzesses des salopes Les motards des anars
Les cocos à Moscou Les bougnoules dans la Seine
Les nègres au cocotier Les pédés à châtrer
Et toi ta mobylette où c’est que tu l’as piquée
Espèce de parasite tu ferais mieux de travailler

Jeunes flics arrogants rencontrés l’autre soir
A onze heures dans le métro sur le quai d’une gare
Vous étiez quatre en ligne débouchant d’un couloir
Avec la belle prestance que donne le pouvoir
Sur le quai y avait moi j’ai pas l’air trop suspect
Et un autre bronzé du genre qu’on déracine
Pour ramasser nos merdes et qu’on paie à moitié
Les flics bien rodés ne voient que le faciès

Tes papiers rigolo pas encore au dodo
Où sont tous ses papiers
Les sacro-saints papelards
Passeport d’étranger Carte d’identité
Carte pour travailler Carte pour séjourner
Carte pour respirer Carte pour exister
D’un air dégoutté un des flics prend le paquet
Et passe à son voisin sans même regarder

Et puis il faut bien rire dans ce dur métier
Le plus marrant des quatre prend le portefeuille
Et répand sur le quai dégueulasse et souillé
Des photos et des lettres trésors de l’émigré
Sans un regard sans un mot le type s’accroupit
Une main chaleureuse le renverse sur le cul
Quatre rires maladifs résonnent dans la gare
Et les connards s’en vont vers d’autres héroïsmes

Pour un flic blessé pour un flic tué
Branle-bas de combat
L’ordre est menacé
Alerte générale Obsèques nationales
Restaurons les valeurs
Ça ne peut plus durer
Pour mille mecs humiliés en toute impunité
Combien de lignes de journaux
Combien de scoops de télé
Combien de numéros d’officiels courroucés
Je me penche Je dégueule J’ai envie de tout casser

« Sur mes chansons je ne ferai aucun commentaire. Ce que j’ai à dire y est contenu. Qu’on les écoute attentivement est ce qui peut leur arriver de mieux. Elles sont l’expression de mes convictions ou de mes expériences. Aucune n’est artificielle, concoctée pour plaire. Je ne fabrique pas de produits à la mode. Le suivisme et le mimétisme ne sont pas mon fort. Je crois qu’on est bon quand on est soi-même. Je crois aussi, majeure ou mineure, que la chanson est une forme d’art et que l’art doit être subversif, bousculer les idées reçues, les formes existantes. Je me trouve bien timide dans le domaine de la subversion… Si c’était à refaire j’essaierai d’aller plus loin, de taper plus fort, voire d’être démago, comme certains, pour gagner plus d’audience. »
François Béranger.

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by Mylène

Quelques réflexions sur la folie ambiante

B7T33fqCYAA95kq
Wolinski, Mes années 70

0
Affiche transformée par « Charlie »

031

Je poserai ici, au fur et à mesure de mes lectures, quelques réflexions qui me semblent pertinentes, en rapport avec ce qui se passe en ce moment…

« (…) L’issue n’est ni dans l’ordre sécuritaire ni dans la seule réaffirmation de principes, fussent-ils aussi fondamentaux que la laïcité. Ce qui est en jeu, c’est la manière générale dont on entend faire société. Le primat de la finance et de la marchandise, la concentration des pouvoirs, la dynamique de la peur, l’enfermement des communautés, la spirale de la violence forment un tout inextricable. C’est ce tout qu’il convient aujourd’hui de dénouer. (…) »
Lire : Se sortir de la guerre et non pas chercher à la gagner

« (…) Cependant, au vu de cette épouvantable tragédie, l’une des premières questions qui m’est venue à l’esprit est la suivante : le profond dégoût éprouvé face au meurtre doit-il obligatoirement conduire à s’identifier avec l’action des victimes ? Dois-je être Charlie parce que les victimes étaient l’incarnation suprême de la liberté d’expression, comme l’a déclaré le Président de la République ? Suis-je Charlie, non seulement parce que je suis un laïc athée, mais aussi du fait de mon antipathie fondamentale envers les bases oppressives des trois grandes religions monothéistes occidentales ? (…) »
Lire : Schlomo Sand : « Je ne suis pas Charlie »

« (…) Finalement, dans l’ensemble des grands médias et des principaux partis politiques, guerre contre le terrorisme ou union sacrée contre la barbarie, tous les éléments de discours sont en place pour renforcer les peurs et les tensions racistes. (…) »
Lire : Le bal des vautours

« (…) Cette mobilisation derrière la « prétendue liberté d’expression » ne fera que cacher encore une fois que cette forme de vie que nous vendent les politiques, cette « civilisation » qui est attaquée n’a rien à voir avec les réalités de notre existence. Que le paradoxe majeur réside dans le fait qu’aujourd’hui on nous dit « pas touche à ma liberté » en tant que discours et posture, sans réellement appliquer les pratiques nécessaire à sa pleine réalisation. Qu’aujourd’hui, dans cette tension extrême et dans cette nudité des rapports de force que représentent ces attaques, ce ne sera qu’un pas de plus dans le sens de l’acceptation de cette forme de vie se fondant sur la peur, sur la haine des autres, sur la division de nos forces, de ce que disent très justement nos amis du comité invisible : la désorganisation de notre vie et nos formes de vie comme éléments derniers du mode de gouvernement actuel. (…) »
Lire : Quelques réflexions sur la guerre en cours

« (…) On a le droit de penser que la guerre contre le terrorisme islamiste est une guerre légitime. Mais il importe d’être conscient d’une réalité statistique. En trente ans, le terrorisme islamiste a fait environ 3500 victimes occidentales, soit, en moyenne, un peu moins de 120 chaque année. Ces 120 morts annuels sont 120 catastrophes personnelles et familiales qui méritent reconnaissance. Ce nombre est toutefois bien inférieur à au moins deux autres : 9 855 (le nombre de morts par arme à feux aux États-Unis en 2012) et 148 (le nombre de femmes tuées par leur conjoint en France en 2012). Cette nécro-économie (E. Weizman) est certainement trop froide. Elle nous enseigne cependant que nos attitudes politiques sont embuées par notre sensibilité différenciée par rapport à la violence. (…) »
Lire : Ces morts que nous n’allons pas pleurer

« (…) Etre ou ne pas être « Charlie », telle est la question. Toute autre distinction est considérée comme nulle et non avenue. « Charlie » devient l’alpha et l’oméga de l’esprit républicain. Un comble pour l’équipe décimée de Charlie Hebdo qui devient le ferment de lois liberticides prochaines. Parlera-t-on de « Loi Charlie » pour désigner le « USA PATRIOT Act » à la française qui macère dans les esprits ? Les mots sont forts : repérer, traiter, intégrer. Verbes d’action, ça n’est pas anodin. Chacun abordera ce triptyque belliqueux avec sa sensibilité, son vécu. Ces mots dessinent en moi un sombre avenir. »
Lire : Repérer et traiter ceux qui ne sont pas « Charlie »

« Sans même attendre la fin d’une quelconque enquête sur l’ignoble attentat ayant visé Charlie Hebdo le 7 janvier, le gouvernement persévère dans son obstination à accroître l’arsenal antiterroriste, en notifiant à Bruxelles du décret d’application permettant le blocage de sites « terroristes » ou pédopornographiques et en annonçant de nouvelles mesures antiterroristes. La Quadrature du Net appelle les citoyens à refuser cette surenchère absurde et à défendre coûte que coûte la liberté d’expression et d’information. (…) »
Lire : #CharlieHebdo : Non à l’instrumentalisation sécuritaire

« (…) L’affaire de Tarnac n’apparaît pas comme une bavure ou comme une dérive. Les inculpations pour terrorisme peuvent toucher beaucoup de monde et correspondent à une logique répressive globale. « Aucune force politique susceptible d’exercer le pouvoir dans les pays européens n’envisage de rompre avec la politique de terrorisation consolidée dans les dernières décennies », rappelle Claude Guillon. Les immigrés et, plus ponctuellement, les militants demeurent les principales cibles de cette politique antiterroriste. (…) »
Lire : Le piège de la répression antiterroriste

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by Mylène

Pix and bits

Dendrites

via Jaromil Rojo http://instagram.com/p/x_kmrTm0zk/

The post Dendrites appeared first on Pics and bits.

by jaromilrojo

January 16, 2015

The Next Layer

We are only just beginning, Part 2

The previous chapter has delved into some of the bigger implications of free networks in relation to the overal historic development, the emergence of network society and its regulatory crisis. This sub-chapter engages more closely with the various free network initiatives and asks the question, what makes a network sustainable, or successful, or not. The - hard to explain - failure of US based free networks and the success of Guifi and Freifunk mark the extreme points of recent development.

While I do not insinuate that every member of Freifunk or Guifi.net shares political ideas from any particular part of the left, the “freifunk statt angst freedom box” contains a liberating software which has some of the properties of self-organisation built into its routing protocols. Since the last chapter was written, Freifunk continues its spirited fight on many levels.

A new report has been released http://mabb.de/presse/pressemitteilungen/details/wlan-fuer-alle-freie-funknetze-in-der-praxis.html by the media agency of Berlin and Brandenburg who have now supported for some years the building of a Berlin Backbone. But campaigns by legal firms also continues and the climate remains volatile. So what is it that makes a project successful? And what is success anyway? Can it be repeated? Scaling?

http://mabb.de/presse/pressemitteilungen/details/wlan-fuer-alle-freie-funknetze-in-der-praxis.html
Map of open wifi http://www.publicwifi.de/

The main difference is that between places where broadband is available at reasonable cost and where this is not the case. Often this comes down to the difference between the city and the countryside. Another question relates to the regulatory climate. It is a question that stares you into the face when you study wireless community networks, that hardly any seem to exist in the USA today. The New America Foundation does its best to promote it, and there are projects such as the Digital Stewards scheme in Detroit that address exactly those social imbalances mentioned above.

The US really pose a conundrum. In 2003-4-5 there were community networks such as NYC Wireless, Seattle Wireless, Personal Telco Portland, Oregon. The story of one such project, Wireless Philadelphia, is being told in this report by the NAA http://www.newamerica.net/files/nafmigration/NAF_PhilWireless_report.pdf . Here, the city created quango Wirelesss Philadelphia handed over the commission to build the network to a private company, rather than consider alternatives. This created a dependency and weakened WP's ability to carry out its declared goals. Now, a newly configured WP tries to find other ways of furthering network access. The regulatory climate seems to be harsh, where companies use the courts to prevent cities from building broadband networks for all, as this is considered unfair competition. But if this really explains the complete absence of any US open wifi community networks? Amd what is the reason for that. But lets return to where it works.

The type of community network that seems to be doing well often comes from regions where it can fill a real need. On the countryside in Catalunya – Gurb, by the way, where Guifi comes from, is just a small village, but there is the larger town Vic, nearby – the problem was and is that they really could not get broadband; initially they could not get it at all and now the price is still high; the main reason is the attitude of the incumbent and also the fact that no significance competitor to the incumbent has arisen.

Thus, on the countryside Guifi grew out of a real need. According to my interview with Ramon Roca, in the region they got support from very early on from not just one municipiality, but different mayors and other politicians; so this is like an open model of collaboration between community network and the communes, the local small political entities. This is not a one-size-fits-all scheme of “municipial wireless”, but a range of possibilities how those entities could work together. For the politicians, who want to get re-elected, it is good to support Guifi because they can say they brought their citizens cheap broadband, and for Guifi support by the municipiality makes life much easier.

Similar models have also been found in Germany, where Freifunk communities have entered successful collaborations with local communities or firms; and in Greece, where in the Sarantaporo http://www.sarantaporo.gr/ area wireless comunity networks are getting built

The enthusiasm around Sarantaporo is a reminder how exciting all this was also here 10 years ago. There seems to be a better chance that community WiFi prospers, when it taps into other needs of a region or community. The fruit and vegetable farmers in Sarantaporo hope to have a more direct access to markets, giving them fairer prices.

In cities such as Barcelona it is different. There, you have various providers offering different types of broadband, from ADSL to cable to fiber optic at relatively affordable prices. The widely shared
assumption is that in such a setting there need to be other motivations to participate in a wireless community network; for the municipiality the motivation - it seems - to support such a network is small as the politicians can say that the market provides for all needs.

I would advise caution with regard to such assumptions. In the still ongoing economic crisis, the price for broadband is not negligible, especially if you are on low income. The Detroit story is the best evidence for that (see previous chapter). In cities there is also a digital divide but it is part of a larger divide, of social stratifications and of urban geographies. I think community networks would be wise to adopt strategies which also make that point that collective and not-for-profit network provision is also cheaper; even in the city it gives an economic advantage; the second point is that also in cities it can be beneficial to have cooperation between community networks and political entities.

In Berlin the big thing is the financial support of the regional government for Berlin Backbone. This gives Freifunk resources to play with, to create a wireless backbone from where smaller leaves can spread; it also gave the opportunity to renew the earlier already existing Berlin Backbone: this is something very interesting in the long run: wireless technology does age, especially those parts exposed to the weather.

It appears that both Guifi and Freifunk have successfully built models for growth of community networks across large metropolitan areas – because this is what is the case, their networks cover not just cities such as Berlin and Barcelona, but whole regions such as Catalanya and Eastern and Northern Germany. The crucial point seems to be to tap into needs and find a layer where it is possible to bring those needs and resources together. Yet, resources in this context means the mobilization of people to come together and cooperate.

Guifi and Freifunk have chosen different models. In Germany, it seems there is a high ethical stance adopted by volunteers who are building and maintaining networks. The initial Model 1 as proposed by Consume (see Chapter 1) was that each node should be built and maintained by its owner. But this turned out to be slightly utopian. Building proper, reliable nodes goes still far beyond the capacity of the average user. So in Germany, the networks are built by volunteers, who donate free labour to build and maintain networks. In Spain, in addition to voluntary work, there is also the option of having people come to build one's node in a paid capacity. Guifi is managing contacts between node builders and node owners via the Guifi website. A quite elaborate social media system has been built around this, which allows users to rate network builders, who are often small IT companies, consisting of one or two people. In times of a severe economic crisis in Spain, this enables afficionados of free software and free networks to earn a bit of money. Maybe this gives Guifi a chance to maintain its fast growth rates: https://guifi.net/guifi/menu/stats/nodes

In Germany, it seems, paying people to build networks is anathema to most. The shared ethical stance - which has been voluntarily adopted and not been imposed by anyone - demands that people build free networks through free labour. Both models have their pros and cons. The German model works as long as enough techies are available to donate their time. Even the Berlin Backbone is built without paid labour. The funding from the Berlin Brandenburg Media Agency is only used for hardware and other materials. The Spanish model seems to work pretty well too. But it can also have centrifugal consequences. Some of those service providers will always want to privatize the network segment they have created. They will try to take their customers with them and build a service provider company. However, to prevent this, is the job of the Guifi foundation. This is one of the struggles that Guifi-net founder Ramon Roca sees himself confronted with.

Both, Guifi and Freifunk have become very strong in advocacy. They are not centralized companies. Neither the Guifi Foundation nor the Freifunk Förderverein (not-for-profit umbrella organisation) are running those networks. Their task is to advocate the building of free networks in two directions: on one hand, towards the official world of institutions, city, town and village administrations, and internally, regarding the community of active and potential network builders. But there is also a difference, regarding the type of advocay. In my view - which I do not claim to be objective and someone can come and correct me - Guifi advocates the right of access to the Internet as a fundamental freedom and right for all people more strongly than anybody else, while Freifunk argues slightly differently, advocating the politcal implications of a free network, free from government surveillance and commercial interests, which may distort network freedom.

Guifi is consciously creating a network commons, and uses also the term commons in its language. In order to do so, however, it is reliant on the state to be a benevolent partner. Yet the Spanish state and the regional governments are sometimes unreliable partners. As Ramon Roca said ina recent interview, the telcos are one of the strongest business lobbies. The interests of the incumbent are often more highly on the mind of politicians than the interest of the majority of people. On the regulatory level communities need commons enabling regulations, not commons inhibiting ones. However, it remains to be clarified what a network commons really is.

However, at this point in time, after Paris and Charlie Hebdo, the wind has changed again. After the relevations by Edward Snowden about governement snooping in collusion with large Internet companies, the public and the media demanded a scaling back of surveillance. Now, the public domain is full of renewed calls for more surveillance, and tougher regulation of the Net. The call for network neutrality seems to be loosing relevancy among politicians.

[to be continued]

by Armin Medosch

January 15, 2015

Vlax

Radio Entrevistas a delegados y participantes del #FestivalRyR durante la plenaria en CIDECI

Radio Entrevistas a delegados y participantes del #FestivalRyR durante la plenaria en CIDECI

Escucha las entrevistas en audio durante los dias 2 y 3 de Enero 2014 en el CIDECI, San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, México.

http://komanilel.org/2015/01/06/radio-entrevistas-a-delegados-y-participantes-del-festivalryr-durante-la-plenaria-en-cideci/

#komanilel #ezln #festivalRyR #cideci #autonomia #resistencia #medioslibres