MH17 and OSINT, a suspicious narrative, part 4 – Donbass Buk phantom or fact?

This blogpost is the fourth part of a series that I will publish in the last months before the MH17 trial starts, on March 9th, 2020. The series will review important parts of the evidence as publically disseminated or (implicitly) endorsed by the JIT.

The research presented will reveal more concerning the questions how the “main scenario” the JIT has worked with was framed, how the OSINT evidence has come about, who have been involved and how the Dutch Safety Board investigations have propped up the scenario. The series is supported by an assessment of most publically known evidence (comprising videos, photos, written messages and intercepts by the Ukrainian secret service) in a report of more than 100 pages containing more than 150 links to original sources and verifications.

As social media and open source intelligence (OSINT) played a pivotal role in the framing of the causes of the crash, first part of the series contained an assessment of the OSINT method the JIT also seemed to have embraced. The second part, “Strange Ways”, showed examples how some parts of the evidence came out in the open, who were the key players and how social and regular media channels were used to clean the alleged evidence from suspicion.

It seems most evidence ultimately arrived from a special unit, partly operating overtly and partly covertly, tied to the Interior Ministry of Ukraine and the organization that politically resorts under it, the Ukrainian secret service SBU. Part 3 of the series, called “Behind the screens“, shed more light on this unit of ultranationalist militia, spotters, infowarriors and SBU operatives.

In the next part, called “Donbass Buk, phantom or fact?some general observations about the Buk trail evidence will be listed. This automatically leads to a critical review of the way the (pro-)western press corps supported the official narrative by delivery of dozens of questionable witness accounts.

Part 4. Donbass Buk, phantom or fact?

Sweeny 2

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MH17 and open source intelligence, a suspicious narrative – part 3. Behind the screens

This blogpost is the third part of a series that I will publish in the last months before the MH17 trial starts, on March 9, 2020. It will review important parts of the evidence as publically disseminated or (implicitly) endorsed by the JIT.

As social media and open source intelligence (OSINT) played a pivotal role, first part of the series contained an assessment of the OSINT method the JIT also seemed to have embraced. The second part, Strange Ways, showed examples how some parts of the evidence came out in the open, who were the key players and how social and regular media channels were used to clean the alleged evidence from suspicion.

The research presented in the series will reveal more about the questions how the “main scenario” the JIT has worked with was framed, how the OSINT evidence has come about, who have been involved and how the Dutch Safety Board investigations have supported the scenario. The series is supported by an assessment of most publically known evidence (comprising videos, photos, written messages and intercepts by the Ukrainian secret service) in a report of more than 100 pages containing more than 150 links to original sources and verifications.

It seems most if not all evidence ultimately arrived from a special unit, partly operating overtly and partly covertly, tied to the Interior Ministry of Ukraine and the organization that politically resorts under it, the Ukrainian secret service SBU. This blogpost, part 3 of the series called “Behind the screens”, will shed more light on this unit of ultranationalist  militia, spotters, infowarriors and SBU operatives.

 

Avakov and Gerashchenko


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MH17 and open source intelligence, a suspicious narrative – part 2: Strange Ways

This blogpost is the second part of a series that I will publish in the last months before the MH17 trial starts, on March 9, 2020. It will review important parts of the evidence as publically disseminated or (implicitly) endorsed by the JIT. As social media and open source intelligence (OSINT) played a pivotal role, first part of the series contained an assessment of the OSINT method the JIT also seemed to have embraced.

The research presented in later parts of the series will reveal how the “main scenario” the JIT worked with was framed, how the OSINT evidence came about, who were involved and how the Dutch Safety Board investigations supported the scenario.

It seems most if not all evidence ultimately arrived from a special unit, partly operating overtly and partly covertly, tied to the Ministry for the Interior and the organization that politically resorts under it, the Ukrainian secret service SBU.

 

part 2: Strange Ways

DSC01218

The narrative of an alleged Russian Buk trail through the Donbass to a perceived launchsite and then back to Russia was ready-made from a few written messages, pictures and videos that were disseminated on social media. More than once the way how this alleged evidence in the MH17 case was popping up, showed some bizar aspects.

To tell the stories behind the construction of the narrative, one could start with discussing two videos allegedly posted by “ordinary citizens”, a photo allegedly taken by a freelance photographer for the French magazine Paris Match and an anonymous eyewitness account from an Associated Press reporter. We have at hand two social media sources which allegedly provided spontaneous, authentic, bottom-up information from civilians and two reporters from two well respected and widely trusted western media organizations. So at first glance all these sources were unsuspected, which might have made a fine start for OSINT gatherers like Bellingcat to use.

These stories convey some insights into the question how social media was used as a cleaning layer to support the impression only “ordinary people” were involved in the dissemination of the points of information that could be used to fill in the blanks towards a desired narrative. They also shed some light on some of the important players in the middle, the bloggers, OSINT gatherers and representatives from the (pro-)western mass media. Finally, one might get a glimpse of the way how western journalist sources retreated from openness to anonimity, playing their part in the OSINT information relay of the nameless evidence that was bubbling up from the infinite container of presumed neutral information, the world wide web.

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MH17 and open source intelligence, a suspicious narrative – part 1

This blogpost is the first part of a series that I will publish in the last months before the MH17 trial starts, on March 9, 2020. It will review important parts of the evidence as publically disseminated or (implicitly) endorsed by the JIT. Subtitle will be: “The SBU and its voluntary intelligence unit”.

the Buk_Odeith.all grafitti

Part 1: Open source intelligence

The story about the way that evidence has been built-up and disseminated to the public sphere in the case of the downing of flight MH17, seems to be part of a new phenomenon. Perception management to gain popular back-up for political decisionmaking founds itself in cases of international importance more and more on “open source intelligence” (OSINT [1]), collected and explained by non-state actors (bloggers, NGOs).

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Part 5. Jérôme Sessini, photographer for Paris Match

Sessini

From the series “How to use sloppy thinking for disinformation”. This series contains the following blogposts:

Part 1, preface: Generating “mounting evidence” in 5 examples

Part 2. The separatist from Oplot (Corriera della Sera)

Part 3. The separatists at the crashsite (BBC video)

Part 4. The Leonid Kharchenko intercepts

Part 5. Jérôme Sessini, photographer for Paris Match.

In the information war that was ignited moments after MH17 crashed, a lot of stories appeared in (pro)western mainstream and social media in which statements from separatists were misinterpreted. This was done to construct a story that actually an implicit admission of guilt was conveyed. Actually in all cases the conclusion was based on rather biased and sloppy thinking or even on deceitful intentions.

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Part 4. The Leonid Kharchenko intercepts

afluisteren

From the series “How to use sloppy thinking for disinformation”. This series contains the following blogposts:

Part 1, preface: Generating “mounting evidence” in 5 examples

Part 2. The separatist from Oplot (Corriera della Sera)

Part 3. The separatists at the crashsite (BBC video)

Part 4. The Leonid Kharchenko intercepts

Part 5. Jérôme Sessini, photographer for Paris Match.

In the information war that was ignited moments after MH17 crashed, a lot of stories appeared in (pro)western mainstream and social media in which statements from separatists were misinterpreted. This was done to construct a story that actually an implicit admission of guilt was conveyed. Actually in all cases the conclusion was based on rather biased and sloppy thinking or even on deceitful intentions.

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Part 3. The separatists at the crashsite (BBC video)

disconnect civilians

From the series “How to use sloppy thinking for disinformation”. This series contains the following blogposts:

Part 1, preface: Generating “mounting evidence” in 5 examples

Part 2. The separatist from Oplot (Corriera della Sera)

Part 3. The separatists at the crashsite (BBC video)

Part 4. The Leonid Kharchenko intercepts

Part 5. Jérôme Sessini, photographer for Paris Match.

In the information war that was ignited moments after MH17 crashed, a lot of stories appeared in (pro)western mainstream and social media in which statements from separatists were misinterpreted. This was done to construct a story that actually an implicit admission of guilt was conveyed. Actually in all cases the conclusion was based on rather biased and sloppy thinking or even on deceitful intentions.

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Part 2. The separatist from Oplot (Corriere della Sera)

From the series “How to use sloppy thinking for disinformation”. This series contains the following blogposts:

Part 1, preface: Generating “mounting evidence” in 5 examples

Part 2. The separatist from Oplot (Corriera della Sera)

Part 3. The separatists at the crashsite (BBC video)

Part 4. The Leonid Kharchenko intercepts

Part 5. Jérôme Sessini, photographer for Paris Match.

In the information war that was ignited moments after MH17 crashed, a lot of stories appeared in (pro)western mainstream and social media in which statements from separatists were misinterpreted. This was done to construct a story that actually an implicit admission of guilt was conveyed. Actually in all cases the conclusion was based on rather biased and sloppy thinking or even on deceitful intentions.

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How to use sloppy thinking for disinformation Part 1

Part 1, preface: Generating “mounting evidence” in 5 examples

In the information war that was ignited moments after MH17 crashed, a lot of stories appeared in (pro)western mainstream and social media in which statements from separatists were misinterpreted. This was done to construct a story that actually an implicit admission of guilt was conveyed. Actually in all cases the conclusion was based on rather biased and sloppy thinking or even on deceitful intentions.

Unsound Logic Cover Photo

In a series of blogposts I will show 5 examples of this way of thinking. Topic of the first part, in this blogpost, will be a brief explanation how biased, sloppy and unsound reasoning was used to create evidence against the separatists. Of course, the quintessential example will be mentioned shortly – the famous retracted message about a downing of an AN-26 on a message board that was in name dedicated to DPR commander Igor Strelkov.

Also the interview Vice reporter Simon Ostrovksy had with Cossack commander Nikolay Kozytsin will be reviewed in this first part of the series. Kozytsin played his part in that other famous cornerstone of the “fatal mistake narrative”, the video of the Ukrainian secret service (SBU) with intercepted calls, published 6 hours after MH17 crashed..

 

This series “How to use sloppy thinking for disinformation” also contains the following blogposts:

Part 2. The separatist from Oplot (Corriere della Sera)

Part 3. The separatists at the crashsite (BBC video)

Part 4. The Leonid Kharchenko intercepts

Part 5. Jérôme Sessini, photographer for Paris Match

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JIT presser: Target is Kremlin

Debris

‘New pieces of the puzzle’ have led the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to accuse four senior military men of the shooting down of Flight MH17 and the murder of 298 passengers. There is even mention of the Kremlin’s direct involvement. In this piece I give an assessment of what the conclusions in the JIT press conference of June 19 last are worth.

Zie hier voor de Nederlandse versie

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