Sources of information and updates on war in Ukraine
by Maciej Makowski
Update: Thank you everybody for the incoming suggestions and links. In particular, special thanks to “Astrid Nightroad”. Everyone, please keep your valuable input coming!
It’s hard to focus on any other topic right now, in the face of full scale military aggression, orchestrated by the Russian dictator and his kleptocracy regime against a sovereign European country, Ukraine.
Without doubt, this conflict will receive unprecedented social media coverage and reporting – but it will also have a huge amount of disinformation and propaganda. That’s why it’s necessary to have good sources and rely on trustworthy reports.
Apart from the military aggression, the Russians are waging psychological warfare and leveraging deliberate disinformation. The aim is to spread panic, undermine morale and convince Ukrainians and the rest of the world that resistance is pointless and that they should surrender.
Examples of such efforts include Russian troll accounts spreading fake news, fake updates, fake images and videos – often by using old content of this type from previous conflicts elsewhere. Some of this is very easy to debunk by reverse searching images – but the propagandists know that most people won’t go to that effort.
There are also people without a clear agenda, posting warfare clips that came from other parts of the world, but also from movies, video games, military training exercises and so on. Sharing that kind of content is equally unhelpful and confusing – so be careful when reposting it. Sometimes the difference between an unfunny prank and premeditated action will be hard to detect.
What’s also unhelpful and even dangerous to Ukrainian soldiers is sharing movements of their troops and their locations on social media. Often, English speaking users cannot tell the difference between the uniforms and equipment of the Ukrainian and Russian armies. Remember that blindly sharing or attempting to geolocate random content without knowing what exactly you are doing can lead to even more tragedy and people losing lives.
So here is a list – let’s say it’s going to be work in progress – of reliable sources of information on war in Ukraine.
Official Ukrainian government sources
- Office of the President of Ukraine @APUkraine
- Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukrainian President @ZelenskyyUa
- Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine @DmytroKuleba
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine @MFA_Ukraine
- Cyberpolice Ukraine @CyberpoliceUA
Maps & geolocation sources
- Live UA Map: https://liveuamap.com/
- UkrStream TV: https://ukrstream.tv/en/streams
- MapHub: https://maphub.net/Cen4infoRes/russian-ukraine-monitor
- Maps of Ukraine: https://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/map/google_map_ukraine.htm
- NY Times Maps: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/world/europe/ukraine-maps.html
- Russian forces map: https://www.gfsis.org/maps/russian-military-forces
- ADS-B Exchange: https://globe.adsbexchange.com/ (use the filter to track military flights between US and Europe!)
Journalists and media
Certainly not an exhaustive list, as there are many more individuals and institutions that provide reliable, evidence-based reporting. List composed in no particular order – and likely to be added to.
- Novaya Gazeta @novaya_gazeta
- Bellingcat @bellingcat
- Jane Lytvynenko @JaneLytv
- Christo Grozev @christogrozev
- Evan Hill @evanhill
- Alec Luhn @ASLuhn
- Ostap Yarysh @OstapYarysh
- Euromaidan Press @EuromaidanPress
- Euromaidan PR @EuromaidanPR
- Kevin Rothrock @KevinRothrock
- Anne Applebaum @anneapplebaum
- Arik Toler @AricToler
- Alexander Khrebet @AlexKhrebet
- Christopher Miller @ChristopherJM
- Hanna Liubakova @HannaLiubakova
- Neil Hauer @NeilPHauer
- Illia Ponomarenko @IAPonomarenko
- Eliot Higgins @EliotHiggins
Individuals and researchers
Once again, this is not a full list and really only a small fraction of accounts supplying valuable information and updates. These people are not directly linked to news outlets:
- Rob Lee @RALee85
- WarWatcher @W4RW4ATCHER
- Benjamin Strick @BenDoBrown
- Yarema Dukh @yarko
- Konrad Muzyka @konrad_muzyka
- Dmitri Alperovitch @DAlperovitch
- Oleksander Scherba @olex_scherba
An important word of warning here: Telegram is one the main tools of Russian disinformation efforts, so pay particular attention to what content and how it’s shared there:
- Nexta https://t.me/nexta_tv
- OSINT Ukraine https://t.me/OSINTUkraine (NOTE: their Twitter account got suspended recently – not everything posted here might be accurate)
- Real News No Bullshit https://t.me/realnewsnotbullshit (NOTE: they share uncensored graphic videos and images!)
- Real War (Реальная Война) https://t.me/voynareal
- Russian prisoners of war https://t.me/rf200_now/79
Dissidents and Russian opposition
Miscellaneous other sources & materials
While not immediately related to what is currently happening in Ukraine, these sources can be used to help understand the context better.
- SRB Podcast https://srbpodcast.org/
- Books on Ukraine and Ukrainian history recommended by The Times
- Vox Ukraine – The world’s main liar
- US sanctions – details
- Ukrainian Voices books series on Amazon
- Invasion. How Russia Has Lost Ukraine and Itself – analysis
Donations and charities
Below there are some examples of legitimate charities and support organisations in Ukraine. Note that the war in Ukraine theme is already being exploited by various scammers, fake websites, fraudulent fundraiser campaigns and more. Always vet the recipient before sending any money!
- Army SOS https://armysos.com.ua/en/
- Revived Soldiers Ukraine https://www.rsukraine.org/
- The Return Alive Foundation https://savelife.in.ua/en/donate/
- Voices of Children https://voices.org.ua/en/
- Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/ukraine-crisis-relief-fund/
Ad hoc other content
- Check any product for barcodes! Russian barcodes start with 460-469. Belarus is 481.
- Russian prisoners of war: https://200rf.com/
- Oryx (visually documenting combat losses) https://www.oryxspioenkop.com/2022/02/attack-on-europe-documenting-equipment.html
- StartMe Ukraine crisis tracker: https://start.me/p/lLBdE6/ukraine-crisis-tracker
- Telegram channels identified by the Ukrainian authorities as spreading disinformation:
About the Author:
Maciej Makowski - information security specialist with a strong background in criminal investigations and online safety. Spent nearly 13 years working as a police officer and cyber crime detective in An Garda Siochana, Ireland’s National Police and Security Service. Graduate of University College Dublin, also received professional qualification in data protection from the Law Society of Ireland. Experienced Axiom, Encase and FTK digital investigator, certified Cellebrite forensic mobile examiner. Author of osintme.com, a blog on open source intelligence and digital privacy.
The article was originally published at: https://www.osintme.com/index.php/2022/02/24/sources-of-information-and-updates-on-war-in-ukraine/