Russian Asset Tracker, Russian Oligarch Index, Say No to War Image Collection, More: Ukraine Update, March 21, 2022


OCCRP: Russian Asset Tracker. “In the wake of Russia’s brutal assault on Ukraine, governments around the world have imposed sanctions on many of Putin’s enablers. But they have learned to keep their wealth obscured, hiring an army of lawyers to hide it in secretive bank accounts and corporate structures that reach far offshore. Figuring out who owns what, and how much of it, is a tall order even for experienced police investigators. That’s why we decided to follow the trail, tracking down as many of these assets as possible and compiling them in a database for the public to see and use.”

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists: List of oligarchs and Russian elites featured in ICIJ investigations. “Russian oligarchs have long been a prominent feature of ICIJ’s reporting on tax havens and financial secrecy, including 2013’s Secrecy for Sale investigation, the Panama Papers investigation of 2016, the Paradise Papers in 2017 and last year’s Pandora Papers, that revealed vast swathes of offshore wealth linked to powerful figures close to President Vladimir Putin. Today, we publish an index of prominent Russians who have featured in our reporting across our offshore investigations.”

This is from a few weeks ago, but I missed it and it’s too good to skip. Creative Boom: A growing resource for the creative industry of free stock images of the war in Ukraine. “The Say No to War image collection has been created by Vista’s Kyiv-based Depositphotos and VistaCreate, as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine. Anyone can download the stock photographs for their blogs, publications, social media or even design projects and help show the world the impact of war inside the Eastern European country.”

RTE: People urged not to send refugee donations to Poland. “Meanwhile, a new website has been launched that will allow Irish businesses to make ‘welcome offers’ of free or discounted goods to people fleeing the war in Ukraine…. The website facilitates companies across Ireland to place a ‘welcome offer’ of discounted or free goods or services to those arriving in Ireland from Ukraine. Examples could include deals from all types of businesses, including grocery shops, cafés, gyms and pharmacies.”


ZDNet: Russia remains connected to the internet. “After Russia invaded Ukraine, Ukraine asked the internet governing groups to cut Russia off from the internet. These bodies, including the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), refused. Two of the main backbone internet providers, Lumen Technologies and Cogent, indicated they would sever Russia’s internet ties. Their actions speak louder than their words though. Internet analysis company ThousandEyes has shown that Russia’s backbone Internet connectivity remains pretty much the same as ever.”

From Ukraine Pravda and translated by Google Translate: War with Russia: Drivers banned from using DVRs. “It applies to registrars in cars and motorcycles. Photographs and video filming of public roads, general purpose facilities, infrastructure facilities, roadblocks, fortifications, location, concentration or movement of military units (subdivisions) of defense forces are prohibited.”


OCCRP: FAQ: What is Plane Tracking?. “Russian oligarchs around the globe are facing sanctions, and all eyes are on the vast wealth of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. Besides the glitzy French villas and multi-million-dollar superyachts docked in Barcelona and Monaco, this mega-rich crowd is known for its private jets. OCCRP has long tracked the flight paths of the powerful, but as more countries block Russian flights from their airspace, plane tracking is more useful than ever before in helping us monitor sanctioned individuals and examine their next moves.”


Poynter: Finding truth, avoiding jail: The news Russians can see in wartime. “The government has blocked Facebook, Twitter and news websites aimed at Russians, such as Latvia-based Meduza. It is a crime for the average citizen to publicly post information that contradicts the government line. To help us understand what Russians can read and watch, we texted with Alexey, a 30-something millennial in Saint Petersburg. Alexey painted a picture where much can be learned, but little can be shared. As he argues with older family members, he is the lone voice with accurate information.”

The Guardian: Ukraine to launch NFT to mark history of Russian invasion. “The Ukrainian government is to launch a non-fungible token marking the history of the Russian invasion with unique digital art, in its latest use of digital assets to fund its war efforts.”

TIME: Telegram Becomes a Digital Battlefield in Russia-Ukraine War. “It’s difficult to imagine how Russia’s war in Ukraine would be playing out without Telegram. The messaging app, which last year reached a billion downloads, has turned into the conflict’s digital battle space. It’s an instrumental tool for both governments and a hub of information for citizens on both sides. Ukrainian government officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky, rely on the app for everything from rallying global support to disseminating air raid warnings and maps of local bomb shelters. So do both the Russian government and Russian opposition channels, who now find themselves cut off from most mainstream social media.”

Mashable: Epic Games is using the new ‘Fortnite’ season launch to support Ukraine . “As the hit battle royale remained offline Sunday morning ahead of Chapter 3’s second season launch, developer Epic Games announced its plans to support humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine. All money earned in Fortnite between March 20, the day the new season kicks off, and April 3 will be split between four organizations that have been providing aid during the conflict.”


NPR: The war in Ukraine has reintroduced these words and phrases into our vocabulary. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has many of us using new words and phrases, from geopolitical terms like ‘rump state’ to military lingo such as ‘MANPADS.’ We’re also learning to decipher slogans and spot differences between Russian and Ukrainian spellings during a conflict in which information is treated as its own battlefield. Tracking surges in the words we use is part of linguist Grant Barrett’s job. He is the co-host of A Way with Words, a public radio show about words and language, and a vice president of the American Dialect Society.”

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