Asset Whistleblowers’ Portal, Mapping Damaged Cultural Heritage, Verifing OSINT, More: Ukraine Update, April 1, 2022


National Agency on Corruption Prevention (Ukraine): Ukraine launches a new web portal for whistleblowers to report the assets of persons involved in Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. “The Ukrainian Task Force on the Training, Freezing, and Confiscating Assets of those Involved in Russia’s War Crimes has launched a Whistleblower Portal on the Assets of Persons Involved in the Russian Aggression against Ukraine. If you have information about the property of the aforementioned people, We call on you to file a whistleblower report on their property abroad.” The organizers behind the portal ask that you only file reports about property that isn’t already covered by OSINT (news reports, etc.)

Chytomo: Russia has Already Damaged More than 100 Cultural Heritage Sites in Ukraine. “The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine has confirmed that more than cultural heritage sites in Ukraine have been damaged, Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko wrote on his Telegram channel.” A user-generated Google Map shows damaged sites.


Reuters: World heritage at risk amid Ukraine war, UNESCO says. “Dozens of valuable churches, historical sites and museums have been damaged by the war in Ukraine, the United Nations’ cultural agency said on Friday, adding that it was particularly worried about the northern city of Chernihiv…. UNESCO’s first, preliminary list of totally or partially damaged sites featured 29 religious sites, 16 historical buildings, four museums and four monuments, it said.”

Ars Technica: Mystery solved in destructive attack that knocked out >10k Viasat modems. “Viasat—the high-speed-satellite-broadband provider whose modems were knocked out in Ukraine and other parts of Europe earlier this month—has confirmed a theory by third-party researchers that new wiper malware with possible ties to the Russian government was responsible for the attack.”

The Guardian: ‘Embarrassing’: Russia scrambles to copy banned social media platforms. “As Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, opportunistic developers have rolled out a suite of locally made social networks to replace services such as Instagram that have been blocked by the government, or YouTube, which is under growing pressure. Many appear to be hasty imitations or include obvious attempts at surveilling ordinary Russians, as the Kremlin tries to censor news about the war and further clamp down on dissent under the country’s president, Vladimir Putin.”


New York Times: Verifying Images of the War in Ukraine. “Before The Times can use footage from independent sources for its Ukraine reportage, its reporters and editors make sure they can verify its authenticity. The Visual Investigations team, which produces in-depth video journalism, such as how a U.S. military drone struck the wrong target and an analysis of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, finds and analyzes many of the files. Below, learn how Visual Investigations verifies content from Ukraine.”

The New Republic: Are These Satellite Images War Propaganda?. “Maxar boasts that the News Bureau is a vehicle for ‘social good and global transparency,’ offering services ‘that are powerful complements to good journalism, providing indisputable truth at a time when credibility is critical.’ The company’s images have indeed proven an effective tool; during the buildup to the war in Ukraine, they’ve served as an important counterpoint to Russian disinformation. But Maxar is by no means a neutral player when it comes to global conflict, and thus there are limits to what these images alone can tell us. Sometimes they may provide not an ‘indisputable truth’ but a distorted understanding of the story.”

Washington Post: From Russia with money: Silicon Valley distances itself from oligarchs. “A Putin youth leader-turned-investor once touted connections to wealthy Russians. Now she denies knowing ‘anyone.’”

Vice: Russian Oligarchs Keep Getting Screwed Over by Yacht Selfies. “Partying can be dangerous in the age of Instagram. Ask any oligarch. Their decades of fancy living at the highest possible level of luxury have turned out to be enormously useful for investigators tracking down the assets of Russia’s sanctioned elite. That’s because, in multiple cases, a few careless Instagram posts have blown up the best defense for their secret empires: Anonymity.”


The Times: China accused of hacking Ukraine days before invasion. “China staged a huge cyberattack on Ukraine’s military and nuclear facilities in the build-up to Russia’s invasion, according to intelligence memos obtained by The Times. More than 600 websites belonging to the defence ministry in Kyiv and other institutions suffered thousands of hacking attempts which were co-ordinated by the Chinese government, according to Ukraine’s security service, the SBU.”

Reuters: U.S. targets Russia’s technology sector in fresh sanctions. “The United States on Thursday imposed fresh sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, targeting operators in the technology sector in an effort to prevent Moscow from evading sanctions and expanding Washington’s sanctions authorities.”


The Conversation: How Russia’s unanswered propaganda led to the war in Ukraine. “Russian propaganda has grown bolder and unanswered for years, leading to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine while serving to mislead and deceive Russians. The democratic world now appears to have united and become more cohesive in its support of Ukrainians, strengthening Ukraine. Russia, meantime, is weakened. But the war could have been avoided altogether if the West had taken more decisive action much earlier.”

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