Amigo Desperado – A Russian Soldier in Ukraine

Amigo Desperado

Amigo Desperado 

2015/02/24 • News

Article by: Jen Mills

A Newport, UK company says it has found evidence of Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine, using a tool they developed to analyse social media.

Echosec, backed by Celtic Manor billionaire Terry Matthews, recently expanded from Canada to Alacrity House on the Kingsway and is a programme to analyse sites like Facebook and Twitter by looking at where messages are sent from.

Analysts focused on the Donetsk region in northeast Ukraine at the end of January to see if they could identify any soldiers of Russian origin using social media there.

Russian Soldier in Uniform

Amigo Desperado in Uniform

Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of backing separatists militarily, but the Kremlin denies this.

Ben Milsom, UK business development manager, said: “We can say with a high degree of confidence that they have been there. The Russians deny it, but we have evidence of it so that could be very useful.”

The software works by analysing geotags, information about where the message was sent which is embedded in the data.

Canadian researcher Jason Jubinville said in a blog post: “Due to the nature of the data, no firm conclusions can be draw about the pictured soldier; however, he appears to have crossed the Russian border into Ukraine to join the fighting, only recently.”

Russian Soldier in Ukraine

Russian Soldier in Ukraine

The soldier in question identified himself as Amigo Desperado, probably an alias, Mr Jubinville said.

He then tracked him to a different social media site, VK, which is a Facebook-like website popular in Russia, and found out he was in Russian territory in early December from a picture which shows him with the Russian flag, a tank, and a group of men.

A photograph taken eight days later was tagged as being within the Ukrainian border and location tags to another photo were directly from the Donetsk region.
“Using Echosec we tracked this individual from his Russian home to the centre of the conflict within Ukraine”, Mr Dubinville said. “Further information about his identity, his motivations, and his associations can be derived from other social media accounts similar to VK.”

Amigo from Chekhov

Amigo from Chekhov

The information about Ukraine was just one example of the revelations from the software, Mr Milsom said: “We find things like that all the time. Yesterday I was finding images of ISIS members in Iraq and Syria.”

Echosec was developed from the Alacrity Foundation’s graduate entrepreneur “bootcamp” programme.

Amigo in Ukraine

Amigo in Ukraine

Article and Text by Jen Mills, South Wales Argus

Edited by: Andy Cole

  • Roger Mikael Klang

    Fuck them! It is allready established that the Russians have invaded first Georgian territory, and now Ukrainian motherland. Just see to it that Ukraine wins the information war! So keep it up!

  • Brent

    This type of ‘geotagging’ really does work very well. We’ve used it during investigations at the company I work at and most people don’t realize the photos their smart phones are taking are much ‘smarter’ than they think. Embedded technology. Get used to it!!!

  • disqus_aJpixObjG7

    PLEASE WATCH STARTING AT 5:00 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pxrj-xORD6A

    • Charles J. Kollman

      I do not trust him words come from both sides of his moth. You Ukrainians need to know that when America is doing something with the left hand they don’t want to be seen that right hand will have a cause for you to see. It’s called a Red Flag first the cause then the solution and then boots on the ground to get the flag. Ukraine needs more then weapons now, it needs training. Europe and the US. will take real action when the big Red Machine is at there door steps.

      • Dirk Smith

        Obama is playing politics, which cost Ukrainian lives. He’s sacrificing Ukrainians for Russia’s assistance regarding Iran. Chicago politics 101.

      • Charles J. Kollman

        Did you understand me in what i was saying. The world runs on money while bull-shit walks. As a American Citizen Natural Born and have served My Country with Honor as has those in my family before me i do not except Obama a half breed Muslim as President of My Country. He is a fake and a fraud learning from Chicago Politics 101. He is not now nor was he ever an American natural born Citizen that you need to be to become Presentiment. Now you need to take the advance course in Chicago Politics and go down deep and research who and what organizations back him and where the money came from to get him where he is today. Fuck them and fuck him. .

      • C Monk

        “Charles” your poor grammar and syntax give you away as a fraud.

        • Charles J. Kollman

          It is what it is. You may think and say what you need to say. Please say what makes you feel good. Have a blessed day.

  • Marina Dillon

    I admire these guys who understand technology and are able to use it to get some understanding of what’s going on between Ukraine and Russia. I can read these Russian solders’ profiles in Russian and I can tell you, without undestanding a thing about geolocation, that these are regular russian army solders who have been involved in the military takeover of Ukraine. As my Ukrainian high tech / programmer friends, who are now fighting in the tranches near the currently Russia occupied east Ukrainian territories told me, there are ten thousand of those Amigos Desperados out there, looking for their death. It’s so obvious, you don’t even need my fancy Italian hairdryer to figure this out, not to mention a more sophisticated piece of technology.