But first, let me violate international borders in my selfie.

Ah, the age-old peril of activating “location services” on one’s smartphone, while conducting unlawful activities on foreign soil. Active duty Russian troops’ geotagged social media posts keep giving away sensitive mission information regarding operations “near” the eastern border of Ukraine, which Russia maintains are exercises firmly on their own side. Some Instagram posts’ tags give their positions as being definitively inside Ukraine, while other soldiers stationed near the border have posted photos with captions saying they fired artillery on positions inside Ukraine. These indiscretions have prompted Russian lawmakers to announce they will (attempt to) ban Russian troops — who are mostly young draftees — from using social media altogether. Good luck with that.

As a reminder from our previous coverage, the U.S. alleged last week…

with somewhat disputed YouTube videos and much less disputed satellite surveillance imagery, that somebody has been firing rockets at Ukrainian military positions from just inside Russia’s borders.

Images provided by the U.S. State Department. (NPR article)

Images provided by the U.S. State Department and U.S. Director of National Intelligence. (NPR article)

Other evidence suggests the rebels may have needed Russian military technical expertise to fire the surface-to-air launchers used to take down MH Flight 17. Conveniently, one of the border-breaking, Instagramming offenders appears to be just such a specialist. Make of it what you will.

Eastern Ukraine highlighting Donetsk Oblast. Adapted from Arsenal For Democracy's complete 2014 Ukraine crisis map.

Eastern Ukraine highlighting Donetsk Oblast. Adapted from Arsenal For Democracy’s complete 2014 Ukraine crisis map.

Bill Humphrey

About Bill Humphrey

Bill Humphrey is the primary host of WVUD's Arsenal For Democracy talk radio show and a local elected official. Follow him @BillHumphreyMA on twitter.
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