Need Debunking: Blackwater Deployed To Ukraine?

SabreSaint

New Member
Hey guys, apparently some youtube videos have gone somewhat viral. They supposedly show Blackwater (Academi) mercenaries patrolling the streets of Donetsk. Apparently these videos also have audio of bystanders shouting Blackwater as the soldiers walk by. I can't find the videos but here is a link to an article that mentions them, with some stills from the video.

Edit: The article also has links to the videos in question it looks like.

It's worth noting that the article mentions that some news outlet, "Has it on good authority" that these troops are actually from a Russian private security firm with close ties to the Kremlin. Either way these soldiers appear to be carrying Russian equipment but otherwise have no identification of any kind. This seems to be spreading fast.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...lk-U-S-mercenary-outfit-deployed-Donetsk.html
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Their "expert" is a little vague:
 

NoParty

Senior Member.
Hey guys, apparently some youtube videos have gone somewhat viral. They supposedly show Blackwater (Academi) mercenaries patrolling the streets of Donetsk. Apparently these videos also have audio of bystanders shouting Blackwater as the soldiers walk by. I can't find the videos but here is a link to an article that mentions them, with some stills from the video.

Edit: The article also has links to the videos in question it looks like.

It's worth noting that the article mentions that some news outlet, "Has it on good authority" that these troops are actually from a Russian private security firm with close ties to the Kremlin. Either way these soldiers appear to be carrying Russian equipment but otherwise have no identification of any kind. This seems to be spreading fast.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...lk-U-S-mercenary-outfit-deployed-Donetsk.html
The question, as I see it, is is there any good reason to think that the men in these (viral, yet unfindable o_O) videos are Blackwater?

The short answer is "No."

Most of the stuff I see is grainy, shaky, and from PRESSTV, a Tehran outfit not known for its objectivity or accuracy.

p.s. I could hear one person (not "residents") say "Blackwater" about 4 times
 
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Trigger Hippie

Senior Member.
After the "meteorological spring" debacle, I'm going to reserve judgement on what I think I hear. :)

Is there anyone that speaks Russian or Ukrainian out there that might be able to interpret what the crowd is shouting in the video?

 

Ronald Pant

New Member
I used to work for Blackwater in the theater of Iraq, up until they lost the contract at which point Triple Canopy took over. Due to an injury from an IED just a month prior I did not renew my employment with Triple Canopy.

Anyways, Blackwater and Academi really have nothing much to do with each other. As Blackwater was changed to Xe Services which was bought out and renamed Academi. They really do not provide security anymore, they do more training than anything else now, of military, law enforcement, etc.

I know this because I would have a job right now if this were true. So I highly doubt these are Blackwater guys. Especially considering that "Blackwater" does not even exist anymore.

Also I cannot STAND that people refer to us as MERCENARIES. Mercenaries have NO loyalty, they will fight for the highest bidder. Blackwater would have NEVER take up arms against the U.S. or it's allies no matter how much money you paid them. To suggest otherwise is just offensive, to me and my former colleagues.
 

Bill

Senior Member.
How would the crowd know the people in uniform are from Blackwater? I doubt they'd advertise their presence. I don't know what they are yelling but it probably isn't blackwater.
 

NoParty

Senior Member.
I used to work for Blackwater in the theater of Iraq, up until they lost the contract at which point Triple Canopy took over. Due to an injury from an IED just a month prior I did not renew my employment with Triple Canopy.

Anyways, Blackwater and Academi really have nothing much to do with each other. As Blackwater was changed to Xe Services which was bought out and renamed Academi. They really do not provide security anymore, they do more training than anything else now, of military, law enforcement, etc.

I know this because I would have a job right now if this were true. So I highly doubt these are Blackwater guys. Especially considering that "Blackwater" does not even exist anymore.

Also I cannot STAND that people refer to us as MERCENARIES. Mercenaries have NO loyalty, they will fight for the highest bidder. Blackwater would have NEVER take up arms against the U.S. or it's allies no matter how much money you paid them. To suggest otherwise is just offensive, to me and my former colleagues.
Yes, but I doubt that the nuance of multiple name changes would've been on the mind of an angry Ukrainian bystander.
"Blackwater" is still a name that resonates--mostly negatively--with many.

As far as the "mercenaries" label…I understand you not liking it, but that hardly dismisses the case: Since many see Erik Prince as a shady character
(who says he "seriously regrets" working with the U.S. http://abcnews.go.com/US/blackwater-founder-erik-prince-regrets-working-us-state/story?id=20931184)
who built a for-profit war machine, why should detractors be compelled to take him at his word that he would never work against the interests of the U.S.?
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
Blackwater would have NEVER take up arms against the U.S. or it's allies no matter how much money you paid them.
Was that the suggestion, that Blackwater were there *with* the Russian forces? I imagined they were implying they were there to side with the protesters while trying to advance the violence and confrontation against Russia.

ETA...
(noting that I've already defaulted to the protesters being on the U.S. side. That's very faulty black and white logic. The protesters aren't immediately a US ally because they're objecting to Russia.)
 

Soulfly

Banned
Banned
The implication is that the U.S. has sent Blackwater there. This doesn't fit with the way the U.S. would operate, they would send in CIA to use local opposition to fight.
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
There is a need (being exploited by Russia) to make the US responsible for the uprising, which tends to deny the free-agency of the protesters themselves and makes it seem like they have no real issues to protest.
 

Mackdog

Senior Member.
In the video, it doesn't look to me like the people are shouting "blackwater" or "robat-yai" to the guys in uniforms, it looks like they are shouting it to the guy in the dress shirt and coat. In the video, when the soldiers are supposedly being chased by the crowd, the audio is muted and we just have to believe that they are being yelled at by the people and called "blackwater". Press TV is a news agency based out of Iran btw. I have not found them to be a very reliable source in the past. If I remember correctly, they were the ones who accused the Israelis of staging the Sandy Hook school shooting among other things like 9/11.
 

nzMACnz

New Member
This picture is a bit odd as the masked gunman is carrying an AR-10 (or AR-15) rifle. It has a long range scope, a gas block bipod and a suppressor and this suggests one of two things. Either the Russians are going for the plausible deniabilty angle by using non AK platformed weapons and wearing no identifying insignia OR they are contractors from a Blackwater type organisation. Also note the non regulation uniform pants and jacket and Tactical shoes instead of combat boots.

http://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-soldi...-175641630.html;_ylt=AwrBJSCoiihTnigAMMnQtDMD
 
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nzMACnz

New Member
This picture is a bit odd as the masked gunman is carrying an AR-10 (or AR-15) rifle. It has a long range scope, a gas block bipod and a suppressor and this suggests one of two things. Either the Russians are going for the plausible deniabilty angle by using non AK platformed weapons and wearing no identifying insignia OR they are contractors from a Blackwater type organisation. Also note the non regulation uniform pants and jacket and Tactical shoes instead of combat boots.

http://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-soldiers-allowed-arms-following-first-death-175641630.html;_ylt=AwrBJSCoiihTnigAMMnQtDMD
Actually...scratch the AR-10 call...the magazine is to small to hold a 7.62 round so it must be a 5.56 AR-15. Either way it is still strange.
 

nzMACnz

New Member
I don't think so. The rifle in the yahoo picture has a clearly visible AR style magazine well, and a boxy little 20 magazine,while the AK-12 like all other Kalasnakovs, has no magazine well at all. The magazine clips directly into the receiver group. Also the iconic AK front sight post and gas block are not present in the yahoo picture.
 

Soulfly

Banned
Banned
I don't think so. The rifle in the yahoo picture has a clearly visible AR style magazine well, and a boxy little 20 magazine,while the AK-12 like all other Kalasnakovs, has no magazine well at all. The magazine clips directly into the receiver group. Also the iconic AK front sight post and gas block are not present in the yahoo picture.
He has a small clip in it because he has it set up for sniping. Long scope, bi-pod and silencer. A long clip would get in the way when laying prone. In between his forward hand and the bi-pod you can see the gas return, there is light shining threw the gap between the barrel (forward grip) and gas return.
 
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nzMACnz

New Member
He has a small clip in it because he has it set up for sniping. Long scope, bi-pod and silencer. A long clip would get in the way when laying prone. In between his forward hand and the bi-pod you can see the gas return, there is light shining threw the gap between the barrel (forward grip) and gas return.
Sorry but I still think it looks more ARish. Have a look at the attached pictures and maybe it will clarify what I'm getting at. The posy ones are taken in Afghanistan and are with an SR25 which is a 7.62 round. That is why the magazine is far wider than the rifle in the Russian picture, but still think it looks pretty similar as it is also based on an AR-10 platform.
 

Attachments

Soulfly

Banned
Banned
Sorry but I still think it looks more ARish.
You can think anything you want, but the picture is blurry and the gray blur running directly through the gun doesn't help. Maybe he likes the ar-15 so he purchased one for himself. What are you implying exactly?

Ar-15 do not use a gas return like the one in the pic.
 

nzMACnz

New Member
You can think anything you want, but the picture is blurry and the gray blur running directly through the gun doesn't help. Maybe he likes the ar-15 so he purchased one for himself. What are you implying exactly?

Ar-15 do not use a gas return like the one in the pic.
I am pretty sure that the Russian military would have similar policys to most major militarys...you would not be able go out and buy another rifle to replace your issued primary weapon just because you felt like it.

The standard issue Russian assault rifles at the moment are the AK-74, AKM and AN-94 depending on the unit. Because of this, I am suggesting that he is possibly not Russian military and may in fact be a PMC, but I have no idea why PMCs would be there. Thoughts anyone?

I thought the gas return In the pic just looked like a low profile gas block...nothing too special.
 
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Soulfly

Banned
Banned
http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/...ry-molot-to-manufacturer-russian-ar-15-rifle/
 

Soulfly

Banned
Banned
I am pretty sure that the Russian military would have similar policys to most major militarys...you would not be able go out and buy another rifle to replace your issued primary weapon just because you felt like it.

The standard issue Russian assault rifles at the moment are the AK-74, AKM and AN-94 depending on the unit. Because of this, I am suggesting that he is possibly not Russian military and may in fact be a PMC, but I have no idea why PMCs would be there. Thoughts anyone?
If you're a sniper, which this guy looks like he is set up for, you might get to do a lot of things a normal soldier might not be able to do, like carry your preferred weapon.

Why is it assumed that PMC will automatically carry AR-15?
 

nzMACnz

New Member
http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/...ry-molot-to-manufacturer-russian-ar-15-rifle/
Cool, thanks for that, Mystery solved
 

Soulfly

Banned
Banned
I just can't see a PMC (or any other military force) carrying out a clandestine operation in which they are to be disguised as Russian soldiers and then forget to use Russian weapons.
 

nzMACnz

New Member
I just can't see a PMC (or any other military force) carrying out a clandestine operation in which they are to be disguised as Russian soldiers and then forget to use Russian weapons.
Good call, I thought the same thing. I was also struggling with the "why" of the whole PMC angle.
 

Soulfly

Banned
Banned
The more and more I look at it, it does look like an AR-15.
Is it even possible to silence an AK? And I don't think Aks make very good sniper rifles. I know ARs can be set up to make very good sniper rifles while still retaining the ability to use in closer quarters.
 

nzMACnz

New Member
Hahaha...I was the same! I think if you squint and hold your tongue out the left side of your mouth it becomes heaps clearer. Be sure to take a selfie of you trying it and post here ;)

AKs can be suppressed but they are rubbish at anything over 400 yards so would not be ideal as a marksman rifle.
 

Gary Cook

Active Member
Hey guys, apparently some youtube videos have gone somewhat viral. They supposedly show Blackwater (Academi) mercenaries patrolling the streets of Donetsk. Apparently these videos also have audio of bystanders shouting Blackwater as the soldiers walk by. I can't find the videos but here is a link to an article that mentions them, with some stills from the video.

Edit: The article also has links to the videos in question it looks like.

It's worth noting that the article mentions that some news outlet, "Has it on good authority" that these troops are actually from a Russian private security firm with close ties to the Kremlin. Either way these soldiers appear to be carrying Russian equipment but otherwise have no identification of any kind. This seems to be spreading fast.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...lk-U-S-mercenary-outfit-deployed-Donetsk.html
Why does it NEED debunking? Is there anything to say it definitely isnt Blackwater?
 

nzMACnz

New Member
Why does it NEED debunking? Is there anything to say it definitely isnt Blackwater?
Yes there is. Blackwater has not existed since 2009 when the founder and CEO Erik Prince resigned and the company changed it's named to XE services. In 2010 a bunch of private investors purchased XE, changed it's name to Academi and instated a board of directors and a new CEO.

There may or may not be PMCs in Ukraine, but if there are they are definitely not from Blackwater.
 

Gary Cook

Active Member
Yes there is. Blackwater has not existed since 2009 when the founder and CEO Erik Prince resigned and the company changed it's named to XE services. In 2010 a bunch of private investors purchased XE, changed it's name to Academi and instated a board of directors and a new CEO.

There may or may not be PMCs in Ukraine, but if there are they are definitely not from Blackwater.
They could be from an unincorporated group know as Blackwater if any exist, no? I would imagine the military types from that company may still call themselves that. Military types are big on tradition like that.
 

David Fraser

Senior Member.
They could be from an unincorporated group know as Blackwater if any exist, no? I would imagine the military types from that company may still call themselves that. Military types are big on tradition like that.
No. Military types would not call themselves by the name of an organisation they are not part of.
 

nzMACnz

New Member
They could be from an unincorporated group know as Blackwater if any exist, no? I would imagine the military types from that company may still call themselves that. Military types are big on tradition like that.
I am a military type and you are right about us being big on tradition, but in this instance I don't think many ex-Blackwater employees would be interested in continuing with the Blackwater name. I wouldn't.

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/10/17/new-charges-in-blackwatershootings.html

The Justice Department brought new charges against four former Blackwater Worldwide security contractors Thursday, resurrecting an internationally charged case over a deadly 2007 shooting on the streets of Baghdad.
A new grand jury indictment charges the men, who were hired to guard U.S. diplomats, in a shooting that inflamed anti-American sentiment abroad and heightened diplomatic sensitivities amid an ongoing war.
The guards are accused of opening fire in busy Nisoor Square on Sept. 16, 2007. Seventeen Iraqi civilians died, including women and children. Prosecutors say the heavily armed Blackwater convoy launched an unprovoked attack using sniper fire, machine guns and grenade launchers. Defense lawyers argue their clients are innocent men who were ambushed by Iraqi insurgents.
 

Trigger Hippie

Senior Member.
Yes, I thing the suggestion is that they are saying the Ukranianised version of "Blackwater" - like "brackworter" or somesuch.
I PMed a Russian speaking Metabunker a while back and just got a reply. They confirmed the shouting is Russian but it doesn't seem to be directed at the men in uniform. Their translation was:

"Работать, работать иди, работай" (to work, go to work, do your work)

"Работать" translates phonetically to "Rabotat". ["work"]

"работай" translates phonetically to "rabotay". ["run"]

Althought, the guys in the video could be yelling, "Get back to work. Run! it's Blackwater!!!":)
 
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