Today, prior to Russia’s Zapad-2017 military exercise, we are more than pleased to provide you a convenient tool to stay in touch with Russia’s military activity in the geographical sphere. This research tool will fill a gap between military activity mapping projects and automated translation feeds by combining the best features of the both concepts simultaneously.
Russia Military Watch (RMW) is a news feed geolocation illustrator that is based on both software-translated news of Russia’s official military press sites and a mapping system that allows the geolocation of single news articles and press releases shortly after their releasement. The RMW is an additional instrument for researchers, academics, journalists, semi-amateur Russia-enthusiasts, and civil military observers to mitigate their extensive analysis work. The interface is user-friendly and works on a plethora of mobile and static platforms including desktops, tablets, smartphones, and smart TVs.
The focus of the site is on Russia’s military-related activities from military training, anti-terror operations, to miscellaneous events. The featured news sites are all official news media platforms of the Russian Federation including Ministry of Defence of Russian Federation, Rosgvardia News, National Anti-Terrorism Committee, RIA, and TASS.
The interface of Russiamilitarywatch.com is designed with a focus on simplicity, clarity, and accessibility. The site updates regularly when new content has been published in the featured press sites. Firstly, after new content has been released in the featured news sites, the feed will include the newest headline on the left side feed, whereafter a marker will appear on the map within the proximity of the related coordinates linked to the latest event. In addition, the Twitter feed of the project will be updated with the translated headline of the latest event and with a related hyperlink to the event marker on the map.
Feed, Calendar, and Logo Icons
There are four functional buttons and links on the left-side module of the page. On the header, the calendar icon opens up a calendar window that allows the user to browse historical activity from previous dates and months. The second button on the header, the logo, opens up a different window that includes additional information and the disclaimer. Below, the feed separates different events and provides two functional hyperlinks, of which the red headline text illuminates the marker event on the map while the gray Source: provides the link to the actual text.
Hint: the headlines of the articles and press releases presented on the RMW are automatic translations from Russian-written texts. Hence, in order to read the full text in English (or another language), use the Translation feature on Google Chrome.
The two-dimensional map provides activity awareness through event markers and expanded information boxes. The marker (additional details below) is located in the middle of the coordinates of the event. The info box appears by clicking on the event marker and after the expansion, the expanded box provides additional functions and details concerning the event such as the headline of the article, share buttons for a Tweet or a Facebook post, and the source with a functional link to the text. The navigation tools on the top-right corner of the map along with the mouse navigation are designed to navigate on the map sphere. The map navigation features include zoom and angle.
The third profounding element along with the internal news feed and interactive map is the automated Twitter feed. To receive the complete user-experience, it is recommended to create a Twitter profile and to follow @russiamilitaryw to receive newest content updates. It is also advised to download Twitter-mobile app and to activate Push Notifications from the @russiamilitaryw Twitter mobile site in order to maximise the experience.
Hint: If will you set http://www.russiamilitarywatch.com as your browser home page, you will receive the latest information every time after opening your browser.
One of the key features of the RMW is the parsing system that allows the use of different marker symbols based on the content of the news article. Below are the different symbols with a description of the content.
The greatest advantage of the RMW is the comprehensive interface that provides visualised, translated, and sorted information simultaneously and retrospectively for the users based on their focus and interest. Now, it is possible to follow latest developments on the interactive map and easily browse the relevant information available.
RMW is suitable for:
- Researchers. People working with academic projects on Russia’s military activity are given a platform that provides a possibility to focus on certain areas of activity illustrated on an interactive and retrospective map.
- Academics. To upkeep academic performance in an academic environment, it is necessary to constantly keep oneself updated on latest developments. Now, instead of browsing through a vast amount of feeds and pages, all the necessary information is available instantly and visually.
- Journalists. When focusing on a certain area, it might be hard to find all the relevant information and events. For journalistic work, RMW provides an additional tool to collect official information from the areas of interest.
- Civil observers and enthusiasts. RMW’s cartographic visualisation provides an excellent platform for those who simply have amateur motive and background in Russia-related military interest.
Meanwhile, RMW is not:
- Political. The page or the authors do not editorialise, focus or express interest in Russia’s domestic political environment, civil and human rights situation, elections, or demonstrations. Neither of the developers is responsible for other’s political affiliations or politically motivated expressions.
- Intelligence tool. All the information visualised and provided on the page is based on the official public press sources of the Russian Federation. The page does not collect user data or demonstrate any information that would be considered sensitive.
- Propaganda outlet. While it is true that all the information is based on Russian sources demonstrating Russia’s military performance from the domestic point of view, the idea of the website is to visualise the provided information on the military-related activity.
- Suitable for immediate decision-making. All the information is provided on the page is merely raw-data. it is advised to process the provided information through standards of evaluation.
- Chargeable or economically dependent. All the content is provided for free without costs or remittances. The project is self-financed without external financial support.
- Associated. The page does not represent, support, or contribute any formal or informal organisation.
- Error-proof. Due to the complex software technology behind the different elements of the web page, there are certainly location errors and mismatching symbols. The developers are constantly improving and updating the existing and forthcoming features of the page.
Administrator and content creator of this page, andreaspolitics.net. Studies International Politics and Security in the United Kingdom. His professional emphasis will be on Russian security and contemporary warfare.
OSINT and IT wizard, curator of @Rusexercises platform. He is well-known on Twitter for his emphasis on Russia and global related security issues.