The recent episode of the OSINT Bunker Podcast revealed key insights about the current state of the Ukraine war and the future of open-source intelligence (OSINT).
In their latest episode, the panel discuss the Russian Wagner PMC march towards Moscow and the possible fall-out of that incident, the ongoing fighting in Ukraine and the Oryx Team’s OSINT work tracking equipment losses on both sides in the conflict.
In this podcast episode, Jakub Janovsky, a member of the Oryx project, joins the hosts to discuss the conflict in Ukraine.
The Oryx project, which Jakub mentions is “planning to document Ukrainian and Russian losses until the end of the war,” and that they “don’t intend to continue the Oryx blog,” due to the workload and “the reality of burnout,” is a massive open-source intelligence (OSINT) effort that analyzed military equipment losses during conflicts, with a focus on the Ukraine war.
Jakub gives insights into the situation on the ground in Ukraine, highlighting that “Ukraine has a chance to break the stalemate, but it will be slow and bloody.” He believes it’s unlikely that all occupied Ukrainian territory will be liberated by force in the near term, with progress dependent on “how much further support the West is willing to provide.”
Jakub and the hosts discuss an interesting new trend they’ve observed: older, less effective military equipment being converted into vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs).
Jakub notes, “We’ve seen a lot of T-55 tanks, very old Soviet equipment, being converted into VBIEDs.” This trend may reflect “the condition of these vehicles and lack of immediate prospects for repair,” or the simple fact that repairing or maintaining old equipment can be logistically challenging, particularly for equipment like the Soviet-era T-55 tanks, which were last manufactured in the 1970s.
They also discuss the unsustainable nature of OSINT work, especially when it’s a hobby done for free. Jakub mentions that Oryx’s work was often used without credit by government agencies and think tanks, leading to burnout among the team. The hosts express hope for “more institutional support and new recruits for projects like Oryx to continue.”
Despite these challenges, Jakub assures that “the data from Oryx will be preserved,” and they plan to “continue to inform and educate others,” keeping the spirit of the project alive.