Photographer Captures Brutal DIY Weapons of Ukrainian Protesters

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Photographer Captures Brutal DIY Weapons of Ukrainian Protesters

Photographer Tom Jamieson produced a series of portraits of the homemade weapons carried by the protesters in Maidan Square, Ukraine.

They don't look like any weapon you'd craft in an Elder Scrolls game, but the weapons carried by protesters in Ukraine are just as effective. Photographer Tom Jamieson traveled to Ukraine for two weeks in February wanting to convey a larger view of the conflict, and the idea to document protesters' weapons occurred to him in the final days of his time there. Speaking to Wired, Jamieson says, "Every single person without fail had a club or a bat or something like that. You couldn't help but notice the DIY nature of the whole thing, from the barricades themselves to the totally inadequate body armor that people were wearing, and the weapons as well. It looked like something out of Mad Max, it was crazy."

Jamieson and his assistant took the photos. The pair traveled Maidan Square in Kiev with a black background cloth, stopping when they saw an interesting weapon. Many of the weapons are decorated with messages, symbols, or cartoons. Jamieson says he saw evidence that the protesters held more modern weaponry, including automatic weapons, but that they were kept hidden to avoid escalating the conflict. "As nasty as a lot of these weapons look, and as brutal and primitive, it's nothing in comparison to an automatic machine gun," says Jamieson. "So they look fearsome but they're almost medieval - it's sticks and stones."

Jamieson plans to visit Crimea in the coming weeks, to document the unrest there. Reuters has published a detailed timeline of recent events in Ukraine. Peaceful protests began in Ukraine on November 21, 2013. Viktor Yanukovich, Ukraine's then president, backed out of trade deals with the EU and moved to strengthen ties with Russia instead. Protests intensified in December and January, particularly following new anti-protest laws. At least 77 people died in the violence. On February 22, the Ukrainian parliament voted to remove Yanukovich from his post as president, and he fled the capital soon after.

Source: Wired

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Pretty brutal stuff there. Things like that really shouldn't be necessary on either side of an internal conflict. I always wonder when hearing about protesters arming themselves if it'd actually protect them (would these do much against riot shields and riot armor, possibly assault rifles and machine guns?) or if it actually weakens their position because of how these things look to the general public.

I'm a bit surprised at the different flails. One one hand they are possibly useful to reach around riot shields but on the other hand using one of those probably requires a lot of training so you don't injure yourself and others fighting on your side.

I like the that catapult in picture 9, as weird as it may sound.

Also, not going to lie, but the guy with the rock really made me want to post a video of that "I threw a rock at him" scene from Batman The Animated Series.

I feel like a horrible person now.

The flails are constructed like "footman's flails" - the handle is longer than the chain and implement. Those are reasonably safe to use, and quite effective.

ZOMG! They have sticks with nails in them!!!

Those madmen have finally done it!

Chimpzy:
I like the that catapult in picture 9, as weird as it may sound.

Also, not going to lie, but the guy with the rock really made me want to post a video of that "I threw a rock at him" scene from Batman The Animated Series.

I feel like a horrible person now.

Eh, it's a slingshot. Not really a DIY weapon I'd say, considering my boss has bought a few of those for themselves to launch paintballs at things. It's especially not a DIY weapon because, looking at the picture, it's obvious the guy bought it and not made it. Instead, I'm guessing that the rock and it are supposed to go together, which begs the question of why photograph the two separately when it could of been easier (and much better) to have it like he was about to shoot it.

11 is my choice from there though. It looks like it should handle roughly like a tonfa, but it obviously isn't as I'm sure that guy just uses it to punch things in the face a lot.

5 too... If only because it looks like it should do a little more, what with the wiring and everything hanging out the handle end, but it's clearly just a metal pipe.

Chimpzy:
I like the that catapult in picture 9, as weird as it may sound.

That's not a catapult, that's a hunting slingshot. In practiced hands, probably the most deadly weapon of those shown because you can nail a target from just over 15ft away with them having very little chance to block or dodge. (Of course, in unpracticed hands, you're better off with the rock)

Ironically, few things are as guaranteed to spark protests as anti-protest laws.

Chimpzy:
I like the that catapult in picture 9, as weird as it may sound.

Also, not going to lie, but the guy with the rock really made me want to post a video of that "I threw a rock at him" scene from Batman The Animated Series.

I feel like a horrible person now.

Your first thought wasn't this?:

... I'll leave.

OT: Based on the article title, I expected more clubs with many pointy bits.

As much as I like the creativity is there not a home depot or lowes nearby? Im sure some of them could do better than that. Have a bit of pride in your craftsmanship.

snekadid:
Ironically, few things are as guaranteed to spark protests as anti-protest laws.

I believe it was Jason Statham who remarked in Death Race about starting a self-fulfilling prophecy (in regards to sending police to a factory shutdown to prevent a riot...thereby providing fuel for the riot fire.)

OT: Suffice to say, these weapons could (and probably did already) cause severe damage. Good thing they weren't from around here, where people build their own homemade GUNS. Still, I'm waiting for that staple-weapon of the revolutionaries, the Molotov Cocktail.

Kwil:

Chimpzy:
I like the that catapult in picture 9, as weird as it may sound.

That's not a catapult, that's a hunting slingshot. In practiced hands, probably the most deadly weapon of those shown because you can nail a target from just over 15ft away with them having very little chance to block or dodge. (Of course, in unpracticed hands, you're better off with the rock)

Oh, right, slingshot. That's the proper English word. Messed up a little there. In my language, 'katapult' can denote both a slingshot and the siege weapon, hence the confusion.

Looks like the arsenal of a post-apocalyptic hobo.

FalloutJack:
Still, I'm waiting for that staple-weapon of the revolutionaries, the Molotov Cocktail.

They definitely were using those. Chances are those were too commonplace and expendable to be note-worthy for a photographic project.

Kargathia:

FalloutJack:
Still, I'm waiting for that staple-weapon of the revolutionaries, the Molotov Cocktail.

They definitely were using those. Chances are those were too commonplace and expendable to be note-worthy for a photographic project.

I feel that that would've been more worthy to be up there than the bottle-onna-chain idea. Swinging a highly-breakable instrument like that seems wasted when any yokel can grab the bottleneck and use it there. Anyway, the cocktail is iconic, the very symbol of common man (or woman) not taking anymore from those in charge, "and they being naughty in thine eyes...shall snuff it".

FalloutJack:
Still, I'm waiting for that staple-weapon of the revolutionaries, the Molotov Cocktail.

In Ukraine, it's a weapon of former OMON (and now former Berkut and OMON again).

image

image

FalloutJack:
Anyway, the cocktail is iconic, the very symbol of common man (or woman) not taking anymore from those in charge

Hahaha. No.

image

image

Also ITT: Stalker IRL.

rofltehcat:
(would these do much against riot shields and riot armor, possibly assault rifles and machine guns?) or if it actually weakens their position because of how these things look to the general public.

Armour and riot shields can't protect everything, and if the protestors have numbers and determination on their side, they're going to break through. Even with the advantage of guns riot police couldn't hold out forever. Eventually they expend their ammo and if they're caught out in the open with no ammo and a public that wants to kill them because they just opened fire on a crowd, they're in some trouble.

As for how it looks, I can honestly say that's probably the least of their concerns. The general public in the Ukraine were the ones being abused and killed so trying to arm themselves in any way possible makes sense. And anyone outside the country who wants to criticize them simply because the weapons they resorted too are considered brutal by today's standards don't really have anything useful to say on the subject.

Sonichu:
Blink

So, you're saying that in post-Soviet Ukraine, Molotov Cocktails YOU?

FalloutJack:

Sonichu:
Blink

So, you're saying that in post-Soviet Ukraine, Molotov Cocktails YOU?

You know Molotov was Soviet foreign minister?

"He signed the Law of Spikelets[15] and personally led the Extraordinary Commission for Grain Delivery in Ukraine,[16] which seized a reported 4.2 million tonnes of grain from the peasants during a widespread manmade famine (known in Ukraine as Holodomor).[15] Contemporary historians estimate that between seven and eleven million people died, either of starvation or in labour camps,[15] in the process of farm collectivization. Molotov also oversaw the implementation of the First Five-Year Plan for rapid industrialisation.[17]"

But speaking of plural Molotovs, this was impressive:

Sonichu:

FalloutJack:

Sonichu:
Blink

So, you're saying that in post-Soviet Ukraine, Molotov Cocktails YOU?

You know Molotov was Soviet foreign minister?

"He signed the Law of Spikelets[15] and personally led the Extraordinary Commission for Grain Delivery in Ukraine,[16] which seized a reported 4.2 million tonnes of grain from the peasants during a widespread manmade famine (known in Ukraine as Holodomor).[15] Contemporary historians estimate that between seven and eleven million people died, either of starvation or in labour camps,[15] in the process of farm collectivization. Molotov also oversaw the implementation of the First Five-Year Plan for rapid industrialisation.[17]"

Actually, no, I didn't. I knew the general history of the weapon itself. If I accidentally made an extra reference here, I was not entirely aware.

I'm sure this will fare really well against tanks, rifles, and attack helicopters.

Weaver:
I'm sure this will fare really well against tanks, rifles, and attack helicopters.

Newsflash, they withstood rifle fire and they now have their own (most of Ukraine's military).

Yeah, I know the Russians have more.

FalloutJack:

Sonichu:
Blink

So, you're saying that in post-Soviet Ukraine, Molotov Cocktails YOU?

*Heavy Eastern-European Accent*

"In Soviet Ru-*ahem*Ukraine, you don't Molotov the police, the police Molotov YOU!"

image

Sonichu:

Weaver:
I'm sure this will fare really well against tanks, rifles, and attack helicopters.

Newsflash, they withstood rifle fire and they now have their own (most of Ukraine's military).

Yeah, I know the Russians have more.

If they sent Tanks against a heavily dogged and determined resistance thats also dug in it would be bad for the Riot troops and who ever said to send the tanks. Since Tanks are highly expensive and are actually pretty fragile (The equipment outside the tanks armor)The number one thing that eliminates tanks are infantry, if the protesters want they could ambush the tank or lure it into a trap out of its infantry support and overwhelm the crew or disable it by other means or just trash the equipment on it. Those things are expensive after all.

Not to mention if you bring in actual tanks like T-90s your asking for war to be declared.

Sonichu:

FalloutJack:
Still, I'm waiting for that staple-weapon of the revolutionaries, the Molotov Cocktail.

In Ukraine, it's a weapon of former OMON (and now former Berkut and OMON again).

image

image

FalloutJack:
Anyway, the cocktail is iconic, the very symbol of common man (or woman) not taking anymore from those in charge

Hahaha. No.

image

image

Also ITT: Stalker IRL.

Seeing those pictures makes me want to help those poor souls - QUICK: SEND THE INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS!

Internet activism at it's finest! I'm sure glad I made a difference!

Timedraven 117:

Sonichu:

Weaver:
I'm sure this will fare really well against tanks, rifles, and attack helicopters.

Newsflash, they withstood rifle fire and they now have their own (most of Ukraine's military).

Yeah, I know the Russians have more.

If they sent Tanks against a heavily dogged and determined resistance thats also dug in it would be bad for the Riot troops and who ever said to send the tanks. Since Tanks are highly expensive and are actually pretty fragile (The equipment outside the tanks armor)The number one thing that eliminates tanks are infantry, if the protesters want they could ambush the tank or lure it into a trap out of its infantry support and overwhelm the crew or disable it by other means or just trash the equipment on it. Those things are expensive after all.

Not to mention if you bring in actual tanks like T-90s your asking for war to be declared.

Whatever you talk about? Russian armored divisions http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/14/world/europe/ukraine.html will be countered by the Ukrainian regular military, not just militias.

It's pretty one-sided http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/interactive/2014/03/world/infographic-ukraine-russia-military/media/ukraine_military.jpg but much less as in Georgia, not to mention Chechnya.

Unless Ukrainians pull off Chechoslovakia 68 and the army won't resist at all, but it's unlikely. Also the Czechoslovaks had no militias.

Sonichu:

Snip

I meant if they used them for quelling the Riot. Sorry for not being clear. But it seems war is looming anyways.

rofltehcat:
Pretty brutal stuff there. Things like that really shouldn't be necessary on either side of an internal conflict.

Elements without much power can never have merely internal conflicts. High capital from Russia, the United States, Israel, and others are involved in and often prefer fueling the problems in the Ukraine.

While basic weapons and armor aren't at all effective against powerful forces, in severe power struggles regular people fight regular people, and they can be very effective there. Just ask Syrians how effective their basic weapons have been against each other.

Ukraine and Syria are classic cases of the critical importance of regular people uniting, so as to prevent turning on each other in times of stress. High capital will have no problem continuing to use the "Syria model" in the future if success (as they see it) continues to occur.

Sonichu:
Probably should've quoted me to get my attention.

Give them boys some powersuits! That'll sort out the army regulars!

(In all seriousness, I don't think this will end well for the current Ukrainian government. It's a clear madhouse out there.)

Timedraven 117:

Sonichu:

Snip

I meant if they used them for quelling the Riot. Sorry for not being clear. But it seems war is looming anyways.

Actually, tanks are known for crushing civilian protests. Ask the Chinese. (And most young men won't even know what you ask for, due to memory-hole censorship about it.)

And by crushing I mean literally so:

http://barbadosfreepress.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/tiananmen-square-crushed.jpg

http://www.cnd.org/June4th/photos/mascr014.gif

When the soldiers were coming in buses and trucks, the people were just burning them:

But modern tanks are fireproof, even shitty Chinese T-55 knockoffs.

Speaking of Molotov...

My mother was a child in Finland in 1940 when the Soviets invaded (the Winter War).

Later during the Continuation war (1941-1944), when she was living in the country-side (children were generally kept out of the cities in summer away from the Soviet bombing), she mentioned her family bought a new lamb each spring and raised it over the summer. (You can guess its fate each fall.)

It was only when she was older that she understood why her father was in the habit of naming it "Molotov".

(The past is the past, but she still cheered when the Finns eliminated the Russians in the Olympic men's hockey tournament this year...)

briankoontz:

rofltehcat:
Pretty brutal stuff there. Things like that really shouldn't be necessary on either side of an internal conflict.

Elements without much power can never have merely internal conflicts. High capital from Russia, the United States, Israel, and others are involved in and often prefer fueling the problems in the Ukraine.

While basic weapons and armor aren't at all effective against powerful forces, in severe power struggles regular people fight regular people, and they can be very effective there. Just ask Syrians how effective their basic weapons have been against each other.

Ukraine and Syria are classic cases of the critical importance of regular people uniting, so as to prevent turning on each other in times of stress. High capital will have no problem continuing to use the "Syria model" in the future if success (as they see it) continues to occur.

Russians don't plan "Syria model", they plan either Bessarabia 1940 or the Baltics 1940, or at worst Hungary 1956 or Georgia 2008.

They might be mistaken and get something like Chechnya 1994, though:

Speaking of which, http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Sky-Wept-Fire-Chechen/dp/1846273188 is a good new first-hand account of how it went by.

Dont they sell baseball bats there or something? Does every club need to look like it was carved straight out of some random tree?

The guy with the rock gets a zero for creativity, I like rusty nail bat the best. Reminds me of Rage from ID software.

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