Brookings Sanctions Tracker, Zelenskyy Deepfake, Virtual Violin Concert, More: Ukraine Update, March 17, 2022


Brookings Institution: Mapping financial countermeasures against Russian aggression: Introducing the Brookings Sanctions Tracker. “Tracking and aggregating these rapidly evolving and wide-ranging sanctions is a substantial undertaking. To help fill this gap, the Leveraging Transparency to Reduce Corruption Initiative at Brookings (a joint initiative with Results for Development) has launched a new tracker, working with Human Rights First and REDRESS, that consolidates sanctions against Russian individuals and entities into one central repository. ”


My Modern Met: Violinists From 29 Countries Around the World Play Moving Virtual Concert in Support of Ukraine . “In a moving video, almost 100 violinists join together in one voice to express their support for Ukraine during this time of war—all without speaking a single word. The virtual concert features professional and famous violinists from 29 different countries as they join in unison to accompany several dedicated musicians in Ukraine who play their instruments from basement bomb shelters.”


CNET: Facebook Parent Meta Removes Deepfake Video of Ukrainian President Zelenskyy . “Facebook’s parent company Meta said Wednesday it removed a deepfake video of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for violating the social network’s rules against manipulated media.”

Engadget: Twitter actioned over 50,000 pieces of misleading Ukraine content. “Twitter said it has ‘labeled or removed’ more than 50,000 pieces of content that broke its policy on manipulated media in the wake of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the company shared in a blog post today. Additionally, the platform removed roughly 75,000 accounts for ‘inauthentic behavior’ and spam.”

AFP/Moscow Times: Russia Blocks Access to BBC, Vows More Media Retaliation. “Russia’s media watchdog Roskomnadzor on Wednesday blocked access to the BBC’s main news website, with Moscow’s Foreign Ministry warning of more retaliatory measures against the media. ‘I think this is only the beginning of retaliatory measures to the information war unleashed by the West against Russia,’ Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Telegram.”


TechCrunch: Russia’s war hits Yandex, the ‘Google of Russia’. “Putin’s regime continues to tighten its grip on how information on the war in Ukraine is shared in Russia, and in the wake of that, tech giants in the country — which, like Facebook, Google and Twitter, are also major players in the media sphere — are starting to restructure their media assets.”

Lawfare Podcast: How Open-Source Investigators are Documenting the War in Ukraine. “An enormous number of researchers have devoted their time to sifting through social media posts, satellite images, and even Google Maps to track what’s happening in Ukraine and debunk false claims about the conflict. This week on Arbiters of Truth, our series on the online information ecosystem, we devoted the show to understanding how open-source investigations work and why they’re important.”

Wall Street Journal: Russian Artists Feel a New Cultural Chill in the West. “Vladimir Putin’s siege of Ukraine is forcing all types of cultural institutions to wrestle with their role as platforms for artists representing Russia, from current filmmakers and classical-music stars to timeless greats like Tchaikovsky. As governments enforce sanctions on the Russian government and corporations break with Russian businesses, arts groups are facing a similar question: Should they cut ties or not?”

UChicago News: UChicago launches scholarships and comprehensive support for students and scholars impacted by war in Ukraine. “As part of a comprehensive effort to support students and scholars impacted by the war in Ukraine, the University of Chicago announced today that it will provide full-tuition scholarships for undergraduate students affected by the invasion.” This is one of several Ukraine-related initiatives.


Mashable: Ukraine is legalising the cryptocurrency market . “Ukraine will soon legally recognise cryptocurrency, after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a virtual assets bill into law on Wednesday. Under the new legislation, Ukraine will be able to establish a legal, regulated crypto market.”


University of Nevada Las Vegas: Propaganda Pollution: UNLV Expert on Russia’s Information Warfare. “Ukraine native, chemist, and policy researcher Mary Blankenship explains how one aspect of the Russia-Ukraine war is being fought online, on TV, and on social media platforms.”

The Verge: “We Don’t Live In A Research Bubble”: The Hopes And Fears Driving An Online Movement To Help Ukrainian Researchers . “Members of the international scientific community have also found it hard to look away from the conflict or ignore the plight of their colleagues like [Vitalii] Palchykov. In recent weeks, this desire to help has resulted in an earnest and extensive online movement made up of individuals, groups of volunteers, and institutions, which are using the internet and social media to offer Ukrainian scientists and students affected by war all the support they can: jobs, a place to continue their studies, a new home.”

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