Cultural Heritage, Information Warfare, Memes, More: Ukraine Update, April 8, 2022


MIT Sloan: In Russia-Ukraine war, social media stokes ingenuity, disinformation. “The war has taken a vast human toll, with the United Nations estimating more than 1,400 Ukrainian civilians have been killed and more than 4 million people have fled the country as of April 2. It is also taking place in a world where social media is ubiquitous, video and images can be quickly uploaded and shared worldwide, and both sides are using social media to rally support and spread information and disinformation. At the Social Media Summit @ MIT on March 31, a panel of experts discussed how the war is playing out, and even being shaped by, social media platforms.”


C4ISRNet: Intelligence agencies accelerate use of commercial space imagery to support Ukraine. “Since before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, space imagery, remote sensing and communications satellites have been informing the public and helping keep Ukrainian forces and civilians connected. Because of its partnerships with commercial industry, the U.S intelligence community was positioned to quickly leverage those capabilities to increase its own support in the region, accelerating several in-the-works acquisition efforts and increasing the capacity of planned procurements.”

Ars Technica: Apple defies Russian government, restores opposition voting app. “Apple has restored an app sponsored by Alexei Navalny, a prominent leader of Russia’s political opposition, to the company’s Russian app store. Apple took down the app last September, days before Russia’s legislative elections, under pressure from the Russian government.”


Washington Post: What’s so funny about a Russian invasion?. “Since the Kremlin’s attack began in February, Ukraine’s official Twitter account, @Ukraine, has been poking fun at the invader, even as it highlights the brutalities Russia is inflicting upon the country. Why? Wars are ugly and certainly no laughing matter. But Ukraine’s approach isn’t new. According to a 2017 NATO strategic communications study, Ukraine has used memes, caricatures, parodies and satirical TV shows as buffers against the Kremlin’s propaganda since the annexation of Crimea. The post-invasion tweets are a continuation of that counter-propaganda campaign.”

Washington Post: Russian influencers cut up Chanel handbags, claiming ‘Russophobia’. “Russian influencers are cutting up their Chanel handbags on social media in angry protest over restrictions imposed by the luxury French fashion label that mean they can no longer buy its products abroad.”

Boston Globe: As the war unfolds, this Boston Public Library curator is helping preserve Ukraine’s cultural treasures. “Deliberately destroying cultural heritage sites or property is much more than collateral damage: It constitutes a war crime. ‘Erasing people’s identity, you’re able to control them further, and to control the narrative,’ said Kristin Parker, Boston Public Library’s lead curator and manager of the arts. ‘In times of war, it’s a tactic.’ Parker is a lead trainer in an international volunteer network of what she calls ‘cultural heritage first responders’ organized by the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) and the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative.”

Independent: Speaking of history: Soviet-era film archive helps Ukrainians find hope and sense of identity in wartime. “There have been no film screenings in Ukraine for more than six weeks now, at least not above ground. However, at the request of president Volodymyr Zelensky’s government, Ukraine’s biggest film archive has screened a series of Soviet-films in metro stations in cities from Kyiv to Kharkiv, where residents have sought refuge while Russian bombs rain down from above. The showings are one element of the Ukrainian resistance against Vladimir Putin’s war, which has seen regular civilians stealing tanks, making Molotov cocktails, and confronting soldiers.”


New York Times: U.S. Says It Secretly Removed Malware Worldwide, Pre-empting Russian Cyberattacks. “The United States said on Wednesday that it had secretly removed malware from computer networks around the world in recent weeks, a step to pre-empt Russian cyberattacks and send a message to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.”

Washington Post: Finland seizes Russian artwork worth $46 million under sanctions. “Finnish Customs has seized artwork en route to Russia as part of sanctions imposed by the European Union. The paintings, sculptures and antiquities are worth 42 million euros ($46 million), the agency said.”

CNET: Meta: Attacks ‘Intensifying Sharply’ Since Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine . “Facebook parent company Meta says attacks on internet freedom and access to information have been ‘intensifying sharply’ since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In the first three months of the year, the social media giant also saw a rise in domestic threats, such as people hacking the accounts of other people in their country, running disinformation campaigns or filing false reports to silence critics.”

New York Times: Facial Recognition Goes to War. “Services that put a name to a face, including Clearview AI, are being used to identify Russian soldiers, living or dead, and to verify that travelers in Ukraine are who they claim.”


Small Wars Journal: Russia’s Floundering False-Flag Narrative. “Given the resounding unified international condemnation—to say nothing of Russia’s mass protest demonstrators, numbering in the thousands–and with no major super-global power supporting Russia at the moment, it appears its false-flag narrative has floundered. This essay reflects on some of the Kremlin’s current blunders to date in setting conditions in the information environment for a successful false-flag narrative that should have preceded its false-flag operation. These blunders should caution U.S. defense planners that those who ignore the impact of a hyperconnected global information environment on modern conflict do so at great peril.”

Do you like ResearchBuzz? Does it help you out? Please consider supporting it on Patreon. Not interested in commitment? Perhaps you’d buy me an iced tea. I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

Categories: News

Tagged as: , ,

Leave a Reply