Fundraising, Cultural Heritage, Disinformation, More: Ukraine Update, May 4, 2022


The Block Crypto: Ukraine launches website for donating and buying NFTs. “Ukraine’s government launched a website where people can donate and buy non-fungible tokens (NFTs), in an attempt to raise more funds for the war efforts. The new site lists several NFTs, including a mfer and a MoonCat with a Ukrainian flag, and links to their pages on OpenSea, where users can place bids to buy them.”


Interfax Ukraine: Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland to work together to digitize cultural heritage of Ukraine – Culture Ministry. “The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy states that Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland will work together to digitize the cultural heritage of Ukraine. According to the press service of the Ministry, Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine Oleksandr Tkachenko held an online meeting attended by Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Culture and National Heritage of Poland and the Minister of Culture of Lithuania, where they established a working group on the functioning of the Lublin Triangle Foundation, which will support the digitization of cultural heritage of Ukraine.”

Politico: Destruction of cultural sites in Ukraine puts country’s identity in peril. “The Cultural Heritage Monitoring Lab, a collaborative monitoring project between the Virginia Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative, estimates damage to 191 sites from the beginning of the invasion to April 2. In April alone, UNESCO recorded more than 50 Russian attacks on heritage sites. Damage has become so widespread that some experts believe the sites are being targeted deliberately, putting the architecture of Ukraine’s identity at risk. They’re calling on the U.N. and U.S. government to protect and promote Ukraine’s cultural identity before it’s too late.”


Sky News: Ukraine war: Britain accuses ‘sick Russian troll factory’ of ‘plaguing social media with Kremlin propaganda’. “An organisation based in St Petersburg called Cyber Front Z is said to pay locals about £500 a month to target senior politicians and media outlets on social media platforms and in comment sections.”

Washington Examiner: Meet the publisher bringing JRR Tolkien and military manuals to Ukraine’s readers. “[Oleh] Feschowetz did not enter the book industry to promote military expertise. He left a senior post in the philosophy department at the nearby Ivan Franko National University more than two decades ago on a ‘mission to return Ukraine to the Western civilization’ — a goal reflected in the selection of poetry, philosophy, and literature available in his catalog. And yet, the martial texts only sharpened the edge of the publisher’s broader efforts. ‘Because Russia always interpret[s] the culture just like a weapon,’ he said in another conversation. ‘We must do the same. Culture is a weapon.'”

Marketing Brew: How a loophole let Google run ads alongside blocked Russian publishers. “Despite Google blocking ‘Russian state-funded media’ from advertising revenue, a loophole involving a popular Russian media platform caused US advertisers to run ads alongside stories from those same publishers, including stories calling the massacre of Ukrainian civilians by Russian soldiers in the city of Bucha fake.”

ABC News: From comedian to wartime leader: How President Zelenskyy is helping Ukraine win the information war. “LONDON — Just after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was offered the chance by the U.S. government to leave the city of Kyiv for his own safety. What he is said to have responded has come to embody the defiance of the former comedic actor turned wartime leader: ‘The fight is here,’ he reportedly said, ‘I need ammunition, not a ride.'”

Radio Free Asia: Vietnam ‘opinion workers’ push Russian fake news on Ukraine on social media. “Facebook groups like ‘Đơn vị Tác chiến Mạng’ (Cyber CombatUnit), ‘Truy quét Phản động’ (Elimination of Reactionary Forces), ‘Bộ Tự lệnh Tác chiến’ (Combat Command), and ‘Trung đoàn 47’ (Regiment 47) that have worked to counter criticism of the Communist Party all now post information in favor of Russia.”

The Age: The 14-year-old Ukrainian boy who uses Google Translate for school. “Just a few months ago, 14-year-old Denis Oborskyi was happily holidaying with his family, unaware his life was about to be uprooted. When war broke out in Ukraine, he and his mother and siblings were forced to flee their home in late February with no documents and just a suitcase of belongings. After travelling through to Slovakia, Poland and then Spain, he landed in Sydney two weeks ago and started school at Xavier College, Llandilo, in Sydney’s west, last week.”


New York Times: In Echo of Soviet Era, Russia’s Movie Theaters Turn to Pirate Screenings. “The screenings are reminiscent of the Soviet era, when the only way to see most Western films was to get access to a pirated version. Whereas those movies made their way to Russians in the form of smuggled VHS tapes, today, cinemas in the country have a simpler, faster method: the internet. Numerous websites offer bootleg copies of movies that take minutes to download. Some theaters in Russia are now openly screening pirated movies; others are being more careful, allowing private individuals to rent out spaces to show films, free or for a fee.”

Lieber Institute West Point: Ukraine Symposium – Military Networks And Cyber Operations In The War In Ukraine. “To date, the cyber operations in Ukraine have appeared somewhat muted. In the early hours of 24 February, as Russian troops moved across the borders into Ukraine, satellite internet connections were disrupted, recently attributed by US officials to the Russian military. A number of wiper viruses (HermeticWiper, IsaacWiper, and CaddyWiper) of varying degrees of sophistication have been unleashed at Ukrainian targets, including government departments at the start of the campaign (following an earlier wiper, WhisperGate, directed against government networks in January).”

Homeland Security Today: An Overview of Russia’s Cyberattack Activity in Ukraine . “The purpose of this report is to provide insights into the scope, scale, and methods of Russia’s use of cyber capabilities as part of the largescale ‘hybrid’ war in Ukraine, to acknowledge the work of organizations in Ukraine defending against persistent adversaries, and to provide strategic recommendations to organizations worldwide.”

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