Preserving Ukraine Cultural Heritage, Russia Disinformation Efforts, Drone Technology, More: Ukraine Update, May 12, 2022


The Mayor: Czechia helps Ukraine preserve its endangered cultural heritage. “Yesterday morning, two trucks filled with packaging, bubble wrap, polyethylene foams and other materials left the National Museum in Prague and set off to Ukraine. According to the museum, this consignment of materials was commissioned by the Czech Ministry of Culture to help Ukraine preserve its endangered cultural heritage, monuments, and artworks.”

Task & Purpose: Russia actually isn’t as good at information warfare as everyone thought. “…far from being the juggernaut of neo-Soviet disinformation that the West had expected, Russia’s information operations about the war in Ukraine have largely sucked. Just prior to the invasion, Russia claimed that a Ukrainian roadside bomb had killed three people inside separatist-held eastern Ukraine, yet the skull of one of the charred bodies that the Russians paraded in front of sympathetic media showed signs that it had undergone an autopsy procedure, meaning the person was dead before being placed at the scene of the alleged attack.”

Harper’s Bazaar: “This is how we are fighting for our country”: meet the women waging the information war for Ukraine. “The stories we tell are important. They define how we view the world around us. Often, they outlast us, and come to shape the years we have seen, the events that occurred, the lives that exist – or are lost. The stories we tell right now, about the war in Ukraine, are vital for this very reason. These are the driving force behind Dattalion, a collective established a mere three days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, by a group of female volunteers determined to ensure that the stories of this war would be told accurately and would not – and could not – be ignored.”


WIRED: Small Drones Are Giving Ukraine an Unprecedented Edge. “Since Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine at the end of February, drones of all shapes and sizes have been used by both sides in the conflict. At one end of the scale are large military drones that can be used for aerial surveillance and to attack targets on the ground. In contrast, small commercial drones can be flown by people without any specific training and carried around in a suitcase-sized box. While both types of drones have been used in previous conflicts, the current scale of small, commercial drone use in Ukraine is unprecedented.”

Amnesty International UK: Russia: Schools and universities latest victims of Putin’s war propaganda machine. “Dozens of schoolteachers and university lecturers have faced harsh reprisals for speaking out against the war in Ukraine. Some have been put behind bars to serve so-called administrative arrest or have had to pay extortionate fines simply for expressing their opinions either publicly or in the classroom. Others have been dismissed or otherwise reprimanded.”

Washington Post: Sanctions forcing Russia to use appliance parts in military gear, U.S. says. “U.S.-led sanctions are forcing Russia to use computer chips from dishwashers and refrigerators in some military equipment, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Wednesday.”

The Mainichi: Japanese live-streaming platform giving Ukrainian streamers new life . “Tetiana Dozhuk is one of two streamers that ‘Omusubi Channel’ has already helped to evacuate to Japan since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in late February, with the platform also devising ways to support other Ukrainians who have fled to neighboring countries like Poland.”


The Register: Google blocks paid apps from Play Store in Russia. “Google has begun blocking downloads of paid apps and their updates in Russia as of May 5, citing compliance issues. Existing subscriptions will continue until the end of the billing cycle and free apps are not affected by the policy change. Developer payouts are also not affected.”

SecurityWeek: Google Sees More APTs Using Ukraine War-Related Themes. “Researchers at Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) say the number of advanced threat actors using Ukraine war-related themes in cyberattacks went up in April with a surge in malware attacks targeting critical infrastructure.”

Ars Technica: US and its allies say Russia waged cyberattack that took out satellite network. “The US and European Union on Tuesday said Russia was responsible for a cyberattack in February that crippled a satellite network in Ukraine and neighboring countries, disrupting communications and a wind farm used to generate electricity.”


UK Government: Russian attack on Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure and cultural property: UK statement to the OSCE. “Alongside schools and hospitals, contrary to its obligations under the 1954 Hague Convention, Russia is targeting cultural property. As verified by UNESCO, 127 cultural sites have been damaged or destroyed since the start of the war. This includes the Hryhorii Skovoroda National Literacy Memorial Museum in Kharkiv region, as mentioned by my Ukrainian colleague earlier. This is not collateral damage, as some in Russia would have us believe. Russia is deliberately waging a war with no distinction between military and civilian targets, with no regard for the Ukrainian people, their history or their culture.”

Evening Standard: Russia is engaged in a campaign of cultural terrorism in Ukraine — we must fight against it. “Russia is engaged in a campaign of cultural terrorism. It might seem bizarre to bomb a quiet house of books, or crush Kharkiv’s historical tram depot, which is a bit like shelling the London Transport Museum. But Russia knows very well how important arts and culture are to a nation’s sense of itself.”

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