Sanctions Search, Video Forensics, Free Language Courses for Ukranians, More: Ukraine Update, May 13, 2022


Baltic Times: Freely available sanctions screening tool for international businesses was launched. “Updated daily, the consolidated database of key sanctions lists… includes items subject to sanctions by the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and the United Kingdom. It is a fuzzy search engine for finding entities on the financial sanctions lists, even if there are mistakes, omissions or swapped words in the search box. The number of queries for screening on this platform is unlimited, and answers are provided within seconds.”

Washington Post: Database of 231 videos exposes the horrors of war in Ukraine. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is one of the most documented wars ever. Citizens, public officials and soldiers have posted videos every day that show the dead bodies in neighborhoods, the trails of missiles streaking through the skies and the smoldering ruins of entire towns. The Washington Post’s visual forensics team started to verify and catalogue videos from the war the day Russia’s invasion began. This work is now searchable in a database that will be updated. The videos have been uploaded in raw format; graphic content is clearly marked.”

Babbel: Babbel Launches Free Language Courses For Ukrainians On Its Platform. “Created with Babbel’s high quality standards, the courses offer native Ukrainian speakers the opportunity to learn German, Polish or English for free with Babbel’s award-winning app. The content is suitable for all learners, from beginner to intermediate, and available free of charge, making the community’s transition to Germany, Poland and other host countries easier.”

Institute for the Study of War: Russian General Officer Guide – May 11. “This is a guide to the current command structure of the Russian Armed Forces at the General Staff, Military District, and Army/Corps levels. It includes key officers in the Russian General Staff and identifies the commander, chief of staff, and deputy commander for Russia’s four main military districts and their subordinate army and corps-level formations. The current officers occupying each of those roles are included, as well as their biography and verifiable career history. This document is not exhaustive, and ISW will update it over time—both to fill information gaps and to expand its coverage to other key structures in the Russian military.”


The Guardian: ‘Paranoid dictator’: Russian journalists fill pro-Kremlin site with anti-war articles. “Two Russian journalists working for a popular pro-Kremlin website filled it with anti-war articles on Monday morning in a rare act of dissent as the country celebrated the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany.”

Daily Beast: Russia’s Propaganda Textbooks Go Up in Flames in Spate of Mystery Fires. “Anti-Ukrainian textbooks published by an educational company with ties to Vladimir Putin went up in flames early Tuesday, as a warehouse on the outskirts of Moscow became the latest site destroyed amid a spate of mysterious fires in the country.”


Rest of World: As grisly images spread from Ukraine, open-source researchers ask what’s too gory to share . “With the rise of Telegram, graphic imagery has proliferated in the world of open-source intelligence. Does it serve a purpose?”

The Daily Wildcat: In Memoriam: Yandex delivery robots, gone but not yet forgotten. “They came on a Wednesday, and they came in peace. Nov. 17, 2021, marked the introduction of Yandex food delivery robots to the University of Arizona campus. They were an instant cultural phenomenon.”

Breaking News IE: Artist attempting to display portrait of Putin filled with Ukrainian blood in Moscow. “Russian artist Andrei Molodkin has created a portrait of Russian president Vladimir Putin filled with Ukrainian blood in a protest against the invasion of Ukraine, he spoke to about his hope to have it displayed in Moscow. While some may find this gruesome, Mr Molodkin, a former soldier in the Soviet Army, believes art and culture play a key role in taking a stand against regimes that promote war and violence.”

WIRED: How Starlink Scrambled to Keep Ukraine Online. “The speedy, widespread rollout of Starlink in Ukraine has also been an unplanned experiment in the potential geopolitical power of next-gen satellite internet services. If SpaceX or similar providers are willing, high-speed internet from the sky could be a powerful way to provide connectivity to people or populations suffering the privations of war or authoritarian government.”


The Daily Swig: RuTube hack: Russian video platform denies loss of source code following cyber-attack . “Russian video streaming service RuTube has denied the complete loss of its source code after a cyber-attack timed to coincide with Russia’s ‘Victory Day’ brought the site down this week.”


CEPA: How to Terminate Russian Disinformation . “Proactive allied measures, including comprehensive sanctions and restrictions, have weakened the Russian disinformation machine. Western and partner governments and the private sector need to ban all key Russian accounts from major digital and media platforms. The Russian government has banned its citizens from consuming Western-based social media platforms. At the same time, that government continues to use the same platforms that it denies its own people to justify its invasion of Ukraine and position itself as a legitimate partner in democratic discussion.”

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