YouTube Content Takedowns, Cultural Warfare, Hyperlocal Disinformation, More: Ukraine Update, May 24, 2022


The Guardian: YouTube removes more than 9,000 channels relating to Ukraine war. “YouTube has taken down more than 70,000 videos and 9,000 channels related to the war in Ukraine for violating content guidelines, including removal of videos that referred to the invasion as a ‘liberation mission’.”


WIRED: Volodymyr Zelensky and the Art of the War Story. “A culture has no budget, no government, no army. It collects no taxes; it has no CEO, bible, or headquarters. If it can’t be precisely identified, how can a nation’s whole culture, which is made up of innumerable artifacts and practices, be loathed? And yet the constant warning of the far right in Russia—and France, and the US—is that someone, somewhere, hates your culture and thus deserves to die. No one but Zelensky has ever dissolved this hollow alarmism with such dispatch.”

WIRED: Open Source Intelligence May Be Changing Old-School War. “Open source intelligence is information that can be readily and legally accessed by the general public. It was used in war and diplomacy long before the internet—alongside information stolen or otherwise secretly obtained and closely held. But its prevalence today means what was once cost-prohibitive to many is now affordable to myriad actors, whether North Korea, the CIA, journalists, terrorists, or cybercriminals.”

US Embassy & Consulates in Italy: War in Ukraine damages major cultural sites. “Russia’s barbaric treatment of Ukrainian cultural sites is not new. Russia has demolished gravesites and seized 4,095 Ukrainian national and local monuments in Crimea since 2014, when it forcibly occupied Crimea and instigated conflict in areas of the Donbas region.”

Global Voices: How Russians are protesting the war in Ukraine from a totalitarian state. “The rare independent sources, for instance, student journal DOXA and the Telegram channel of journalist Roman Super, publish collections of protest photos every day showing readers that within Russian society there is more than the ‘unified’ around the lies of propaganda. Global Voices, with the permission of the authors, is publishing a selection of photos of everyday forms of protesting from around the country.”

Washington Post: Goodbye, Pushkin. Ukrainians target Russian street names, monuments.. “The onset of war has hastened Ukraine’s efforts to remove the names of famous Russian and Soviet figures from metro stations, streets and landmarks. There’s even an app. The only reason more Russian statues haven’t been toppled lately, [Serhii] Sternenko said, is that Ukrainians have been too busy fighting a war.”


Reuters: Putin Promises to Bolster Russia’s IT Security in Face of Cyber Attacks. “President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that the number of cyber attacks on Russia by foreign ‘state structures’ had increased several times over and that Russia must bolster its cyber defences by reducing the use of foreign software and hardware.”

Reuters: Pro-Russian hackers attack institutional websites in Italy – police. “Pro-Russian hackers have attacked the websites of several Italian institutions and government ministries, the police said on Friday. At 0800 GMT it was still not possible to access the websites of the Italian foreign ministry and its national magistrates association.”

ProPublica: Why It’s Hard to Sanction Ransomware Groups. “The Russia-linked ransomware gang Conti avoided the sanctions that hit Russian banks and businesses after the invasion of Ukraine, spotlighting the difficulty of reining in cybercriminals. Meanwhile, confused victims face uncertainty.”


CyberScoop: Network of hyperlocal Russian Telegram channels spew disinformation in occupied Ukraine. “The Russian disinformation effort in Ukraine is so extensive that it now includes a hyperlocal Telegram network which spews disinformation customized to resonate in individual towns across occupied Ukraine, according to recent research published by the Ukrainian think tank Detector Media.”

Center for European Policy Analysis: The Sky’s Not the Limit: Space Aid to Ukraine. “Despite the signal sent by Russia’s blunt-force space weapons test in November — signaling at the very least its keen interest in the military aspects of space — it is the West that has employed a wide array of government and private sector space technology to aid Ukraine, including satellite platforms providing vital open-source intelligence (OSINT), diplomatic, and humanitarian support.”

New Eastern Europe: The war in Ukraine and historical revisionism. “The Kremlin has been eager to draw parallels between its ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the Second World War. Stressing the idea that it is fighting Nazism much like in its ‘glorious’ past, the country’s controversial ideology has been in development ever since Putin came to power.”

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