Fundraising Events, Ukraine Recovery Conference, Yandex, More: Ukraine Update, July 9, 2022


Broadway World: Museum Of Jewish Heritage & The Braid Announce Fundraiser for Ukraine, Featuring 10 Works By Ukrainian Playwrights. “On Wednesday, July 20, 2022 at 7:30 PM ET, the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust and The Braid will present ‘I Want to Go Home: Stories from Writers in a Country at War,’ a performance spotlighting ten new works by Ukrainian playwrights. Proceeds from the event will benefit HIAS’s Ukraine crisis response efforts.”

NHK World-Japan: Intl. conference to discuss how to help Ukraine recover from Russia’s invasion. “The Ukraine Recovery Conference, the first gathering of its kind, will open at Lugano in southern Switzerland on Monday. It will be jointly organized by the governments of Ukraine and Switzerland. The Swiss government says the two-day conference will bring together government delegations from about 40 countries, including Japan, the United States, and European nations. EU-related delegates, World Bank officials, and other international organization representatives will also take part.”


New York Times: How War in Ukraine Roiled Russia’s ‘Coolest Company’. “Often called ‘the coolest company in Russia,’ Yandex employed more than 18,000 people; its founders were billionaires; and at its peak last November, it was worth more than $31 billion. Then President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia invaded Ukraine. Almost overnight, as Western investors bolted from Russia and Western governments imposed harsh economic sanctions, its value dropped to less than $7 billion. The Nasdaq stock exchange suspended trading in its shares.”

AFP: US funds software for Russians to slip past censors. “Russia has intensified its restrictions on independent media since attacking its neighbor in February, with journalists under threat of prosecution for criticizing the invasion or for even referring to it as a war. The US government-backed Open Technology Fund is paying out money to a handful of American firms providing virtual private networks (VPNs) free of charge to millions of Russians, who can then use them to visit websites blocked by censors.”


BBC: Ukraine-Russia: Hidden tech war as Slovyansk battle looms. “‘Right now, we have two big battles,’ says Dmytro Podvorchanskyi, a soldier with Ukraine’s Dnipro 1 Battalion. ‘The first is an artillery battle,’ he says, ‘the second is a battle of technologies’. Dmytro is fighting that second, largely unseen war. He leads a unit of just 10 soldiers who form Dnipro 1’s drone intelligence unit.”

Independent (Ireland): Rouble trouble as US-made ATMs can’t dispense new banknote. “Russia’s new 100 rouble banknote is impossible to withdraw from ATMs because the Western companies that programmed the cash machines have quit the country. The Association of Russian Banks has asked for a six-month delay to the introduction of the banknote, which carries a drawing of a Second World War memorial to Soviet soldiers, because bank machines require re-programming to dispense them.”

BBC: Borsch soup in Ukraine added to Unesco endangered heritage list. “The UN’s cultural agency has added the cooking of borsch – a soup usually made with beetroot and potatoes – in Ukraine to its list of endangered intangible cultural heritage. Unesco said the war in Ukraine had ‘threatened’ the cooking of borsch.”

The First News: Auschwitz museum accuses Russia of ‘gross’ propaganda over fake social media posts . “The Auschwitz-Birkenau museum has accused Russia of targeting it with ‘primitive and gross’ propaganda. The museum said that social media posts claiming to show anti-Russian stickers placed around the site of the former WWII German death camp were fake and a ‘manipulation.’”


TechCrunch: UK to combat Russia’s ‘hostile online warfare’ by forcing internet firms to remove disinformation . “The U.K. government is pushing to make ‘foreign interference’ such as disinformation a priority offence under its proposed Online Safety Bill, forcing technology firms to remove contravening content shared by foreign state actors.”

ProPublica: Google Allowed a Sanctioned Russian Ad Company to Harvest User Data for Months. “The day after Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner sent a letter to Google warning it to be on alert for ‘exploitation of your platform by Russia and Russian-linked entities,’ and calling on the company to audit its advertising business’s compliance with economic sanctions. But as recently as June 23, Google was sharing potentially sensitive user data with a sanctioned Russian ad tech company owned by Russia’s largest state bank, according to a new report provided to ProPublica.”


Sky News: NASA criticises Russia for using space station to stage propaganda photographs. “NASA has criticised the Russian space agency for using the International Space Station (ISS) to stage propaganda photographs connected to its invasion of Ukraine. The photos feature three Russian cosmonauts holding aloft the flags of two regions of eastern Ukraine which had been captured by Russian military forces – prompting the US space agency to issue a ‘strong rebuke’.”

CyberScoop: Russian information operations focus on dividing Western coalition supporting Ukraine. “Russian intelligence has been using state-controlled media and other disinformation channels to disseminate propaganda designed to divide the Western coalition supporting Ukraine, according to a report the cybersecurity firm Recorded Future released Thursday.”

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