Mental Health Support, Internet Censorship, Crowdsourcing Drones, More: Ukraine Update, July 26, 2022


InfoMigrants: EU, Red Cross launch mental health program for Ukrainians. “The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the European Union have launched a project to offer mental health services to over 300,000 people from Ukraine. The project aims to support those who have been exposed to trauma and conflict.”


WIRED: Russia Is Quietly Ramping Up Its Internet Censorship Machine. “SINCE 2019, VLADIMIR Putin has supercharged his plan to separate Russia from the global internet. The country’s sovereign internet law, which came into force that November, gives officials the power to block access to websites for millions of Russians. The law was used to hit Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with blocks and followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February. Since then, Russian officials have continuously dripped out new policies and measures to further control the internet, boosting the state’s censorship and surveillance powers.”

Reuters: Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine block Google search engine. “Russian-backed separatists in a breakaway region of eastern Ukraine have blocked access to the search engine Google, their leader said on Friday, citing what he calls ‘disinformation.'”


The Next Web: Here’s how you can help build Ukraine’s drone army. “Earlier this month, Ukraine launched a campaign to assemble the world’s first ‘Army of Drones.’ It called on the international community to donate funds towards new drones or to ‘dronate’ their own recreational and commercial drones. That’s because Ukraine’s military doesn’t have an official drone unit, so drones supplied and funded globally will play a critical part in protecting the country against Russian occupation.”

The Moscow Times: New Novaya Gazeta Site Blocked in Russia. “Russia on Sunday blocked the website of a new editorial project by independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which was forced to suspend publication in March amid repression of critics of the offensive in Ukraine.”

New York Times: Inside Ukraine’s Thriving Tech Sector. “The hassles never end for Yuriy Adamchuk, a Ukrainian executive who spends most of his waking hours coaxing 3,000 software coders to deliver projects on time, despite the obstacles and occasional horrors of war and a never-ending series of interruptions. Sitting in his office, he starts to elaborate, then is interrupted. The sounds of air raid sirens fill the streets of this historic, elegant city and an automated voice is heard, from loudspeakers in all directions, urging citizens to head to the nearest bomb shelter.”


Fordham News: Ukraine Cybersecurity Officials Describe Defense Against Cyber War. “From the moment a group of Ukrainian officials entered the room for a July 20 panel on Ukraine’s virtual front line amidst Russian aggression, the mood palpably shifted. Here, after two days of discussions on previous hacks and potential threats, sat four people who left a war-torn nation for the first time since Russia attacked them on Feb. 23 to discuss the lethal threats of cyberattacks.”

CyberScoop: Cyber criminals attack Ukrainian radio network, broadcast fake message about Zelensky’s health. “Cyber criminals attacked a Ukrainian company that operates nine ‘major’ radio stations to spread a message that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was in critical condition and under intensive care, Ukrainian officials announced Thursday.”

Motherboard: Inside Ukraine’s Decentralized Cyber Army. “Ever since it was launched just two days after Russia invaded Ukraine, the IT Army has claimed several victims, including Mvideo, a large Russian consumer electronics chain; QIWI, a popular Russian payment service provider; Asna, a network of more than 10,000 pharmacies in Russia; and EGAIS, the Russian government’s unified state automated alcohol accounting information system. The group has been a central figure in the fight that Ukraine and Russia are waging in cyberspace, and it’s breaking new ground in terms of what a volunteer, quasi-hacktivist group can do in the context of a war.”


War on the Rocks: Assess Russia’s Cyber Performance Without Repeating Its Past Mistakes. “Moscow has long cultivated a view of information and technology that is informed in part by its own assessments of U.S. military operations. Their takeaways have historically assigned intentionality and orchestration to events far beyond the remit of U.S. capability, resulting in grand but unrealistic expectations about how information can be weaponized — both against and on behalf of the state. Against this historical backdrop, U.S. strategists should measure Russia’s cyber performance in Ukraine by its own yardstick.”

C4ISRNET: Why Isn’t Russia jamming GPS harder in Ukraine?. “The importance of GPS as a military tool was underscored by Kremlin media in November as troops were massing along the Ukraine border. After Russia demonstrated it could destroy a satellite in space, a television commentator known to be an unofficial mouthpiece of President Vladimir Putin said the nation could ‘blind NATO’ by shooting down all GPS satellites. Despite this, Russian interference with GPS in Ukraine has not been nearly as aggressive as many observers had expected.”

Middle East Monitor: Russia using attractive women to spread propaganda in Arabic, study finds . “Autocrats, dictators and serial human rights abusers employ some of the most sophisticated techniques to execute their war propaganda, which in recent years has been waged through social media. The latest example of such disinformation campaign was uncovered by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) which uncovered Twitter accounts posting pro-Kremlin narratives in Arabic by using attractive female to increase their followers.”

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