Help for Displaced Ukrainians, Steam, Dmitry Ozerkov, More: Ukraine Update, October 3, 2022


United Nations Development Programme: New inclusive website provides Ukrainians with critical information on surviving the war. “A new website for Ukrainians affected by the war provides information on the legal rules for crossing the border, the procedure for obtaining the status of an internally displaced person (IDP), opportunities for receiving humanitarian aid and psychological support during wartime, advice on finding educational opportunities and work, and much more. The information is useful for refugees, the internally displaced and citizens in their home oblasts.”


New Voice of Ukraine: Ukrainian games get dedicated section on Steam platform. “The PlayUa curator page (as Steam calls recommended game playlists) contains games from a variety of genres and studios: from indie developers to large companies with a worldwide reputation, as well as products released by mostly Ukrainian teams.”

Moscow Times: Top Hermitage Curator Quits Museum and Russia. “On Sunday Dmitry Ozerkov, a top curator at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, announced in an Instagram post that he had resigned from the museum and left Russia.”

Kyiv Independent: Apple removes Russian VK, apps from App Store. “As of Sept. 28, Russia’s popular homegrown social network VK (formerly VKontakte) and email service are no longer available for download on the App Store in any country. In a statement, Apple cited conflicts with British sanctions as the reason for the removal. Apps that are already downloaded can continue to be used, according to Apple.”


Business Insider: Russia will be using second-grade tech for years and spending ‘huge resources’ to recreate what already exists, says a former top Russian finance official. “Russia could be in for years of decline in technology development due to sweeping sanctions over the Ukraine war, Oleg Vyugin, a former high-level finance ministry and central bank official, told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday. That’s because when it comes to tech, Russia relies on imports, and imports have been hit by sanctions and boycotts. As a result, the country will have to develop its own products to substitute those imports.”

Vanity Fair: Darth Vader’s Voice Emanated From War-Torn Ukraine. “Bogdan Belyaev was working from home when the air raid sirens went off. They hadn’t been heard in the city of Lviv since World War II, but it was February 24, and Russia had just invaded Ukraine…. But for Belyaev, work carried on because he needed it to. People on the other side of the world were relying on him, and the project was the culmination of a passion he’d had since childhood: Star Wars.”

Wall Street Journal: Battlefield Hotlines Let U.S. Military Keep Ukraine’s Weapons Firing. “Near where weapons and equipment donated by the U.S. and other allies cross the border into Ukraine, a group of 55 U.S. troops and translators on iPads fielded repair queries about weapons that are already on the battlefield, via secure chat apps. There are 14 chats for each major weapon system, forming a makeshift wartime telemaintenance network for fighters who are using weapons well beyond the limits for which they were designed.”


BBC: Roblox removes ‘meat grinder’ Ukraine v Russia game. “The world’s biggest gaming platform for children, Roblox, has removed two games that allowed players to fight and kill each other as Russians or Ukrainians. One of them, called War on Larkiv: Ukraine, was showcased to users in the Roblox discovery section. It clocked up 90,000 plays in less than two weeks.”

Kyiv Post: Russian Citizens Wage Cyberwar From Within. “Earlier today, Oct. 2, Kyiv Post was contacted by hackers who identified themselves as part of the National Republican Army (NRA). As Kyiv Post has reported before, the NRA is an organization of Russian citizens seeking the overthrow of the Putin Government. The NRA hackers explained to Kyiv Post that they had executed an advanced ransomware attack on the network of Unisoftware, a Russian software development company known for the development and implementation of web applications, desktop systems, cloud, and API solutions.”


Tulane News: Bombed labs, war won’t stop collaboration between Tulane and Ukrainian scientists . “Tulane recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute (KhPI) in Kharkiv to collaborate with faculty from Tulane School of Science and Engineering in the fields of science, engineering and technology. Administered by the Tulane Provost’s Office, the collaboration will span several technical fields and include research projects, curriculum development and teaching.”

The Conversation: US and Russia engage in a digital battle for hearts and minds. “Key government-sponsored media outlets in the current battle are Russia Today, often known as RT, and two U.S. government-backed operations, Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. But it can be hard for many people to tell the difference between these outlets and independent news. As a propaganda scholar, I believe citizens of all nations deserve to know how their media have been filtered and when governments are seeking to influence their views.”

Natural History Museum (UK): How scientists are saving Ukraine’s cultural heritage during the Russian invasion. “Standing at the heart of Kyiv for over a thousand years, the Saint Sophia Cathedral is one of Ukraine’s most important cultural sites. Sadly, the medieval murals that line its walls are being degraded by microorganisms. In the midst of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, scientists have been working out how to protect these historic artworks from further damage.”

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