How does technology play a role in the Russia-Ukraine war?

Share This Post

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, there has been constant talk about how this conflict is unique because social media and cellphones have made it impossible for the old methods of propaganda and information control to be effective and have allowed civilians to see through the smoke of battle.

It is crucial that we, as historians and scholars of communications, offer context to such assertions. What is “new” in this battle is less important than understanding its unique media dynamics. The interaction between traditional and digital media, particularly the several loops from Twitter to television to TikTok and back again, is a crucial aspect of this conflict.

We have transitioned from a largely static mode of communication, where journalists report on the news according to established rules and formats, to one that is highly fragmented and even participatory. Users help spread the content by sharing and commenting online on information concerning the conflict.

Modern warfare and media

Media technologies and modern warfare have a long and complicated history. Aircraft were used in the First World War as both weapons and media, dropping propaganda leaflets over enemy lines and snapping aerial photos. Prior to their political and military authorities forbidding such actions and placing them in the hands of specialists, soldiers frequently used their personal cameras in the early months of the battle.

Journalists promptly called it the “Nintendo War” after seeing the military’s neat movies and photographs. Since then, the pace and fragmentation of the role of media in war have accelerated.

Each division of the German army had a staff of cinematographers that documented the conflict during the Second World War. Thousands of troops took part in the 1943 production of Kolberg, a 1945 propaganda film intended to boost German morale when the army was short on money.

- Advertisement -

According to media expert Daniel Hallin, the Vietnam War was frequently portrayed as the first conflict that was “uncensored.” The 24-hour coverage by cable news stations during the 1991 Gulf Battle created a different perception of war. Journalists promptly called it the “Nintendo War” after seeing the military’s neat movies and photographs. Since then, the pace and fragmentation of the role of media in war have accelerated.

An increase in cyberwar

A crucial aspect of the ongoing conflict is cyberwar. It alludes to all activities carried out on the internet as well as the underlying physical system. This includes website jamming, network outages, and other issues.

Also Read:  Russia threatens to block Instagram

Along with traditional media control, cyberwar also involves the rapid dissemination of information. It consists of intricate human-machine communication events that can be planned, coordinated, and deliberate—or not.

- Advertisement -

Ukraine has seen varying levels of cyberwar. Drones are capable of collecting enormous data sets for artificial intelligence to analyze and use for precise targeting. This involves locating soldiers or civilians using heat maps, digital signals, or posts on social media.

Cyberspace is the extension of many traditional propaganda strategies, but a recent innovation is the ability to target and customize disinformation. Techniques for aggressive military propaganda are combined with online marketing tools.

Russia’s practice of censorship

There is no war being led by Russia, only a special operation, according to all official Russian TV networks (TV1, Russia, and Zvezda). The Russian government concentrated on a historically large-scale disinformation campaign against its own people while stifling independent media outlets that had already been targeted as so-called “foreign agents.”

The War Censorship Law was passed by the Kremlin a few days after the invasion started in order to “prohibit the dissemination of fake news about the special operation” and the use of words like “war” and “invasion”; violations are subject to up to 15 years in prison.

Images of the Russian troops “liberating” Ukraine from “neo-Nazis and drug addicts” are being shown on official Russian television.

Russian media deceives viewers by frequently utilizing forgeries and arousing fear by making references to nuclear contamination. The audience is informed that Ukrainians are solely responsible for their own problems.

To present a favorable image of the Russian “liberators,” staged scenes are deployed. One of them displays a warm-hearted gathering of Ukrainians in Kherson who are delighted to meet Russian troops and receive kind humanitarian assistance. However, after the shooting, the Russian army seized this assistance from the populace and moved on, as a buddy in Ukraine wrote to one of us on Telegram.

Last but not least, Russian television employs “denazification” in an effort to convince Russian viewers of the necessity of their special operation in Ukraine. This has been a feature of Putin’s historical revisionism for a number of years and is meant to arouse a retrograde nostalgia for the defeat of Nazi Germany.

Ukrainian forces use technology to identify dead Russian soldiers

It has already come to light that the Ukrainian defense ministry has begun utilizing facial recognition software. However, a recent allegation claims that Ukraine is currently using the software in a way that would cause the Russian families to oppose the conflict.

Also Read:  Ukraine calls out Netflix, Google and Apple to stop operations in Russia

Ukraine has started utilizing the program, according to the CEO of American facial recognition company Clearview AI. The American business reportedly offered to find the Russian attackers, dispel rumors, and identify the fallen soldiers.

The Washington Post reported that the corpses of Russian soldiers are then photographed and sent back to their families in Russia, which is terrible, but that is not what makes it disturbing. It was hoped that the grim reality of casualties on the battlefield will convince common Russians to oppose the war even while they are backing the “special military operation”.

According to recent reports, on Russian personnel who have died or been captured, around 9,000 facial recognition searches have been made so far.

Russian families apparently received photos associated with 582 fallen servicemen, according to volunteer hackers who work with the Ukrainian government. It is important to note that both nations have exploited the technology in the current battle.

Russian families apparently received photos associated with 582 fallen servicemen, according to volunteer hackers who work with the Ukrainian government. It is important to note that both nations have exploited the technology in the current battle.

While Ukraine is using the technology to identify both its own and enemy dead, Russia is using it to locate and detain anti-war protestors. However, Clearview AI had stated that it had not provided Russia with the equipment.

For some time, controversy has surrounded the American corporation. It has received criticism for gathering images from social media and using them for US law enforcement.

A number of countries have received complaints against the corporation from data protection campaigners. European protesters charged the program with flouting the stringent privacy laws of the UK and the EU.

As soon as concerns about the program began to circulate in early 2020, regulators from Australia to the US began investigating it. The use by the police in Canada was deemed a grave violation of privacy laws by the country’s privacy commissioner.

Stories You May Like

Related Posts

NFTs are playing a key role in empowering and helping artists: Here’s how

NFT art is gaining popularity globally, and NFTs' future...

TikTok now offers a basic in-app text-to-image AI generator

TikTok, the short video streaming platform is now offering...
- Advertisement -