back to article Tech world's Ukraine response mixes evacuation efforts, ad bans, free phones, infosec FUD

As Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, the technology industry is trying to use its services to make a difference – and to keep those services available as the war makes it harder to operate. Nation-state level responses to the invasion have been led by the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, …

  1. ShadowSystems

    Dear Ukraine...

    *Giant warm fuzzy hug*

    I hope it ends soon, the damage can be healed, the services restored, & the people responsible can be brought to justice.

    I know nothing can ever make it right, but I'm hoping plenty of good vibes from someone all the way over here in California can help you get through it.

    *Hugs*

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dear Ukraine...

      "I hope it ends soon, the damage can be healed, the services restored, & the people responsible can be brought to justice."

      I hope so, I want them to spend the rest of their lives wondering what will happen to them. The death penalty is too good for them.

      Ukraine, we love you:-) Russia: Fuck off.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ukraine, we love you:-) Russia: Fuck off.

        It's Putin and his enablers who are responsible for this. To blame the Russian people is to ignore the situation they find themselves in. Yes, they should rise up and overthrow him, but that's a lot easier said than done and everyone has to put food on the table.

        I'd like to see more focus on the people on the ground actually doing the invading. The anonymous soldiers who do the killing. Why aren't they being shamed at home? Are their families and friends supporting them? Why?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ukraine, we love you:-) Russia: Fuck off.

          > I'd like to see more focus on the people on the ground actually doing the invading. The anonymous soldiers who do the killing. Why aren't they being shamed at home? Are their families and friends supporting them? Why?

          If only there was some organisation that was able to anonymously receive and then widely publish secret material spirited out of Russian military and government computer networks by an insider willing to risk all to spotlight the double-standards and institutional hypocrisy of their military and political leadership.

        2. Helcat

          Re: Ukraine, we love you:-) Russia: Fuck off.

          "Yes, they should rise up and overthrow him, but that's a lot easier said than done and everyone has to put food on the table."

          I've seen reports of Russian soldiers surrendering or refusing to fight, claiming they had been deployed on exercise, not to invade Ukraine. How true this is (could be propaganda) I don't know, but the same sources are saying people are quitting their jobs for the Kremlin/government over this, too.

          If true: There are people taking a moral stance and risking starving. If false... well, it'd be nice if it were true...

          1. Danny 2

            Re: Ukraine, we love you:-) Russia: Fuck off.

            Russian warship, go fuck yourself!

            Of course Putin is ultimately responsible but good men don't obey mad men. Every commander, every soldier, is legally responsible for their own actions and decisions. Wars have laws.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Ukraine, we love you:-) Russia: Fuck off.

              > Wars have laws.

              It's not torture, it's "enhanced interrogation". (c) Donald Rumsfeld.

        3. DS999 Silver badge

          We need to support Russians living aboard

          They have nothing to do with this, and if any support Putin's actions it has to be a tiny tiny fraction since they aren't limited by state run media propaganda like those living within its borders.

          If you know a Russian who operates a business where you live, please patronize his or her business. There will be many clueless folks who will think they are taking a stand by going elsewhere, but making life hard for them isn't going to stop what Putin is doing to Ukraine. So to make up for them, they need extra support from those who aren't clueless.

          You don't have to buy Russian made products (unless they announce they will not be ordering more once they are out of stock, like the Russian store owner 30 miles north of me posted on her Facebook a couple days ago...it doesn't help anyone to let perishable items spoil) but they will need support. Because unfortunately some idiots will treat them like similar idiots treated Chinese (or anyone who looked Asian) "because of" covid, or treated Muslims (or anyone wearing a turban) "because of" 9/11.

      2. David 132 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Dear Ukraine...

        Agree with the sentiment, but with a slight modification...

        Russian leadership: Fuck off.

        This shitshow is 100% the fault of Putin and his cronies. I don't believe the majority of the Russian people want this war, as is evident from the protests that have been taking place.

        Plus, if we continue to carelessly blame Russia as a whole, we risk a siege/us-vs-the-world mentality taking hold in the Russian population, potentially leading them to hate the West more than they hate Putin. Let's be careful.

        Edit: hah, while I was composing this post, the AC above made pretty much the same point. I thought of it first, honest. Am just slower at typing :)

        1. Danny 2

          Re: Dear Ukraine...

          "Russian leadership: Fuck off.

          This shitshow is 100% the fault of Putin and his cronies. I don't believe the majority of the Russian people want this war"

          I stand by my post David. By solely blaming Putin for all war-crimes you are allowing the "I was only following orders" argument. It is a soldiers legal duty to disobey illegal orders.

          So the sailors who fired on Snake Island should be prosecuted. Their captain should be prosecuted. Their admiral should be prosecuted. Not just Putin.

          Prosecutions of Nazi war criminals didn't end in Nuremberg, nor should they have. Putin will fall, and many Russian military will still need to fear Den Haag.

          Widespread use of indiscriminate weapons such as multiple rocket launchers against civilian areas, as used on Monday in the city of Kharkiv, suggested that the Kremlin, having failed to land a knockout blow in the first days of the war, was prepared to unleash more desperate methods.

          The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said he would seek court approval to open an investigation into possible war crimes or crimes against humanity in Ukraine.

          https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/28/russian-rocket-strikes-kill-dozens-in-kharkiv-as-ukraine-russia-talks-begin

          1. Filippo Silver badge

            Re: Dear Ukraine...

            I agree - partly. War crimes are most definitely a thing, and you don't need to be the leader in order to commit them. However, Russian civilians, i.e. the vast majority of Russians, are definitely innocent of this.

            Even among the soldiers, I understand that many are conscripts. I'm not sure where the legality of this stands, but I wouldn't feel comfortable attributing war crimes to conscripts, who I guess will be shot if they refuse to fight. Nobody should be expected to be a martyr.

      3. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: Dear Ukraine...

        I met some lovely Russians over the weekend who were very keen to point out that it’s Putin who is doing this. Most ordinary citizens in the country do not support this war and most only don’t speak out for fear of being arrested. This lot are now living in the UK and they were happy to do protest.

    2. rcxb1

      Re: Dear Ukraine...

      > *Giant warm fuzzy hug*

      I think they would prefer giant warm fuzzy javelin missiles. At least those worked out better for the mujahideen in Afghanistan when Russian (well, USSR) soldiers showed up as uninvited guests.

  2. beardman
    Mushroom

    death to russofascist pigs in kremlin

    Slava Ukrainii!

    1. Danny 2

      Re: death to russofascist pigs in kremlin

      Heroiam slava!

  3. Pseu Donyme

    re: Russian attack on Ukraine

    It is difficult to see any credible rationale* for the attack. How the Ukrainians have rised to the challenge has been absolutely awe-inspiring though. Also on the bright side: this could bring the reign of Putin to an end which would mean a fresh start for the Russians in their relation to the West and in general - the not-so-bright side is of this the extremely high price of this potential improvement falling on Ukraine.

    * there is the Russian propaganda, but the only thing it tends to convince one of is that it is propaganda

    1. hoola Silver badge

      Re: re: Russian attack on Ukraine

      What is very telling (and quite sobering) is the amount of that propaganda and downright lies being liberally spewed round social media, all run out of the West.

      The complete crap that is on Facebook Twitter et al is just incredible. Very little is done because of so called "Free Speech".

      The people posting recycled footage from unrelated conflicts and computer games are just beyond belief.

      1. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: re: Russian attack on Ukraine

        What is very telling (and quite sobering) is the amount of that propaganda and downright lies being liberally spewed round social media, all run out of the West.

        The complete crap that is on Facebook Twitter et al is just incredible. Very little is done because of so called "Free Speech".

        The people posting recycled footage from unrelated conflicts and computer games are just beyond belief.

        Propaganda? Have you watched the television channel RT? Or any other Russian State Media? The Ukrainian President is a Nazi according to them despite the fact he’s Jewish.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: re: Russian attack on Ukraine

          Hopefully there'll be something positive from the dialogue between Ukraine and Russia. Like terms for a ceasefire, or surrender. I was suprised Russia opted for full-scale scale invasion, and still not sure what outcome Russia expects.

          In many ways, I think that gets harder with censorship, because then we only see one side of the story. Even though there's a propaganda war, it's still useful to see how the other side is spinning it. So far, the pretext seems to be demilitarisation, and 'de-nazification'. One probably easier to achieve than the other. I'm guessing that means the oligarch and anti-corruption wars that have plagued Ukraine since it's independence.

          Escalation would be bad though, especially if Russia decides economic war = real war. That would be bad for both Ukraine and Europe. Despite some of the media's claims, Russia does seem to be restraining itself, ie Kiev hasn't become Grozny, and hopefully won't.

          1. DS999 Silver badge

            Re: re: Russian attack on Ukraine

            If Russia wants to attack corruption and "nazi-ism", they should look within their own borders first. Starting at the top. Lots more of it there than in Ukraine.

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: re: Russian attack on Ukraine

              Maybe.

              Both countries embraced independence and capitalism in much the same way, creating their oligarchs. Similar I guess to the way old & new money bankrolls politicians around the world, with varying levels of corruption. Difference is probably the level of violence used during business disputes and hostile takeovers. West uses lawyers, oligarchs used automatic weapons and grenades. But huge profits to be skimmed from previously nationalised industries.

              Oligarchs also recruited foot soldiers, eg the 'ultras' from Ukrainian football clubs, which became units like Azov. Now integrated into the UAF, but still using Nazi iconography like the wolfsangel and black sun. There are also several far-right political parties, but they've tended to get <10% of the vote. Risk though is current events might help Ukraine's ultra-nationalists.

              I wish I could remember the name of a book by a senior Israeli police officer. It describes the challenges Israel faced when it encouraged Jewish people from the Eastern bloc to migrate, because they brought organised crime with them. Which I guess adds to the political challenges, ie oligarchs using their Israeli passports and banking secrecy to avoid sanctions.

              It's a big mess though, especially when Ukrainians like Semion Mogilevich live happily in Moscow.

        2. hoola Silver badge

          Re: re: Russian attack on Ukraine

          Yes I have seen that, my comment is simply that the propaganda and fud is not just limited to the expected sources.

          I agree there is a huge amount of Russian created or sponsored content that it propaganda but as ever there are seemingly huge numbers of people posting spurious material that is just as bad as what comes directly from the horse's mouth.

          Much of that is nothing to do with Russia as the source.

          The Social Media giants are far from blameless in this.

  4. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    Small scale but welcome

    Colin Percival has made the tarsnap service free for Ukrainians(*) for now.

    (*) People in (or fleeing) Ukraine that is, not anyone with a Ukrainian passport.

    1. Norman Nescio Silver badge

      Re: Small scale but welcome

      This is the type of (maybe not so) small acts of kindness that can make a world of difference to other people. Well done!

  5. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Google Maps live traffic data turned off in country

    An interesting case... the crowd-sourced data could be useful for not just the civilians on the road, so in the interest of their safety, the live traffic data has been turned off for Ukraine.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-60561089

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