Ukraine sends photos of dead Russian soldiers to families – BZ Berlin

Barbaric War Tactics or Effective Means to End War?

Ukraine’s military says it has identified 8,600 dead or captured Russian soldiers through facial recognition and contacted hundreds of their family members, reports The Washington Post.

Goal of the Ukrainians: waking up the Russian people with the terrifying images of their sons, brothers and fathers, creating resentment, weakening popular support for Putin and possibly provoking protests against the war in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s IT Army – a government-run conglomeration of volunteer hackers and activists – notified the families of the deaths of 582 soldiers, including sending them photos of the abandoned bodies. To do this, they used facial recognition software from the American technology company Clearview.

A Russian tank drives on a road near Mariupol (Photo: Maximilian Clarke/dpa)
A Russian tank drives on a road near Mariupol (Photo: Maximilian Clarke/dpa)

Another objective of the campaign: show the Russian people the truth from Ukraine. IT company chief Hoan Ton-That first offered his services to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry a month ago after seeing Russian propaganda claiming soldiers captured there were actors or fraudsters .

According to the Washington Post, however, military experts fear the strategy will backfire, the shock photos will spark further anger and support from Kremlin warmongers will grow even stronger.

However, contacting soldiers’ parents is “classic psychological warfare” and could set a dangerous new normal for future conflict, said London-based ethicist Stephanie Hare.

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“If it was Russian soldiers doing this to Ukrainian mothers, you might say, ‘Oh my God, that’s barbaric,'” she said. And further: “But does it really work? Or does it make them say, ‘Look at these lawless, cruel Ukrainians doing this to our boys?’ »

The fear, also of Ukrainian military experts, that the images will not be considered in Russia as revealing the truth, but as a humiliation by the enemy.

Also targets looters

The Ukrainian military also uses facial recognition to identify Russian looters, an official from Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation told the newspaper.

Mykhailo Fedorov, the head of that ministry, took to Twitter and Instagram this month to share the name, hometown and personal photo of a man he says was filmed delivering hundreds of pounds of clothes stolen from a Belarusian post office to his home in eastern Russia. . “Our technology will find them all,” he wrote.

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