Ukraine claims this is being done to sow dissent in Russia. That’s CRAP. This is psychological warfare. It’s intended to traumatize and terrorize. People on the receiving end of this will understand the inhumanity/monstrosity on the part of the persons sending these images to them.
Military-justice experts argue the campaign violates international law.
On Telegram, Twitter and YouTube, Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs since Sunday has posted a constant stream of extremely graphic images showcasing the horrors of war and inviting Russians to examine them to determine whether the images feature a missing loved one.
In many of the images, soldiers’ corpses can be seen burned, ripped apart, mangled in wreckage or abandoned in snow; in some, their faces are featured in bloody close-ups, frozen in pain.
In others, prisoners are interrogated by captors about the invasion as they shake with emotion. Some of the men sit crumpled, hands bound, eyes blindfolded with tape.
But the tactic also could be interpreted as a violation of the Geneva Conventions, which say governments must “at all times” protect prisoners of war from “insults and public curiosity.”
“The law doesn’t allow for, ‘They’re doing bad things, so we can, too,’” VanLandingham said. “They don’t want to turn the international community against them. They’ve got to be on the straight and narrow here. It’s really dangerous for them in desperation to do things that are clearly prohibited.”
They’ve also told parents they can send in their own DNA to help determine whether their son has been killed in combat. There is a fee for the service, according to a YouTube video outlining it.
- The international community of the western persuasion/5 eyes is completely behind and in support of this behaviour. The US had this tech firm supply the software for the Ukrainians to freely use.
- Considering all the Youtube censorship it’s amazing the free pass given for this type of imagery
Ukrainian officials have run more than 8,600 facial recognition searches on dead or captured Russian soldiers in the 50 days since Moscow’s invasion began, using the scans to identify bodies and contact hundreds of their families in what may be one of the most gruesome applications of the technology to date.
The Ukrainians champion the use of face-scanning software from the U.S. tech firm Clearview AI as a brutal but effective way to stir up dissent inside Russia, discourage other fighters and hasten an end to a devastating war.
But some military and technology analysts worry that the strategy could backfire, inflaming anger over a shock campaign directed at mothers who may be thousands of miles from the drivers of the Kremlin’s war machine.
The West’s solidarity with Ukraine makes it tempting to support such a radical act designed to capitalize on family grief, said Stephanie Hare, a surveillance researcher in London. But contacting soldiers’ parents, she said, is “classic psychological warfare” and could set a dangerous new standard for future conflicts.
“If it were Russian soldiers doing this with Ukrainian mothers, we might say, ‘Oh, my God, that’s barbaric,’ ” she said. “And is it actually working? Or is it making them say: ‘Look at these lawless, cruel Ukrainians, doing this to our boys?’ ”
Clearview AI’s chief executive, Hoan Ton-That, told The Washington Post that more than 340 officials across five Ukrainian government agencies now can use its tool to run facial recognition searches whenever they want, free of charge.
Clearview shared with The Post emails from three Ukrainian agencies — the National Police, the Defense Ministry and a third agency that asked the company to remain confidential — confirming the software was in use. Officials at those agencies and the IT Army declined to comment further or did not respond to requests for comment. Clearview declined to identify two other Ukrainian agencies it said were currently using its software.
In emails that Clearview shared with The Post, a representative of the Defense Ministry said it had tested Clearview by scanning photos of dead soldiers’ faces and were “pleasantly surprised” when the tool returned links to the Russians’ VK and Instagram accounts.But officials’ strategy of informing families of their loved ones’ demise has raised concerns that it could anger the same Russians they had hoped to persuade. One national security expert said other Ukrainian actions — holding news conferences with captured Russian soldiers and posting to social media photos and videos showing prisoners of war — have been seen inside Russia not as a welcomed exposure to the truth but as a humiliation by the enemy.
In another conversation, a stranger sent a message to a Russian mother saying her son was dead, alongside a photo showing a man’s body in the dirt — face grimacing and mouth agape. The recipient responded with disbelief, saying it wasn’t him, before the sender passed along another photo showing a gloved hand holding the man’s military documents.
“Why are you doing this?” the recipient wrote back. “Do you want me to die? I already don’t live. You must be enjoying this.”
War is brutal. There is no denying it. However some Ukrainians are showing themselves to relish the brutality in a deeply psychotic manner.