How do Russia and Ukraine find new ways to use technology in combat and beyond? | technology

Throughout history, new technologies used in battles and wars have played a crucial role in determining results on the field.

The Hyksos’ use of horse-drawn carriages, for example, played a key role in their defeat of the Egyptian army and the seizure of the land by Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror’s use of cannons, especially the large mortars that played a decisive role for the first time in history. played in the Battle of Constantinople, the fall of the city into the hands of the Ottomans and the end of the Byzantine Empire.

The English king Henry V’s victory over the French in the “Battle of Agincourt” in 1415 was due to the archers and their newly developed long-range arches, while raining down on the French with long-range barrage arrows. has what the French could not keep up with retreating defeated.

Advanced technology on the battlefield

In fact, there are many examples in history about the adaptation and development of technology for use in the battlefield, and the Russo-Ukrainian war is no exception to this rule, as the two conflicting parties are the latest and latest technology in this bloody war. .

From drones to tankers using sophisticated algorithms to chase and destroy their targets, to the high-precision long-range missiles used by Russian forces to destroy enemy supply lines, to the 3D printers used by Ukrainian forces to attack tail fins – tank grenades dating from the 19th century. Soviet era. As a result, a $ 100 grenade could destroy millions of dollars worth of vehicles.

All this and more than modern and advanced technologies used by the two warring armies on the battlefield, and the matter does not depend on the battlefield, but goes beyond the battlefield, where social media, satellites and artificial intelligence on a large scale used in this war by both parties.

3D printers used by Ukrainian forces to attach tail fins to anti-tank grenades (network sites)

Advanced off-field technology

One welcome surprise of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was indeed the apparent speed and effectiveness of Western governments’ imposition of sanctions against Russia. Within a short time, half of Moscow’s $ 600 billion in foreign reserves held in Western financial institutions were frozen, and the country was suspended from the Swift network, the major messaging technology used by banks to transfer money around the world. wear.

The services offered by PayPal, Visa and Mastercard also suddenly stopped working in Russia, and there was an immediate ban on technology transfer from the West, as well as sudden sanctions against the oligarchy. Friendly for Putin and those who serve them in Western capitals, according to Professor John Naughton, professor of technology and author of the book “From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: What You Need to Know About the Internet” in a recent article by the British Guardian newspaper, in which he discussed some of the techniques used in this war outside the battlefield.

The author claims that because of these sanctions, Russia has faced problems everywhere. The Russian forces, for example, managed to seize the advanced John Deere tractors in Ukraine and ship them to Moscow, but when the lucky beneficiaries tried to drive these amazing machines, they discovered the surprise that the manufacturer had them remotely deactivated, and this in mere tons of Iron is useless.

Perhaps this is why many Western farmers hate John Deere tractors, because after paying a fortune for their new tractors, they find that they are not allowed to repair them themselves if something fails, and any attempt to shut down a bootleg diagnostic program to download. these machines will cause legal problems due to the protection of intellectual property rights, and the user agreement concluded with the manufacturer that maintenance and repair should be performed only by him.

The author notes that Ukraine still uses a toxic technology, “face recognition” to identify the dead Russian soldiers, and quotes “Forbes magazine” which said last March that Mikhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister and minister of digital transformation, his channel confirmed on Telegram. reports that his country uses this technology to find the social media accounts of deceased Russian soldiers, allowing the Ukrainian authorities to call their families and friends and tell them about their deaths on the battlefield.

This Ukrainian official said that the aim was to eliminate misinformation surrounding the war in the country, specifically Russian allegations that it was just a special operation with few losses. He did not specify what specific technology was used, but his ministry later confirmed that it was using artificial intelligence, specifically a technology manufactured by Clearview A. Clearview AI provided it to the Ukrainian government free of charge.

In fact, this advanced technology manufactured by Clearview AL and backed by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel has caused a great deal of controversy in the United States, and a group of senators called on federal agencies last February to avoid using it. Its technology is “extremely dangerous” which “poses unique threats to blacks, other color communities and immigrant communities”.

Face recognition technology to find the social media accounts of deceased Russian soldiers (Shutterstock)

Blockchain is the most important technology and Russia’s way to evade sanctions

These are some of the technologies used outside the field, but perhaps the most important technology, and it has recently become in everyone’s minds regarding sanctions against Russia, as the author refers to “Blockchain” technology, which is the technology that supports cryptocurrencies. such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, where these currencies were It has multiplied like wildfire in recent years, and its number has reached more than 11,000 digital currencies.

They all have one thing in common at their core, namely that they are decentralized payment systems through which anyone in the world can transfer money to anyone else, and since every part of the process is highly encrypted and not under the supervision of any reliable institution . like a central bank, it is clear that cryptocurrencies are very useful for money laundering and for evading sanctions.

Russia appears to be a crypto-savvy country with an official government report estimating the holdings of cryptocurrencies at $ 200 billion, representing about 12% of the global total of these currencies.

Another report, conducted by a Singapore-based crypto-portal, concluded that 17 million Russians own cryptocurrency, and that more than half a million Russian computer programmers work in this industry. President Vladimir Putin himself has the use of surplus energy in crypto-currency mining, as the author mentioned in his article.

It seems clear that the Russian regime has a special strategy to use cryptocurrencies as a way to evade sanctions, undermine them, or at least limit their impact, and that these currencies will also be a viable option. be for Russian individuals who want to protect their savings or their savings. trade with others outside the country.

For an economy as large as the Russian economy, cryptocurrencies of the size needed to offset the impact of sanctions would be too large to be invisible to Western governments, and for this reason, perhaps for the first time in history, there is no technical solution to the problem that Putin has left for his country and for the world.

Finally, and as history has always taught us, it is he who uses more advanced techniques and technology that will win the war. However, given the tremendous technical development and advanced technological capabilities possessed by both parties, the victory this time around will be bitter of taste. As Abraham Lincoln said, “There is no honorable way to kill, neither soft ways to destroy, and there is nothing good in wars except the end thereof.”

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