The Russia-Ukraine war will not fade away in history, a group of Reddit users is making sure of that

  • With cyber war, an ever-important tool in modern warfare, the risk of losing wartime footage, news and documents is higher than ever before.
  • While activists have targeted the Russian government and media earlier, now other volunteers have come forward to preserve the Ukrainian internet.
  • Apart from the Internet Archive, volunteers on a Reddit sub have put their hands up to preserve copies of Ukrainian websites, news stories, video footage and more.

The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war might be the first major conflict in which cyber warfare has been used as one of the primary attack devices, with government, financial and media institutions being on the receiving end on either side of the conflict.

Now, a new enthusiast project by users on a Reddit sub, / r / datahoarders, is on a mission to archive as much Russia-Ukraine war footage as possible. This is in addition to the Internet Archive’s project that aims at backing up the entirety of the Ukrainian internet.

Users on / r / datahoarders have been backing up various things like the websites of Ukrainian universities, government, and even tweets from the official Ukraine government accounts. One user even set up a website that lets others view and download the items backed up – this includes news posts, Wikipedia entries, war footage and more.

Other volunteers have also offered to create mirrors of these, in case one of the sources goes down.

On the other hand, the Internet Archive has long been used to browse, access and archive copies of websites that are either banned or rendered inaccessible by certain actors, or in other cases, for simply referencing older versions of web pages.

Archive Team WarriorInternet Archive

Now, the non-profit organization has employed crowdsourced auto-archiving software to back up and save copies of Ukrainian websites and other data using a virtual machine called Archive Team Warrior. So far, the service has backed up 68 million items, including web pages, documents and other files, adding up to over 2.5 terabytes of data.

Interestingly enough, there are live cameras in Ukraine that are reportedly streaming live on YouTube. Some enterprising users have created a playlist of these live camera feeds, so the footage is saved to YouTube’s servers and those who want to, can archive this on their machines.

While cyber warfare has long been waged by countries and state actors against their rivals and other targets, this is one of the few instances where activists have pooled their resources to help Ukraine fight back against Russia – the list also includes the hacker collective Anonymous, which took down several Russian government websites and media networks.

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