How the international media covered the Russian-Ukrainian war, April 13

Anton Semyzhenko

Garvan Walshe, a former national and international security policy advisor to the British Conservative Party, writes about the right way of arming Ukraine in his column on Foreign Affairs. Walshe claims arming Ukraine effectively requires more thought and planning than it has been given and identifies four key steps that NATO countries should be taking from the strategic perspective. First, NATO countries should supply all available Warsaw Pact-style equipment that Ukraine can use: tanks, planes, missiles, and ammunition. Eastern European NATO members (mainly Poland) that supply this equipment must immediately be reinforced with high-end NATO troops and equipment from Western Europe and North America. Second, Ukraine needs Lend-Lease-style programs so it can buy all the equipment—including artillery, drones, targeting systems, and loitering munitions—it needs on the market and be able to pay it back over the long term after it regains its territorial integrity and integrates further into Europe. Third, militaries in Central and Eastern Europe as well as in Ukraine and Moldova need to be upgraded. Fourth, there must be a long-lasting commitment to upgrading Ukraine’s military to NATO standards and equipment. Even if Ukraine does not formally become a NATO member, it should—like Sweden and Finland—now develop interoperable forces that are strong enough to deter Russia on their own.

As Ukraine has lost 15 fixed-wing aircrafts since the beginning of full-scale Russian invasion, Ukrainian armed forces are using more and more armed drones, writes an article on Forbes. Now Aerorozvidka, a volunteer drone squad, has been dropping tiny bombs from its off-the-shelf helicopter drones. This tactic has been previously used 8 years ago by ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and by the narco cartels ever since. Vertical bombing from a hovering platform strongly implies the drone in question is a quadcopter or octocopter—the kind anyone can buy online. An octocopter can’t replace a Bayraktar, but it is way cheaper and can damage a Russian armored vehicle and knock it, and possibly its crew, out of the fight.

While Zelensky’s motives to ban Steinmeier from visiting Kyiv are understandable, the decision is wrong, DW (German state-owned international broadcaster) writes. The outlet calls Zelensky’s decision to snub Steinmeier to be short-sighted, politically disastrous and grossly negligent with a view to the future. By declaring Steinmeier as persona non grata, the Ukrainian government is missing the point because it is burning bridges. If German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was indeed planning to travel to Kyiv, that now looks more distant than ever. This was also a blow to the outpouring of support and sympathy for Ukraine in Germany. There is only one person benefiting from this, and it is Vladimir Putin, who will make sure to get the most out of this diplomatic scandal.

BBC writes of how facial recognition using artificial intelligence helps identify the dead in Ukraine. A massive amount of civiliansʼ bodies was left after Russian presence in Ukraine, the state struggles to identify some of the bodies, and there is a need for a systemic solution. Clearview – a search engine for faces – is perhaps the most famous, and controversial facial recognition system in the world. Following the Russian invasion, this software was offered to Ukraine, and the offer was accepted. The engine searches for matches in social networks, and can even identify faces who appeared in the background photos of other people, meaning that even if one does not have own accounts, they still can be identified. Clearview isnʼt just being used to identify dead bodies in Ukraine. The company also confirmed it was being used by the Ukrainian government at checkpoints to help identify enemy suspects. At the same time, there are risks of using such software, especially during times of war. The technology is not always correct, and it might have a pricey cost, even a human life.

The Guardian writes of how fashion designers, artists and businesses hope to harness consumer power and keep industry afloat. Earlier this month Angel for Fashion launched – a website with more than 30 Ukrainian fashion brands, ranging from the frills of Paskal to the modern tailoring of Elena Burenina. This follows other online resources, including Spend With Ukraine, which links to Ukraine-based businesses across everything from digital fashion to blankets and electric bikes, and the Ukrainian Emergency Art Fund, which allows people to donate three-month stipends to support artists. These initiatives are primarily about helping Ukrainian creatives in a way that supports existing industries, and even provides some semblance of normality.