Her group, 전화 “Dattalion” and led by some of Ukraine’s top professional women, isn’t shooting down planes but rather is fighting a different kind of battle by documenting the bloody war, day by day.
One of the Dattalion’s leaders, going by “Mariya” instead of her real name for security purposes, told Fox News Digital the mission is simple: Tell the world the truth about what’s happening in Ukraine through the power of images.
“Basically we are fighting against Russia with data, with information, and we want to show to the world about what the Russian army is doing in Ukraine, what they are doing to our kids, what they are doing to our elderly, what they are doing to our homes,” Mariya said. “It is a database primarily of videos but also of photos taken by civilian Ukrainians, ordinary people with their smartphones.”
The Dattalion, a combination of the words “Data Battalion,” was founded on Feb. 27, just three days after Russia launched its invasion, and it has thus far uploaded more than 1,000 videos and photos to its database from ordinary citizens. Updated several times per day, it’s organized by day and region and provides the date and locations of the videos and images sent to them of the war, such as the maternity hospital bombed in Mariupol last week, bloodied civilians dazed from Russian shelling, and children being rescued and evacuated. The team has regional groups who work to verify footage as authentic.
백합, who recently returned to Ukraine from Poland after driving a truck full of humanitarian supplies back across the border, said Russia was trying to “fool all the world” with its propaganda machine, which has blamed “neo-Nazis” for the violence and claimed Ukraine was responsible for a recent Russian shelling attack on Kharkiv that killed dozens of civilians.
“It is very important,” Lily said of the Dattalion’s work. “All the information that comes from Russia, it’s all fake … They are trying to fool all the world, and they’ve already done it with their people. That’s why we want to spread truth to the world, and video and information is our weapon actually, and video and posts, marketing campaigns is our tools, so this is what we know how to do.”
Given it was formed mere days after the invasion began last month, Lily said it had quickly become a cohesive organization. 그것은 이상을 가지고 100 volunteers and is growing by the day. It has an active social media presence and encourages journalists, politicians and others around the world to access its files. 그 동안에, the Dattalion’s members have coped with hacking attacks and personal threats, in addition to the immense stress of seeing their country invaded and fearing the deaths of loved ones.
“We never sought this, but when we looked at our volunteers, why our volunteers are so passionate about this project because every day they are losing something, and they want to show to the world the horrors,” Mariya said.
Lily said she often cries before editing the footage she reviews. Mariya grew emotional as she recounted the war’s effect on her own family. 금요일 현재, 그만큼 United Nation’s office of Human Rights said it has recorded 42 children dead among the 579 civilians killed, 와 54 more children wounded among the 1,002 civilians injured.
“I’ve never ever in my life imagined me or my family or anyone would go through this,” 그녀가 말했다. “I could never ever imagine my kids would hear some loud sounds and would shake.”