In Ukraine there is an app that saves your life

Technology has turned into a shield against weapons


protesters with Support Ukraine sign

In just two months, there is an app in Ukraine that has undergone a complete transformation. What was once a useful tool for getting around the Ukrainian capital, by public transport, has now become a life-saving shield, providing critical information on everything from public transport to where the nearest bunker is.


The app is called “Kyiv Digital.” Its logo has also been changed to reflect its new purpose: now military-style camouflage contents replace the old blue K.


Inside, the map shows not only metro stops and other services, but also which areas are currently being bombed by Russia.


Users can also find up-to-date news on the latest developments in the conflict, as well as which shops and services are still open despite the fighting.


In a time of war, this app has become an essential tool for the Ukrainian people.


It’s a reminder that, even in the midst of violence and destruction, human ingenuity and creativity can still find a way to shine.




The project was started in April 2014 by the mayor Volodymyr Sadovyi of Kiev. Petro Oleynch, deputy mayor for digital development and head of the city’s digital development office, oversaw the initiative.


Today, the site offers several features, including a map of air raid shelters and alerts linked to Kyiv alerts.


“You can also find out where the open pharmacies are and which ones have access to insulin.”


Places to stock up on water and bread are also marked.


Veterinarians and gas stations are also noted.


“Kyiv Digital is now essential for anyone who is still in town,” an Oleynch spokesperson told The Guardian.


“Among the options I appreciate most is the fact that a notification arrives when the attacks are over,” said Denys Malakhatka, a researcher blocked in Kiev.


“I think it’s important to know when it’s over so you can catch your breath.”


“The application must be connected to GPS and the Internet to work, so the city has provided Wi-Fi service in more than 200 air-raid shelters.”


“Kiev and other Ukrainian cities are working in a more cohesive and productive way than ever – continued the spokesmen of the deputy mayor. This is our home, our children live here. We will fight to the end.”


 Not everyone, however, is enthusiastic about the novelty. “Sometimes there are even 10 alarms a day – explained the volunteer Kyle Kondratiev. When I sleep I would like not to hear them.”


 However, today it represents a salvation for many citizens who have decided to stay in their cities, I speak of women and the elderly, because instead men cannot leave their state.



A bombed building in Ukraine

The Internet is still functioning in Ukraine. Despite Russian air strikes on major cities, industrial areas and key infrastructures including the power grid, the web persists and even social media platforms continue to give a voice to a population exhausted by water shortages and hunger.


The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, is an example of this country’s telecommunications resilience.


He frequently publishes videos inviting Ukrainians to resist and attending internet meetings with other heads of state and diplomats from foreign states.


The Kyiv Post, an English-language newspaper based in the Ukrainian capital, is one of many news sources that are still active and publish stories about the war.


“The fact that we are still able to produce a printed edition and put it on the streets of Kiev is a symbol of defiance,” said editor-in-chief Brian Bonner.


“It’s our way of saying: “You can bomb our buildings, but you can’t stop us from informing our readers.”


This is one of the newest and most unprecedented aspects that occurs during an armed conflict. All this allows you to see almost live images, and many situations that only journalists alone would not be able to collect as information.


Not even Russian hackers were able to take down the internet in Ukraine. Indeed, some Ukrainian companies have even managed to thrive in the midst of the conflict.


“We have seen a surge in business since the war began,” said Yevhen Hlibovytsky, director of web-hosting company Nax. “People need reliable hosting now more than ever.”


“The fact that the internet is still up and running is a big win for Ukraine,” he continued. “Prove that we will not be intimidated by the Russians.”



Ukraine citizen holding Stop Putin sign

Besides the “Kyiv Digital” app, there are other apps used by Ukrainians to stay informed and safe during the war.


The “Mistletoe” app was created by a group of Ukrainian volunteers and provides information on where landmines are located.


The “Gold miner” app is also helping Ukrainian soldiers to locate mines.


“The” City Radar” app provides residents of the city of Mariupol with information on incoming rockets.”


All of these apps are helping to save lives and keep people informed in wartime.


The Kyiv Post, an English-language newspaper based in the Ukrainian capital, is one of many news sources that are still active and publish stories about the war.


“The fact that we are still able to produce a printed edition and put it on the streets of Kiev is a symbol of defiance,” editor-in-chief Brian Bonner told The Guardian.


“It’s our way of saying: ‘You can bomb our buildings, but you can’t stop us from informing our readers.”


In essence, telecommunications technology proves to be immune to Russian bombs and all weapons used.


In reality, there are those who argue that even Russians find it convenient to be able to use the internet. So they keep it standing.


Obviously, Putin’s army uses cell phones and PCs in Ukraine for quite other purposes. Indirectly it represents fortune for Ukrainian civilians and for the circulation of information.


Above all it allows reconversion of some apps, as I described above. They save the life of someone who can take refuge and have other details allowing people who find themselves in the middle of the conflict to survive.

A wool on the ground near shrapnel

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