Compilation of Apps that Popped Up in the Russian-Ukrainian War

May 10, 2022 • 214 Views • 18 min read

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Bohdan Vasylkiv

CEO & Co-Founder

Obviously, it is a hard time for Ukraine. It is tough for the Ukrainian economy as well. Nevertheless, each crisis creates a powerful motivational reaction. The Ukrainian resistance has already proven the Ukrainian will and the possibility to deal with any problems in no time. One of the best examples of this is the IT sector. Today we want to talk about the software solutions that have appeared or become useful for the Ukrainian resistance during the russian-Ukrainian war.

Ukrainian Resistance Applications

Despite the fact, that development of an app is not an easy, fast or cheap task, Ukrainian IT companies and volunteer IT specialists, known as “IT ARMY” in cooperation with the Ukrainian government and international corporations have developed a few very important applications, that helped to save thousands of lives.

Air Alarm System

The danger of an airstrike in a peaceful city full of civilians is not hypothetical anymore. In fact, during the cold war, such scenarios were considered, so there are special air alarm systems and sirens in every city all over Ukraine. The problem with them is that mostly they were conserved. It means that the existing ones were supported, but the new ones were not installed. The cities kept growing, so there were more districts, that had no alert systems in case of an airstrike, not to mention the number of villages, some of which had no alerts at all.

This is why the Ukrainians needed to create a more effective way to alert the citizens about the possible danger. Thankfully, the mobile devices’ accessibility, as well as the progressive IT sphere with a number of experienced specialists and companies, helped to solve this problem in almost no time. Already on the second day of the russian-Ukrainian war, everyone understood the importance of improving the notification system of citizens about the airstrikes or rocket launches.

The russian invasion started on the 24th of February. The development of an air alarm system - on the 27th of the same month. It was published on AppStore the next day. In order to cut the publication approval period, the developers created a draft app, as simple as a flashlight. It was updated to an actual air alarm system after the publication. Also, the developers struggled with another problem - they wanted the app to work even in “sleeping mode” or when the phone is muted. For this purpose, the “critical message” feature is used. Nevertheless, it is possible to enable this function, by having special permission. Therefore, the Stfalcon(the actual developer of an app) cooperated with the Ajax security systems in order to use their account with the needed permission.

According to the owner of the app, the willingness to help was extremely high, approximately 100 people took part in the developing process, some of them had no relation to the company before. The next step after publication was to implement it into the governmental air alarm system and synchronize them. With the help of the Ministry of Digital Transformation, they could give access to those, who turn on the air alarm system physically. They also enabled the app API. As a result, everyone can clone or spread its functionality for free. Of course, there were some occasions with the app, for example, people started downloading it, while it was still in the testing stage. Also, it becomes one of the most popular applications on AppStore Ukraine in one day. Nevertheless, all of these occasions were not tragic. And the work is still in progress.

Informative Online Maps

At the moment, the developers are supporting the app and adding various features, such as sound settings, the variety of different voices to announce the end of the alert, or, for example, an interactive online map of Ukraine. The visitors can see the regions, where the air alert is announced at the moment, and how long is it activated. For example, in Luhansk oblast, the air alarm system is active for almost a month at the moment (since 25.04.2022).

The State Emergency Service of Ukraine also created its own, which shows the possibly mined areas to alert locals about potential danger. Moreover, regular citizens can inform the Emergency service about probable mines or a projectile that did not detonate.

Another great example of interactive online maps is the Useful Map made by LUN. In fact, LUN is a platform to rent or selling real estate. When the war started, they created this map as a solution for people, who wonder about the working stores, pharmacies, or groceries in their area. Because of the active shelling and hostilities, many stores are closed. People don’t know about the open ones. In order to save someone’s life, the map shows all the nearest open shops and accepts the request about adding new places from the business owners. This allows for saving time outside the shelter and staying safe.

Of course, most of these examples have nothing in common with wartime apps, whose target audience is civilians. Nevertheless, they could also be used by the Ukrainian army as well. For example, the air alarm system is regularly used by the troops in the field. But are there any additional and more specified wartime apps and software?

Identity Verification

Ukrainian IT specialists also voluntarily developed the Ty Hto? app. It is an identity verification app, that is used to check the suspicious persons and to make sure they are not russian saboteurs and spies by document checking. In fact, it uses the information from open sources and informs if the personal ID is real. Also, it can inform if it is stolen or lost. In addition, the app has an access to different databases, so it can inform if the person was in prison, or publicly supports separatism and terrorism movements. The user needs to enter passport data of the suspect. The app will automatically check the coincidences and will show the result. In fact, it is not showing the actual data to the end-user, but the percentage of “suspicion”, so the last decision is anyway after the user.

Another example of identity verification is AnimalID. It is an app, that helps to generate a QR code for your pet. This app can be used for document checking and creation of the personal ID of your pet, adding all the info about it and a contact form so the person who finds it can contact you. Usually, this QR code exists in a form of a collar.

It is a useful app, that helps to make sure that in any case, you will have an opportunity to find your caress no matter what. In modern realities of the russian-Ukrainian war, a lot of people had to leave their homes and cities they live in. This immediately creates a lot of problems for these people. It is hard to organize a group of people for a rapid and chaotic evacuation.

Should it be told about animals, that also can have stress? Moreover, they are harder to control in such chaotic situations. Not everyone can afford to find a specialized container for animal transportation and to be sure that they won’t be lost or must be left because it is too big and takes up the spare place.

As a great bonus, the developers of AnimalID claim that their main mission is to help to secure the pets and help their owners to reunite in case of losing each other.

Moreover, except for the documentation applications, that are used for document checking and generation, there is also additional software that helps to identify a person.

Face Recognition App

Ukrainian government got access to the Clearview AI. It is artificial intelligence, that is used for reconnaissance and counterintelligence purposes. It is a face recognition app, that uses open sources of information to identify the person and/or to find its social media. So, it can be used as an identity recognition tool instead of document checking.

At the moment, russia is not admitting its losses. As a matter of fact, there are more than 20 thousand loses in Ukraine at the moment and the number keeps increasing. Moreover, most russians had their phones removed, so they cannot find out the true information and communicate with their relatives.

So, the Ukrainian side uses face recognition apps in order to recognize russian troops and find their relatives to inform them about the loss. Actually, the russian-Ukrainian war is taking place not only on the battlefield. This war has a variety of other fields. For example, at the moment Ukrainian resistance is active in cultural, economical, political, and psychological areas.

The face recognition app is a powerful instrument, that can be used for virtual war as well. Such software helps to inform the russian citizens about actual losses of the russian side in order to defeat the propaganda. Also, the face recognition app helps to identify and evacuate the russian soldiers without document checking.

Communication Solutions

Communication is one of the most important aspects of our life. It is especially important during the war. It helps not only to inform the relatives and friends about the current status of an individual but also helps soldiers to cooperate and exchange information.

As a matter of fact, Ukrainian specialists have created BlendSocial - a social network, that allows cooperation and exchange of resources and help. It is used by regular citizens in order to get the needed assistance and by volunteers that are willing to provide their assistance. Also, the owners of an app do not take responsibility for the security of the users.

Nevertheless, it is extremely important not only to be sure that your messenger is safe but to know that it can work offline as well.

At the moment, Ukrainians use analogs of walkie-talkies for their phones, such as Bridgefy, Zello, Signal, etc. Some of them are using Bluetooth networks instead of the Internet because the mobile network is not available sometimes due to active air raids and battles.

Due to russian laws, the russian governmental special services can get access to all the needed information of various russian apps. It creates the situation when the programs that are involved at least somehow in the russian federation are considered as possibly spying apps.

Privacy Protection

This is why the Ukrainians have developed a SpyBuster app, that helps to find out if there are any apps, and that could have a connection to the russian federation.

As a matter of fact, this application is analyzing all the software and applications, that are installed on the device. Using the open sources and connection to the internet it finds out if russia has anything to do with the app or can have access to it. This wartime app also analyzes the data about its developers and owners and their connection with the russian federation. The SpyBuster notifies if it is dangerous to use the app or its usage sponsors russian terrorism, paying taxes. So, even nondirect connections are considered to be a treat as well.

Of course, most of the foregoing apps are still pretty raw. Nevertheless, it is not a big problem, considering the emergency that caused their creation and rapid development time as well. The developers of these wartime apps keep supporting them, adding new features and enabling additional content. The fact that such many various full-fledged applications appeared in such a limited time is impressive!

Bots, Platforms, and Websites

There are also very important products, that have been developed by various groups of enthusiasts from the Ukrainian resistance during the russian-Ukrainian war. While the foregoing apps were created by professionals supported by IT companies, the freelancers were creating smaller but still great things. For example, in the Telegram messenger app. The Ukrainian resistance has used it for creating different bots for specific purposes.

Some of them are even designed to help the government and Ukrainian army. Most of them were made as a fast solution for urgent issues because it is much easier and faster. Moreover, developing the chatbot for one of the most popular messengers in Ukraine allows increasing the audience reach. We collected the most popular among them:

  • Avenger bot - helps police officials to deal with requests about possible sabotage actions and suspicious people or things.
  • Stop russian war bot - receives information about the movements of russian troops and sends it to the military and national security officers.
  • BoycottRussia - informs the customers about the products of companies that keep doing business in russia, so people won’t support them, to stop them from making money and paying taxes to russian government and supporting the russian-Ukrainian war.
  • Russian War Crimes - website, that receives and assembles the information about war crimes that russian soldiers are committing.

Is there a future for the Ukrainian IT sphere?

Summing up, we can say that the Ukrainian resistance has proven not only their will and thirst for victory. All of the processes mentioned above are proving that there are a lot of IT specialists and companies in Ukraine, that can not only develop software almost in no time but master the already existing one in a small amount of time. In addition, it is obvious that not only regular people are united and ready to act, but the government supports all the spheres and citizens, using all possible methods. For example, the taxes for the IT industry were decreased. Moreover, thanks to the mobility of the specialists, more than 80% of workers and businesses are working in a regular format.

You can learn more details from our previous article.

The only actual issue for the Ukrainian IT industry is that possible investors are behaving restrained and are in no hurry to start new projects in Ukraine during the war. Such skepticism is understandable, nevertheless, it is important to understand that there are no such tasks, that Ukrainian specialists cannot deal with. In fact, the more projects will be started – the more successful and skilled Ukrainian programmers will be.

If you want to develop a high-quality project as well as to help Ukraine or Ukrainian IT sector as a great bonus – contact us and we will explain all the detail to you.

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