How Old and New Tech has Shaped the War in Ukraine
The N(uclear)ew Cause for Concern
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sparked concern worldwide. It has put the rest of the world’s countries in very complicated positions. The US has chosen to publicly condemn the actions of Russia, and has also been attempting to assist the citizens of Ukraine in ways that are not seen as a direct move against Russia.
Zaporizhzhia, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, remains under Russian control. The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine reported that, as of March 27, workers had completed repairs on a transformer damaged in a March 3 firefight. So far, the first war to take place in a country with active nuclear power plants has not led to a nuclear accident or disaster.
Old Dogs with New Tricks
The New Kind of Use for Drones
Drones can also impact popular perceptions of conflict by recording video of combat and sharing it with the public. Videos from Bakraytar drone strikes formed a narrative hook for tales about Ukraine’s war prowess in the weeks leading up to the announcement that Ukraine would launch a counteroffensive. The Bakraytar had already been immortalized in song by the time Russia’s Ministry of Defense released its own drone movies to establish a counter-narrative
Videos of bombs hitting tanks become the subject of Ministry of Defense tweets, while bombs that miss and go undetonated become forerunners of future, less-publicized catastrophes. During and after the battle, unexploded bombs, artillery shells, and landmines pose a long-term threat to human life. Crews clearing fields and cities in Ukraine of the lethal wreckage of the Russian invasion may come across World War II bombs still buried. Many of those explosives may have to wait until there is a ceasefire before they can be removed. We might witness the Uran-6 demining robots when it arrives, providing Russia still maintains land.
Considerations for the Future of this Conflict
However, any peace talks will almost certainly take place with Russian forces still in Ukraine, as Zelenskyy admitted to Russian journalists on March 29, “I recognize it’s impossible to push Russia totally out of Ukrainian land.” It would inevitably result in a third world war. I understand, and that is why I am attempting to reach an agreement.”
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