MAURO: Ukrainian cultural artifacts are at risk during the Russian invasion, but digitizing them may offer some protection

Aaron Mauro, Assistant Professor of Digital Media at Brock University, had a piece recently published in The Conversation about the use of digital resources by Ukrainian archivists, curators and librarians to preserve the nation’s history during the Russian invasion.

He writes:

“During the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the possibility of a cyberwar has been a constant threat. The consequences of a breach extend far beyond a threat to national security. They extend and threaten cultural and artistic production — galleries, libraries, archives, museums and universities must be protected.

The invasion of Ukraine has been a hybrid war fought with traditional kinetic weapons alongside cyberattacks. The prelude to the war included widespread attacks on Ukrainian organizations. While there were early reports about the underwhelming performance of Russia’s fabled cyber capabilities, the brutal reality of war does not easily match the precise planning required to stage a cyberattack.

Ukrainian archivists, curators and librarians have been protecting both material and digital archives throughout the war. Monuments, like the statue of Duke de Richelieu in Odesa, were piled high with sandbags. And an international coalition of archivists is taking on the less visible work to protect collections in institutions and libraries.

Because digitizing is a key aspect of this preservation work, it is time to consider protecting digital infrastructure alongside economic, industrial and military targets.”

Continue reading the full article on The Conversation website.

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