A neat project highlight today from Fletcher’s Russia & Eurasia Program, a research center whose work has been very much in the news over the past year. The student-led Ukraine Digital Verification Lab has harnessed freely available social media activity and satellite imagery to produce reports on infrastructure damage, specifically documenting attacks on schools and educational facilities. Per a recent post on the Program’s blog:
In the early days of the war, a group of Fletcher students with experience in open-source intelligence saw an opportunity to use their skills to document human rights abuses and likely war crimes throughout the conflict zone. This was made possible by the enormous amounts of media posted online by people on the frontlines, whether soldiers or civilians. These photos and videos are often widely circulated over Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, VKontakte, and WhatsApp, and they provide a vital insight into the realities of the war. For us, they became crucial visual evidence that could one day be used to hold the perpetrators to account.
It’s a great example both of how students get involved in the work of research centers at Fletcher as well as how they apply their studies to real world events during their time here. I encourage interested readers to check out the full post at https://sites.tufts.edu/fletcherrussia/the-ukraine-digital-verification-lab/.