Ukraine wants the world to see the true cost of Russia’s brutal invasion. And for that, there is a digital tool that is perfect.
Kiev city The administration has set up virtual tours of the war zone, allowing users to roam war-ravaged streets and shelled buildings.
On Kiev’s city Tourist portal visitors can see everything from destroyed buildings on the outskirts of the city to shelled houses in the city of Bucha, where hundreds of Ukrainian civilians were murdered when Russian forces retreated in the spring.
The aim of the initiative is to “preserve the cultural and tourist heritage [Kyiv]’ said Kiev’s Deputy Mayor Petro Olenych, who is also in charge of the city’s digital transformation.
“During the war, the need for such technology became even more acute, since it made it possible to record the destruction caused by Russian aggression. From the first day of the war, we started collecting interactive content in our tourist and cultural center,” he said.
Nine locations in different districts of Kiev can be visited. According to the deputy mayor, the hub was visited by more than 100,000 users in 30 different countries.
The project is part of a broader push to repurpose everyday technology for a city facing an ongoing struggle despite Russia’s renewed focus on seizing Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region. Kyiv Digital, a smartphone app that people used to pay their utility bills and buy subway tickets, was reinvented to notify people of upcoming air raid alerts and provide Wi-Fi in bomb shelters.
Other digital initiatives across Ukraine, like the Virtual War Memory Museum, are also sharing images of the “horrible reality” of war in cities like Irpin.