From Kyiv, to Kharkiv, to Kherson: How US-made algorithmic warfare systems make the difference on Ukraine’s battlefields

The Washington Post has met Ukrainian military officers using software provided by US tech company Palantir to create detailed digital maps of Ukrainian battlefields.

The technology takes advantage of “ubiquitous, unstoppable sensors that surround every potential battlefield,” with data coming from a variety of sources — from the most secret intelligence tools to commercial satellite imagery. For example, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provides simple thermal imaging that can register artillery explosions, even though they were originally meant to detect fires. 

Thus, the US and its allies make digital models of battlefields, allowing commanders to “penetrate the notorious fog of war.” With artificial intelligence used to analyze sensor data, some essential questions of combat find an answer:  Where is the enemy? Where are allied forces? Which weapons will be most effective? 

This highly efficient “electronic kill chain” — still little-known to the general public but which the Russian army is now well aware of — was “especially useful during the liberation of Kherson, Izium, Kharkiv and Kyiv regions,” said Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation.

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Topics: International, Military tech, News
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