From Ukrainians to Ukrainians. 5 digital tools and products created to help in wartime
It is impossible to be fully prepared for all possible scenarios and all the challenges that the war brings. Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion, many new needs appeared in the daily routine of Ukrainians. From restoring lost documents to reporting war crimes and getting quick first aid recommendations.
Better tools for those requirements were needed, and Ukrainians made them. Because even in times of war, Ukrainians learn, create and become better at fighting the enemy and ensuring our own and public safety.
Here are the most valuable digital solutions created by Ukrainians for the challenges that war has brought.
Diia is an ambitious project by the Ministry of Digital Transformation launched in 2020. It provides a new level of interaction between the state and citizens. Diia combines a mobile application with access to digital documents and a single portal of public services for the population and business. The main goal is to make 100% of public services available online. This product has already helped eliminate bureaucracy, corruption and speeds up procedures in many areas. In 2021 Ukraine became the first country with a valid digital ID that can be used everywhere within the country.
Since February 24, Diia has continued to add new services in response to wartime requirements. In particular, about two weeks after the invasion began, on March 11, eDocument appeared in the application. It is a temporary digital document for the period of martial law, which helps to have an identity card for those who have lost access to the physical version of the passport.
Later, it became possible to register the fact of property damage from war to get compensation from the state. In April, Diia added the opportunity to receive one-time payments for entrepreneurs from the regions most affected by Russia’s invasion. Ukrainians could also apply for the status of internally displaced persons and financial aid online.
New features continue appearing even now, responding to the war needs. For example, the opportunity for people from temporarily occupied territories and regions with active hostilities to apply for unemployment status and receive monthly benefits. And the project eWork for grants from the state for business development.
Air Raid Alert
The air raid notification system is critically important in wartime. It is crucial that in times of constant shelling, everyone can be aware of the danger of a strike, regardless of location and time of day.
To solve this problem, development company Stfalcon teamed up with Ajax Systems and, with the support of the Ministry of Digital Transformation, created the “Air Raid Alarm” application. The whole development cycle from the idea to the release took three days. And people could already download it on March 1.
The app informs about the beginning and the end of missile, artillery, chemical, radiation emergencies, and about street fights. It turns on the loudest possible alarms, even in the silent or sleep mode of the smartphone.
Different alerts were created for different types of danger. In addition to sound signals, the application also sends text messages with recommendations on how to act, depending on the threat. Operators in regional administrations of Ukraine transmit information about all types of hazards, and emergency services coordinate the alarms.
On the second day, the application was in first place in the Ukrainian App Store news segment and entered the top applications in the Google Play Store. During the first week, it was downloaded by over 2 million users.
On March 10, the Ministry of Digital Transformation launched the eEnemy Telegram chatbot. It allows users to send geolocation, photos, and videos of enemy equipment with the opportunity to describe what they saw in text.
In April, the bot also had the feature to report on the occupiers involved in the genocide in Bucha, Irpin and Hostomel. With the opportunity to send photos or videos of war criminals and provide their data. And in August, the function of reporting the location of explosive objects was added to the bot. Thus, the citizens of Ukraine were able to help the sappers in the disposal of mines, projectiles, and bombs left by the invaders.
The main advantage of this bot is mandatory authorization through Diia, so saboteurs cannot spam with fake photos or videos. All data about the enemy are transferred to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
On September 23, Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov announced that 368k Ukrainians had already used the eEnemy chatbot.
On May 5, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the launch of the United 24 global initiative to raise funds to support Ukraine. Its first part was a fundraising platform, where you can donate funds to three areas of assistance (defense and demining, humanitarian and medical aid, and reconstruction of Ukraine) with one click.
All funds are automatically transferred to National Bank of Ukraine accounts assigned to the relevant departments: the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Infrastructure. The NBU reports on the income of charitable contributions every 24 hours, and relevant ministries report on the allocation of grants once a week.
In 4 months, the fundraising platform UNITED24 collected more than 180 million dollars to help Ukraine. And its ambassadors are well-known Ukrainian and foreign influencers who promote this initiative to their audience. Among them – football player and manager Andrii Shevchenko, tennis player Elina Svitolina, music band Imagine Dragons, actor Liev Schreiber, Balenciaga fashion director Demna Gvasalia, singer and actress Barbra Streisand, and actor Mark Hamill.
On March 29, the TacticMedAid volunteer project launched a mobile educational application that contains basic recommendations for providing first aid. The application works offline, so anyone who needs first aid recommendations can use it regardless of their location.
TacticMedAid has two sections: civilian and military. The civilian part is mainly aimed at stopping the bleeding because blood loss is considered the most common and most dangerous cause of death during the war. The feature for the military includes explanations of the algorithms for various common types of injuries and wounds in combat actions.
More than 20 qualified specialists from different countries, companies, and industries are working on the project. They united in teaching Ukrainians the basics of tactical medicine in a fast, high-quality, and easy-to-understand way.
At the same time, online tools can provide only primary information on the subject. Many offline initiatives were also launched in Ukraine to help people obtain practical first aid skills.