Monday, March 21, 2022

Baltic Way 2 million peace chain of independence from Russia

Fascinating article on TIME How Telegram Became the Digital Battlefield in the Russia-Ukraine War shows the need of humans to connect to others.
“It’s the last social media bridge from the Western world into the Russian world…where you can kind of see what’s going and how the battle is playing out,” says Clint Watts, a former FBI agent and fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute who focuses on foreign disinformation. “Whoever can sustain their information campaigns on Telegram has the best chance of shaping world views around what’s going on inside Ukraine.”
There is no algorithm that decides what to show users or what to restrict, and its architecture allows limitless groups. Comments are easily turned off, turning channels into a megaphone blasting information to a captive audience of millions of followers. With just one click, a built-in button can translate messages from Russian to English or other languages, turning it into a tool of mass communication.

This has turned Telegram into the heart of the propaganda battle, allowing tales of Ukrainian resistance or heroism to go viral side-by-side with Russian disinformation. Now, amid increasingly brutal attacks on Ukrainian civilians and a desperate crackdown on “false information” in Russia, both sides are racing to dominate the Telegram war.

But even without the apps on phones, they managed to connect millions of people from different countries, hand in hand. 

The Human Chain Of The Baltic Way (NPR)

Thirty years ago, 2 million people in the Baltic states made a human chain to demand independence from the Soviet Union. Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians remembered the chain Friday.

Thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong formed human chains yesterday, saying they were inspired by a similar protest against the Soviet Union exactly 30 years earlier. That human chain was called the Baltic Way. It involved some 2 million people who joined hands across Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to demand independence from the Kremlin. Here's NPR's Lucian Kim from Moscow.

LUCIAN KIM, BYLINE: August 23 is a double anniversary for the three Baltic nations, a day of mourning and a day of pride - mourning because, on that day 80 years ago, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed a treaty that put much of Eastern Europe under the Kremlin's control. But it's also a day of pride because on August 23, 1989, ordinary Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians formed a human chain and demonstrated their yearning for freedom.

read more on NPR

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