Wave header image graphic banner
Public Radio For Eastern North Carolina 89.3 WTEB New Bern 88.5 WZNB New Bern 91.5 WBJD Atlantic Beach 90.3 WKNS Kinston 88.1 W201AO Greenville 88.5 WHYC Swan Quarter
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

How open source intelligence is shaping the Russia-Ukraine war

Road service workers clean debris around a burnt Russian tank and vehicle on a road west of Kyiv, on April 7, 2022, during Russia's military invasion launched on Ukraine. Six weeks after Russia invaded its neighbor, its troops have withdrawn from Kyiv and Ukraine's north and are focusing on the country's southeast, where desperate attempts are under way to evacuate civilians. (Genya Savilov/AFP via Getty Images)
Road service workers clean debris around a burnt Russian tank and vehicle on a road west of Kyiv, on April 7, 2022, during Russia's military invasion launched on Ukraine. Six weeks after Russia invaded its neighbor, its troops have withdrawn from Kyiv and Ukraine's north and are focusing on the country's southeast, where desperate attempts are under way to evacuate civilians. (Genya Savilov/AFP via Getty Images)

“Let me tell you  50% of our troops suffer from leg frostbites,” a Russian soldier says in a phone call. “We arrived here, and it was freezing. We were supposed to have four tents, but we only have one. … We dug up some trenches, and that’s where we live.”

That call was intercepted and made public by Ukraine’s security service. Private digital sleuths are intercepting calls, texts, and radio communications too — and allowing the world to hear a war unfold in real time. Is it voyeurism? Propaganda? Or urgent transparency about the truth and horror of war?

Today, On Point: Listening in on war.

Guests

John Scott-Railton, senior researcher at Citizen Lab. (@jsrailton)

Andrei Soldatov, senior fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis. (@AndreiSoldatov)

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.