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Ukrainian engineer Artur Kiulian has been building tech startups for the past decade Now, he’s fielding desperate pleas for help from his compatriots. “No one was prepared for this,” Kiulian, who is based in the U.S., told Rest of World. “It’s surreal, it’s crazy; I still can’t believe this is happening, but we’re doing what we can.”
Kiulian is one of the founders of UkraineNow, an online platform that is matching volunteers in Ukraine and overseas with civilians in need in the country, where a Russian military onslaught has killed at least 350 civilians and displaced 350,000 others. While the Ukrainian government deals with the tanks on the street, he said, he and his colleagues are trying to create some order in a chaotic environment. “It’s totally self-organized, decentralized. It’s fighting misinformation. It’s figuring out the refugees’ help when they cross the border,” Kiulian said.
Kulian is one of many Ukrainians at home and abroad who have rallied to help coordinate humanitarian efforts, battle misinformation, protect critical systems from cyberattacks — and fight back in the cyberconflict that Russia launched in parallel with its ground assault.