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A Russian Perspective on the War in Ukraine

Over the past week, The Institute reached out to members of the three IEEE sections in Russia. We asked them if they would be willing to answer questions about their views and experiences regarding the war, as citizens, engineers, and IEEE members. Here we share the responses of Roman L. Gorbunov, a member of the Siberia section. “I want you to understand that striving for peace has been cultivated in Russians since our childhoods,” Gorbunov wrote. “We do remember how awful and horrible the Second World War was and about…

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Stories of the War in Ukraine: Hanna

Over the past week, The Institute has made contact with some of the 400 members of the IEEE Ukraine Section to help them share their experiences during the war. This personal account, entitled “Real War,” was written by Hanna Porieva, an associate professor of electrical engineering at the National Technical University of Ukraine “Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute” and IEEE volunteer, who was forced to flee Kyiv with her family. “I believe in our victory,” Porieva told The Institute, “therefore I am not afraid to publish my name and photo.…

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Stories of the War in Ukraine: Volodymyr

Over the past week, The Institute has made contact with some of the 400 members of the IEEE Ukraine Section to help them share their experiences during the war. This personal account was written by Volodymyr Pyliavskyi, a senior researcher at the Odessa National Telecommunications Academy in Odessa, Ukraine. “For so long I was planning to take part in IEEE conferences but due to what is happening I can’t,” Pyliavskyi told The Institute. “I am forced to to hide in the basement with my wife, who is 9 months pregnant.…

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Russia’s Killer Drone in Ukraine Raises Fears About AI in Warfare

But drones have also highlighted a key vulnerability in Russia’s invasion, which is now entering its third week. Ukrainian forces have used a remotely operated Turkish-made drone called the TB2 to great effect against Russian forces, shooting guided missiles at Russian missile launchers and vehicles. The paraglider-sized drone, which relies on a small crew on the ground, is slow and cannot defend itself, but it has proven effective against a surprisingly weak Russian air campaign. This week, the Biden administration also said it would supply Ukraine with a small US-made…

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How Russia Sent Ukraine Racing Into the “Energy Eurozone”

Similar mismatches in supply and demand contributed to massive cascading blackouts in August 2003 in the northeastern United States and Canada, in July 2012 in India, and in March 2019 in Venezuela. The situation is unlikely to get better anytime soon, for three reasons. First, as countries everywhere move to decarbonize, the electrification of transportation, heating, and other sectors will cause electricity demand to soar. Second, conventional coal and nuclear plants are being retired for economic and policy reasons, removing stable sources from the grid. And third, while wind and…

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The Enduring Danger of Russia’s Cluster Bombs in Ukraine

A graphic designer and illustrator now in his twenties, Worley was one of the lucky children to escape a bleak cluster bomb fate. And while the bombings occurred long before Worley’s birth, he talks about their present-day consequences without concern or a sense of abnormality, as if dealing with the effects of that dark history is a natural and even daily fact of Maltese life. Stories like Worley’s are woefully common. One popular podcast, My Favorite Murder, even recently aired an episode where the hosts read a letter from an…

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Airbnb Cracked Down on Ukraine Listings. Some Donors Wish It Hadn’t

Two weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine, Gregory Offner was looking for ways to help from his home in Philadelphia. He scrolled through Twitter and saw people posting receipts of Airbnbs they had booked in Ukraine, to get money directly into Ukrainian bank accounts. Offner was inspired. He chose an apartment in Kharkiv, a city in the northeast that has been hit particularly hard, and booked four nights, for a total of $214. He left a note explaining that he wouldn’t actually be coming to stay—this was humanitarian aid. The host…

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How Russia’s war against Ukraine could make the chip shortage worse

Neon, a colorless and odorless gas, is typically not as exciting as it sounds, but this unassuming element happens to play a critical role in making the tech we use every day. For years, this neon has also mostly come from Ukraine, where just two companies purify enough to produce devices for much of the world, usually with little issue. At least, they did until Russia invaded. Faced with the devastating reality of war, Ukraine’s neon industry halted production. One of Ukraine’s two primary neon companies, Ingas, is based in…

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How Russia’s war against Ukraine could make the chip shortage worse

Neon, a colorless and odorless gas, is typically not as exciting as it sounds, but this unassuming element happens to play a critical role in making the tech we use every day. For years, this neon has also mostly come from Ukraine, where just two companies purify enough to produce devices for much of the world, usually with little issue. At least, they did until Russia invaded. Faced with the devastating reality of war, Ukraine’s neon industry halted production. One of Ukraine’s two primary neon companies, Ingas, is based in…

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