Look for Your Own

Internet project by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine
Look for Your Own
Available inRussian
Country of originUkraine
OwnerMinistry of Internal Affairs (Ukraine)
URLhttps://200rf.com/, https://t.me/rf200_nooow
LaunchedFebruary 2022

Look for Your Own (Russian: Ищи своих, Ishchi Svoikh) is an Internet project created on the initiative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine to identify captured or killed soldiers of the Russian army during the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.[1]

Project

According to the creators, the project is designed to allow Russian citizens to find their relatives who were sent to the war in Ukraine by the Russian government and learn about their fate.[2] The project was incentivized by the fact that Russia's Ministry of Defense has given no details of any military losses at first[3] and has omitted the actual number of dead and captured Russian soldiers on the territory of Ukraine later. Russia has also been ignoring Ukraine's requests for a mission to transfer the corpses to Russia.[4][5] It is also believed that the site aims to undermine the morale and support for the war in Russia.[6][5]

The name of the site references the military code Cargo-200 that was used by the Soviet military for corpses being flown back from the war in Afghanistan in the 1980s.[3] The term can also be read as a reference to the horror film under the same title.[7]

"Look for Your Own" is posted on the official website, as well as in the Telegram channel. As of 3 March, the channel had 700,000 subscribers, 90 percent of them from Russia.[8]

History

On 24 February 2022, the Russian Federation carried out a full-scale invasion of Ukraine as part of the Russian-Ukrainian war. As of 13 March, more than 12,000 Russian servicemen were reported by the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to have been killed,[9] and more than 700 to be held captive.[10]

On 27 February, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine announced the creation of a special Internet project aimed at helping relatives and friends of the dead or prisoners to find or identify them.[1][11] The project coordinator is Viktor Andrusiv, an advisor to the Minister of the Interior.[8] The site publishes videos, photos, and documents of prisoners and killed. The authenticity of at least two videos was confirmed by Radio Svoboda journalists.[12] As well, Ukraine has opened a hotline for families of Russian soldiers who were likely captured as POWs, under the title Come back alive from Ukraine![4] Vadym Denysenko, advisor to Ukraine's Minister of Internal Affairs, assured that Ukraine treats prisoners humanely and the Interior Ministry is ready to provide a paid service for Russian citizens for DNA identification of the bodies.[4][13]

At the request of Roskomnadzor, the "Look for Your Own" website was blocked in Russia,[14][5] and a request was sent to the Telegram service to remove the channel.[15]

People's Deputy Yevhenia Kravchuk stated that for the first day of work the service received more than 2,000 appeals.[16] As of 2 March, relatives identified 60 captured soldiers.[17]

The Washington Post described the project as "a gruesome tactic in hopes of stoking anti-government rage inside Russia". It said the project could be interpreted as violating the provisions of the Geneva Conventions which state that governments must "protect prisoners of war from insults and public curiosity".[13] In an article published by the Wilson Center, the project's manager, Viktor Andrusiv, responded that the project was performing an "exclusively humanitarian function".[8]

The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation does not comment on the data published by the Internet project,[18] but any Access to the site is blocked in Russia based on a decision of the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation.[19]

In culture

A dead soldier painted in watercolor, seen from above
Watercolor based on photo from the Look for Your Own channel, by Chana Anushik Manhaimer

On 2 May 2022, visual arts magazine Tohu published an article by artist Chana Anushik Manhaimer called "Ищи Своих / Look for Your Own". In this visual essay, the artist exhibited numerous watercolor paintings based on hard-to-watch images from the "Look for Your Own" channel, accompanied by a text.[20] It was published in English, Arabic and Hebrew.[21][22]

See also

  • Volodymyr Zolkin
  • I Want to Live (hotline)

References

  1. ^ a b Balachuk, Iryna (2022-02-27). "Website 200rf.com launched for Russians to find family members captured in killed in action during the invasion of Ukraine". Ukrayinska Pravda. Archived from the original on 2022-03-09. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  2. ^ Bergengruen, Vera (2022-03-01). "Ukrainian Officials Are Appealing Directly to Russian Soldiers and Their Families as Casualties Mount". Time. Archived from the original on 2022-03-01. Retrieved 2022-07-08.
  3. ^ a b AFP (2022-02-27). "Ukraine Launches Website for Russians to Find Killed Soldiers". The Moscow Times. Archived from the original on 2022-03-13. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  4. ^ a b c Chraibi, Christine (2022-02-27). "Ukraine launches hotline, site for families of Russian killed & captured soldiers". Euromaidan Press. Archived from the original on 2022-03-11. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  5. ^ a b c Schreck, Carl (2022-02-27). "'Mama, I Didn't Want To Come': Ukraine Asks Russians To ID Their Killed, Captured Relatives". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Archived from the original on 2022-02-28. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  6. ^ "Ukraine-Russia conflict: All you need to know about 200rf.com — the website for Russians to find fallen soldiers". Firstpost. 2022-02-28. Archived from the original on 2022-03-09. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  7. ^ Ruiz, Michael (2022-03-02). "Ukrainian professor and tech CEO now battling Russian cyberattacks from fallout shelter". Fox News. Archived from the original on 2022-03-10. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  8. ^ a b c Andrusiv, Viktor (2022-03-07). "The "Look for Your Own" Project: A Response to the Washington Post | Wilson Center". www.wilsoncenter.org. Archived from the original on 2022-03-07. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  9. ^ "Генштаб повідомив приблизні втрати російських військ на ранок 13 березня". Радіо Свобода (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 2022-03-13. Retrieved 2022-03-13.
  10. ^ "У полоні вже перебуває до 700 російських солдатів". Українська правда (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 2022-03-13. Retrieved 2022-03-13.
  11. ^ "Минобороны России впервые отчиталось о потерях на Украине: погибли 498 военных". BBC News Русская служба (in Russian). 2022-03-02. Archived from the original on 2022-03-07. Retrieved 2022-03-13.
  12. ^ ""Я его сразу узнала". Вместо дембеля – на войну". Север.Реалии (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2022-03-08. Retrieved 2022-03-13.
  13. ^ a b Harwell, Drew (2022-03-03). "The gory online campaign Ukraine hopes will sow anti-Putin dissent probably violates the Geneva Conventions". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2022-03-06. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  14. ^ "Роскомнадзор потребовал от Telegram удалить боты о российских военных". Радио Свобода (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2022-03-08. Retrieved 2022-03-13.
  15. ^ "Росія вимагає від Telegram видалити ботів для пошуку загиблих та полонених солдатів РФ". Українська правда (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 2022-03-08. Retrieved 2022-03-13.
  16. ^ "Более две тысячи обращений. Россияне ищут родных военных через украинский портал "Ищи своих"". РБК-Украина (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2022-03-13. Retrieved 2022-03-13.
  17. ^ "Росіяни вже впізнали 60 своїх близьких серед полонених військових через сервіс "Ищи своих" – Андрусів". gordonua.com. Archived from the original on 2022-03-14. Retrieved 2022-03-13.
  18. ^ "«Ищи своих»: Украина стала единственным защитником прав российских солдат". Новости Израиля (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2022-03-14. Retrieved 2022-03-13.
  19. ^ Info banner on the site
  20. ^ Manhaimer, Chana Anushik (2022-05-02). "Ищи Своих / Look for Your Own". Tohu Magazine. Archived from the original on 2022-07-08. Retrieved 2022-07-08.
  21. ^ מנהיימר, חנה אנושיק (2022-04-27). "Ищи Своих / Look for Your Own". Tohu Magazine (in Hebrew). Archived from the original on 2022-07-08. Retrieved 2022-07-08.
  22. ^ مانهايمر, حانا أنوشيك (2022-05-24). "Ищи Своих / Look for Your Own". Tohu Magazine (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 2022-07-08. Retrieved 2022-07-08.

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