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DOCUDAYS 2022

Docudays UA launches the Ukraine War Archive

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- Now, anybody can upload their video or audio documents about Russian aggression and everyday life in Ukraine during the war

Docudays UA launches the Ukraine War Archive

The team behind the Docudays Film Festival is launching a website for the Ukraine War Archive initiative. It will help visitors upload materials in a more convenient way and share information about the war. Access to the archive itself will be available later, upon request.

In mid-March, NGO Docudays launched the Encyclopaedia of War project. Since then, the Docudays UA team has received more than 19 hours’ worth of video evidence and found partners among human rights organisations that collect videos and file lawsuits against Russian war criminals. The Docudays initiative has changed its scope, adopted a new title – Ukraine War Archive – and continues to collect evidence.

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They are looking for video and audio materials that document:

  • everyday life during the war;
  • the civilian population resisting the aggressors;
  • evacuation and stays in bomb shelters;
  • destruction, violence and other crimes committed by the Russian army on the territory of Ukraine;
  • any other material filmed during the war that may be important.

Anybody can upload footage taken by them or by other people. NGO Docudays guarantees that all of the authors who submit their footage to the Ukraine War Archive will remain anonymous.

NGO Docudays has a network of regional partners and film-club managers all over Ukraine who can collect and provide evidence, even from those cities that are currently under temporary occupation. In documenting the crimes, they are working together with the CO Charity and Health Fund, the VGORU Media Platform and the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union. “In order to piece together as comprehensive and as accurate a picture as possible and to collect evidence of war crimes, we need to consolidate and work together. The War Archive aims to combine the efforts of those who work on the side of truth, justice and the protection of Ukraine’s interests,” says Maria Buchelnikova, project coordinator for the Ukraine War Archive.

The Ukraine War Archive is a vast database. Maksym Demydenko, head of Data Collection and Research for the project, explains: “When you upload a video, the system automatically makes its own backup copy and converts the file into a convenient format for viewing. Our tagging team watches the video and adds keywords and specially developed tags which allow us to categorise the wartime events and record war crimes. This is important, in particular, in order to let human rights advocates use the archive. Now we are working on additional tools for the platform, such as automatic transcription, news and message aggregation, and so on.”

“Since the beginning of the full-scale war, the world has witnessed thousands of video and audio recordings of what is happening in different parts of Ukraine. Every shot, every voice message is part of a new story that we are creating together. In order for these materials to be used against the aggressor in criminal courts, and for journalistic investigations, and scientific and artistic works, they must be professionally collected and stored,” it is stated on the website of the Ukraine War Archive.

Another important part of the archive will be interviews with witnesses of war crimes and other events. The methodology for these interviews was developed in cooperation with human rights defenders, psychologists and lawyers, so they will also be useable as evidence in court.

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