How AI Is Playing a Role in the Russian War Against Ukraine

Vladimir Putin and Russian forces have invaded Ukraine. The Russian war against Ukraine is undoubtedly a tragedy. This invasion, in particular, has united the opposition. The global community is strongly denouncing Russia and implementing widespread sanctions.

Warfare, terrible as it is, does bring about innovation. For example, WWII arguably sped up the positive innovations of penicillin, radar, and even computers.

Now, in a world increasingly reliant on the internet, warfare has become increasingly technological.

Often, people associate technological warfare with drones or cyber viruses. However, the rise of digital technology is creating a massive surge in war technology.

One of the latest innovations in technological warfare is the rise of artificial intelligence or AI. The current war between Russia and Ukraine is giving us a glimpse into the power of artificial intelligence.

What is AI?

In order to understand AI’s role in the Russian war against Ukraine, you first need to understand what AI is.

In basic terms, AI, or artificial intelligence, is the ability of computers to perform human tasks. Some basic functions of AI software include language translation, visual perception, decision making, and more.

Essentially, the goal of artificial intelligence is to create a computer with the ability to think and learn. As you might expect, the idea of creating a machine that can think and learn is one that comes with many hot-button issues and debates.

One of the cornerstone debates centering around the creation of AI is whether we should design AI to emulate humans or to think rationally. In order to operate entirely rationally, the AI would need to function without emotion.

However, as humans, we understand that emotions are an important part of the decision-making process. Furthermore, is there a way for humans to ignore their own biases and emotions when developing AI software?

Questions like these spark intense debate over the morality of utilizing artificial intelligence. Regardless, it appears that AI is here to stay, and the Russian war against Ukraine has now brought AI to the front lines.

Russian AI

It’s no secret that artificial intelligence has been prioritized by Vladimir Putin and Russia. The Russian president advocates publicly for the importance of AI in the global power struggle.

Because of the recent war against Ukraine, Russia’s use of AI is now in the public eye. Some surveys report that Russia still lags behind both the U.S. and China in their AI technology.

While they may lag behind the United States and China, AI is still playing a major part in the Russian war plan.

Currently, Russian forces are analyzing drone footage and battle data using AI technologies. It is also possible that China will lend some of its more advanced AI weaponry to the Russian army in exchange for valuable testing.

Another possibility for AI in the Russian war against Ukraine is a vital role in the information war. The recent rise in deep fake technology has some fearing that the AI software will be used to bolster propaganda and disinformation.

In an increasingly social media-dominated world, many fear that Russia will garner support for the war using misinformation and deception.

Ukrainian AI

Unfortunately for Russia, Ukraine has AI software of its own to utilize during the conflict.

Ukraine is currently utilizing Turkish-made TB2 drones in its effort to defend against Russian forces. The TB2 drones can take off, fly, and land without any human input. However, it does require a human pilot to detonate the laser-guided bomb attached. This human factor helps to ensure that all decisions resulting in human casualty are considered carefully.

AI software is also being used to analyze and assess the vast amounts of open-source data coming out of Ukraine.

Every social media post or video coming from Ukraine is analyzed and evaluated by AI systems. These systems help to identify and put a halt to disinformation and propaganda attempts. With the help of AI, the events of the Russian war against Ukraine are under global scrutiny.


The intent of this article is not to spark a debate on the ethics of artificial intelligence or warfare. However, it’s sadly evident that both are here to stay.

The Russian war against Ukraine has placed AI technology on the war front lines for both sides. Drone technology has shown a rapid advance thanks to AI, and the information war’s landscape is shifting. AI is now in use for both spreading and debunking propaganda and disinformation.

It’s clear that artificial intelligence has almost no limits in what it can do. The only question now is whether we will utilize this new technology in the right way. Hopefully, the part of AI in the Russian war against Ukraine does not become the legacy for artificial intelligence as a whole.

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