Tech battles to show its worth in Ukraine war crimes probes
by geemong

Russia's war in Ukraine is still being counted in days, but images of atrocities already number in the hundreds of thousands.

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The conflict is the first to throw up such rich evidence in real time, but the sheer volume of material poses a huge challenge for those trying to use it as evidence of war crimes.

"The amount of material that we see, we really haven't seen before," said Hadi al Khatib, whose organisation Mnemonic has gathered about 400,000 pieces of material since February.

Wendy Betts, whose eyeWitness to Atrocities group has a bespoke app to allow non-governmental organisations to gather evidence, is equally deluged.

"The last time I looked, we had roughly as much in the last six weeks as we normally would get globally in six months," she told AFP.

International experts are part of a plan unveiled by Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for a "special mechanism" to probe thousands of allegations of war crimes.

Betts has already handed some footage to Ukrainian prosecutors and Khatib has had to partner with other groups to process his material.

But for all the benefits of technology, this kind of footage has so far been prominent in only a handful of court cases.

Ukraine could well be the coming-of-age for technology-led evidence gathering.

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