Technology has always been integral to warfare, especially guerrilla warfare. However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has seen modern tech play a much different role than expected. While 3D scanning and satellite Internet have already helped the country out, no one expected a single pair of AirPods to make a difference.
Did Ukraine use AirPods to track Russians?
Russian troops have been tracked across the country of Ukraine using a single pair of AirPods. After a pair of the Apple-made wireless earphones were stolen by a Russian soldier near Kyiv, Ukrainians became aware of the troop’s movements.
Ukrainian man Vitaliy Semenets discovered that he could use Apple’s Find My feature to monitor the movement of the AirPods. After the earphones were taken, Semenets tracked the troops as they crossed the border to Gomel.
Afterwards, the Ukranian man noticed the AirPods arrive in Belgorod. This is currently where Russian forces are amassing to prepare for a large scale assault on the Donbas in South-East Ukraine. If the earphones stay active, Semenets will even be able to track the Russian offensive on the Donbas.
While the Ukranian is unlikely to retrieve his wireless earphones, he has taken pride in his ability to track the soldier that took them. For as long as the earphones are connected to the Internet or an iPhone, they will be visible on Find My.
“Thanks to technology, I know where my AirPods is now,” Semenets said on Instagram, tagging Apple. “It was looted by Russians orcs from my home in Hostomel.”
The post has amassed almost 30,000 likes with commenters telling Apple to give Semenets replacement AirPods.
Russia isn't backing down
Despite massive worldwide sanctions, Russia isn't backing down on the invasion of Ukraine. At the time of writing, the majority of the western world is against Russia’s offensive. With massive hacker groups taking down Russia state websites, even some Russians are against the country's warfare.
Russia's actions are also having widespread consequences elsewhere. With the country bypassing sanctions by using cryptocurrency, the United States has made moves to regulate the digital currency to stop Russia from using it. This comes alongside the move to seize assets from Russian oligarchs that reside in the US.