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These warning sirens that are no longer really scary in Ukraine | War in Ukraine

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The contrast with the beginning of the war is flagrant. In the first weeks, citizens took refuge in large numbers in bomb shelters which, very often, were parking lots, basements or subway stations.

Today, unless they are in the Donbass region besieged by Russian forces, there is a feeling of security among the Ukrainian population, even if here and there bombardments are taking place, often outside the major centers urban.

Few Ukrainians still follow the directions to the bomb shelters.

Photo: TurnedNews.com / Frédéric Arnould

In order to compensate for the lack of efficiency of the loudspeakers which broadcast the famous sirens – which, it must be said, seem to date from the Soviet era and are not very audible in certain cities –, several applications and websites have the mission of alerting citizens.

For example, the Air Alert app was built in a day by local companies Ajax Systems and St Falcon, in collaboration with Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation. It gives information on the beginning and end of air, chemical or other types of emergencies associated with the civil protection system, by providing the loudest possible alarms (the same siren sound), even when the telephone is in silent or standby mode.

Valentine Hrytsenko, head of marketing at Ajax Systems, explains that his company has created the digital interface for activating these alerts in cities and regions. Success is there: no less than 7.5 million downloads of the application for a population of 44 million people.

The alerts are also relayed on social networks by other good Samaritans who have set up emergency messaging systems. This is the case of Bernard Moerdler, a young American based in Israel who created Ukraine Siren Alerts on Twitter. Its system identifies and relays alerts in real time throughout Ukraine. Each alert can be viewed on a map with location, date and time information.

His source of inspiration? His girlfriend remained in Ukraine. I created these siren alerts for her and for strangers so they can follow what is happening with their families back home.

Bernard Moerdler designed Ukraine Siren Alerts on Twitter to help Ukrainians follow bombing-related alerts.

Photo: Courtesy: Bernard Moerdler

Bernard Moerdler is also worried about the relaxation of citizens regarding alerts.

It’s a bit the opposite of the story of the boy who cried wolf all the time. There is a risk that a genuine alert will not be taken seriously and cause havoc. »

A quote from Bernard Moerdler, creator of an alert system on Twitter

In the coming days, it will launch an application and a website that will locate the 24,000 bomb shelters spread across the territory. To encourage Ukrainians to take these alarms seriously, it will also add an important feature: A newsfeed that shows why the alert went offhe explains.

Ukraine Siren Alerts uses warnings issued by municipalities to warn Internet users of bombing threats.

Photo: Screenshot

Instead, Valentine Hrytsenko, head of marketing at Ajax Systems, believes that people want to return to normal life, especially since many of these attacks fail.

Valentine Hrytsenko, Marketing Manager at Ajax Systems

Photo: Courtesy Valentine Hrytsenko

Unless there is a quick end to the war (more than unlikely if we are to believe the situation that persists), the sirens will continue to sound in Ukraine, whether the citizens respect them or not.

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