Digital Diplomacy and the War in Ukraine


On Tuesday, March 15, the Oxford Digital Diplomacy Research Group, and the Department of Communications at Ben Gurion University of the Negev held a special panel discussion on how digital diplomacy is shaping the Russia-Ukraine War.

The horrid War in Ukraine has been accompanied by intense use of digital technologies. Ukraine’s besieged President has used Twitter to communicate with world leaders while employing Zoom to address global rallies. Through social media, Ukraine has created the world’s first “It Army” while Ukrainian ministers openly communicate with Tech CEOs and demand that Big Tech sanction Russia. At the same time, Russia has used digital technologies to spread disinformation and propaganda, while relying heavily on TikTok influencers. NATO’s digital activities have focused on debunking Russian allegations, while increasing the Alliance’s perceived readiness for combat.

This online panel discussed how digital technologies are shaping the Ukraine War. The panel examined the use of innovative technologies in the War as well as innovative usage of existing technologies. Moreover, the panel discussed the innovative use of digital technologies by the Ukrainian government, while also identifying the digital tactics employed by Russia. Among other, participants discussed

– Ukraine’s use of social media to challenge the policies of Big Tech companies

– Russian disinformation goals

– Ukraine’s strategic communications

– NATO’s digital response to the War

– How Wars play out on TikTok

– Gender and digital warfare

Panelists included: Prof. Corneliu Bjola, Dr. Jennifer Cassidy, Dr. Katherine Wright, Dr. Ilan Manor, Matthias Lüfkens, Elena Karacharova and Ukraine’s Ambassador to China.

View the recording of this panel discussion at the link below