IoT Tech Expo: How the IoT is aiding Ukraine in a time of war

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Oleg Polovynko, CIO of Kyiv City Council, addressed IoT Tech Expo Europe attendees in a humbling session titled “Maintaining Connectivity in a Time of War”.

During his session, Polovynko provided valuable insights into how the Ukrainian capital has leveraged digital solutions to cope with Russia’s full-scale invasion of the country.

Polovynko underscored the crucial role of digital applications, particularly the Kyiv Digital application launched in 2021. The application has garnered an impressive user base of two and a half million users and has become a vital channel for communication with citizens.

The CIO emphasised that during the initial weeks of the conflict, Kyiv experienced a staggering influx of over two and a half million people seeking refuge in the city. Managing this sudden population surge and addressing the challenges that followed became a top priority.

The war also disrupted critical infrastructure, including telecom base stations, but Kyiv’s use of technologies like LoRaWAN networks and optical channels helped maintain some degree of vital connectivity:

One of the central themes of Polovynko’s presentation was the significance of IoT projects in the city’s response to the conflict. These projects spanned various domains, from public security and transportation to air quality monitoring and education.

The city has successfully deployed over 8,000 cameras for video analytics, enhancing both security and transportation management. Kyiv is even using the technology for access control to the roofs and basements of government facilities.

IoT networks have also been crucial in monitoring radiation levels, given the proximity of Europe’s largest nuclear power station and Russia’s irresponsible shelling and concerning activities in such areas:

The challenges faced by Kyiv extend to mobility and transportation, with traffic management becoming increasingly complex during the conflict. Polovynko expressed a need for innovative solutions, especially for traffic lights control, to ensure smoother coordination of emergency services.

Beyond attempting to provide some normality to children by continuing their education during the wider conflict, schools are being transformed into crucial hubs for assistance and support during mass blackouts. Since February last year, large and ongoing missile attacks have led to over 1,010 hours of blackouts:

Managing the evolving challenges in bomb shelters, such as air quality and climate control, remains a priority. The Kyiv Digital app allows citizens to report problems with the shelters.

While it’s impressive with Kyiv City Council has put together to support its citizens in a time of crisis, Polovynko acknowledges it can do more.

Polovynko concluded his session by highlighting the need for a digital twin solution to improve infrastructure management and decision-making. He emphasised that real-time data collection and analysis are essential in ensuring the city’s resilience.

In closing, Kyiv City Council’s CIO expressed the city’s openness to partnerships and collaboration—welcoming ideas and proposals to enhance their IoT initiatives.

See also: The Things Industries partners with Echostar on hybrid satellite and LoRa solutions

Want to learn about the IoT from industry leaders? Check out IoT Tech Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. The comprehensive event is co-located with Digital Transformation Week.

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