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Updated Oct 28, 2022, 11:48am EDT
politicsEurope

Life in Bucha under Russian occupation, animated with AI

Tanya is a Russian-born, New York-based video journalist and documentary filmmaker at Semafor. You can subscribe to Semafor’s YouTube channel .

This video is based on a verified, first-hand account of life under Russian occupation, which has been transformed into illustrations of those words created by an artist and an AI tool.

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The News

Days after Russian forces withdrew from the Kyiv region in late March 2022, the small town of Bucha made front-page headlines across the world. Harrowing images of tortured and killed civilians — some shot at point-blank range, some mutilated, and some raped — were among the first visual evidence of alleged brutal war crimes committed during the Russian occupation.

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Russian authorities denied the allegations, variously dismissing the videos as fake or accusing Ukraine of orchestrating the killings as a false flag operation.

This is the story of Tetiana Sichkar, a 20-year-old Bucha resident who remained in town until its liberation by the Ukrainian forces.

Sichkar’s account was reported with a local journalist who requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of his work. Semafor independently corroborated this story.

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Witness

Witness is a new series of firsthand stories from around the world. After we corroborate these accounts, an artist animates the words using artificial intelligence.

Do you have a firsthand account of news that could be told this way? Do you know of someone who has one - from Iran, or Myanmar, or anywhere else it may be hard to capture video? Please reach out to us here.

Joe Posner, Head of Video

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