Ukrainians use ‘Find My’ to track Russian troops who stole devices


Find My AirPods can also track Russian troops.
Find My AirPods can also track Russian troops.
Photo: Franak Viačorka

Ukrainians have turned to Apple’s Find My device-tracking technology to follow Russian troop movements. After Russian soldiers stole Apple gear during the invasion, the devices’ Ukrainian owners can see and report on where the troops toting the gadgets are going in real time, including a recent retreat into Belarus.

Ukrainians use Find My to track Russian troops

Amid the carnage of an invasion, in addition to the horrific damage, displacement and loss of life, troops often take the spoils of war. Such thefts include coveted Apple products, of course.

And that’s what so easily lets Ukrainians see where their Apple devices are going. And because the device is usually on the person of the soldier who took it, Ukrainians can see where Russian troops are going, too.

“Ukrainians are locating their devices on the territory of the Homiel region, Belarus, where part of the Russian army retreated,” read a tweet from Franak Viačorka, senior adviser to Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, democratic opposition leader in Belarus.

And that tweet’s replies showed how impressed people are with the tech-savvy use of the functionality in wartime.

“This reminds me of when people were discovering secret overseas military bases by watching the public data of people’s fitbits. You could usually tell where the fence lines and gate posts were too just from the track data,” one person wrote.

Another commenter called the ubiquity of tracking technology and social media reporting amid the chaotic conflict “a trip.”

And, hitting the nail on the head, another tweet put it plainly:

“When Russians steal your trackable devices, you can find those Russians by tracking those devices! Putin’s incompetence is our ally against his evil.”

Here’s more from Cult of Mac about the war in Ukraine, including how you can help:


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