Published 17 March 2022 | by Gary Devenay
On the 24th of February 2022, Russia initiated a large-scale military invasion of Ukraine. As the world recoiled in horror at the return of war in Europe, world leaders announced unprecedented sanctions packages, and corporations withdrew their services from Russia. As the veil of uncertainty fell over the world, we saw the quick response of citizens around the globe taking to the streets to show their solidarity and demand their governments do more in support of Ukraine and to stop the war.
In the 21 days that have followed the beginning of this invasion, Safe & the City’s i3 Intelligence platform AI models have detected over 140 #StandWithUkraine protests, processed over 100 million data points in real-time from open sources and continues to monitor the situation.
The #StandWithUkraine protests across the British Isles have been consistent daily alerts on the i3 Intelligence platform since the beginning of the invasion. This helps businesses, transport operators and citizens plan ahead to assess risks and respond if it becomes unsafe.
We observed the largest protests typically peaked in attendance over weekends. This is likely due to weekday employment and education commitments (see Figure 1 below). The notable exception was the “London Euromaidan” group which have alternated between 10 Downing Street and Trafalgar Square every day since February 23rd.
Of the 140+ protests detected, the most significant spike in the number of active protests was on Sunday, the 6th of March. The following weekend of the 12th and 13th of March saw a dramatic drop-off in the number of active protests. The reduced number of protests is likely due to some activists attending demonstrations less frequently and consolidating smaller demonstrations into larger groups, such as the “London Euromaidan” in Trafalgar Square. The trend of consolidation and decreased participation is expected to continue. Still, as evidenced in the first two weeks, this is an issue that members of the public feel strongly about. Future escalations in the conflict may reverse this trend where we could see the number of unique protests dramatically increase.
Looking deeper into the highest volume day of 50 active protests on the 6th of March, the Southern half of Great Britain showed the largest quantity, with some cities such as London and Southampton having multiple protests in different areas of the city running concurrently.
Although protests have remained almost exclusively peaceful between attendees there have been some reports of vandalism, and petty crime. Most notably was the Russian Embassy in Dublin, which was severely vandalised, including one man who was arrested after allegedly reversing a truck through the gates.
As the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine progresses into the fourth week, calls for peace continue to echo throughout the British Isles. Safe & the City’s i3 Intelligence continues to monitor the frequency, movement, escalation and trends of protests across the nations. This real-time information can supports our app users and clients to have the situational awareness to assess risks, make rapid changes and plan ways to respond. Safety solutions should never remain static. Adapting your products and services to continuously improve people’s safety to crises that affect people across the world is now a necessity.
If you are interested in learning more about i3 Intelligence and how it can work for your business, book a demo to see how easy it is to get started.
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