social media

Ukrainian Man Weaponizing Social Media to Fight Off Russian Invasion

The 46-year-old father of a 1-month-old says he doesn't have a military background, but he can fight by spreading information

NBC Universal, Inc.

Alex Dayrabekov is a man on a mission. He's a freedom fighter who's selected social media as his weapon of choice.

“I can't fight with weapons because I don't have military experience. But I can fight and spread information,” Dayrabekov said.

NBC 7's Mark Mullen spoke to a social media expert about social media tactics used by both sides of the war.

He said he's been chronicling what’s happening on the ground since the Russian invasion started.

One video recorded in his town of Irpin, where a U.S. Journalist was recently killed, is interrupted by shelling.

"I'm here at my residential complex. Where I live. Lived happily --You hear that? You hear that? Are you afraid? People are not afraid anymore," he tells the camera.

Dayrabekov's tough talk wasn't enough to save his high-rise home. Pictures he shared with NBC 7 show it was damaged by some type of shelling.

"Our home is now on the frontline of the war. So we don't, we basically don't have a home anymore,” Dayrabekov said via Zoom.

Two weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine, Dayrabekov welcomed his third child. Last week he posted a video of him and his wife celebrating his son's one-month birthday.

Now they’re part of the 2.5 million and growing Ukrainians forced to leave their lives behind, seeking safety. They’ve moved nearly 150 miles to the unoccupied area of Cherkasky, but families there are still on edge.

“We feel at any moment everything around us can be destroyed,” Dayrabekov said in a video. “That’s not the worst. We can be destroyed. We can die. We can’t fight against the bombing, air missiles can hit us at any moment."

For those who have taken to underground shelters, some people who can’t fight with a gun are volunteering and supplying basic items like blankets.

Dayrabekov is among them, camera in hand, as part of the resistance to make a better Ukraine for his son.

"I will later tell him about it, show the photos and videos and I will tell him your dad actually, while you were little, participated in it. Your dad didn't sit and just read the news and would go, like, 'Sorry I lost my home,'" Dayrabekov said.

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