Ukrainians’ Google Searches Reveal a Year of Fear and Hope

Digital traces including social posts and search queries like “How many tank squadrons?” capture a population’s struggle to survive war.

Residents of Irpin, Ukraine, flee Russian forces entering the city on March 07, 2022.PHOTOGRAPH: CHRIS MCGRATH/GETTY IMAGES

PEOPLE TYPE THEIR most private fears and immediate needs into Google’s search box. For Ukrainians battered by more than a year of war, what they dread and desire at least as indicated by their searches has not changed much since the conflict began.