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Ukrainian monitors Russian troops by tracking Airpods they looted from his home


He’s got his ear to the ground! Ukrainian monitors redeployment of Russian troops by tracking Apple AirPods they looted from his home

  • Vitaliy Semenets’s Apple AirPods were looted from his home near Kyiv
  • He has been using ‘Find My’ to track the retreat of Russian forces in Ukraine
  • His earphones have crossed into Belarus and are now in western Russia 

 A Ukrainian man has been tracking the redeployment of Vladimir Putin’s forces via a pair of wireless earphones stolen from him by invading troops.

Vitaliy Semenets’s Apple AirPods were looted from his home in Hostomel, near Kyiv, soon after the war began as Russia tried to take the Ukrainian capital.

He has since been using Find My – a location-tracking feature available on all Apple products – to follow the troops on their 550-mile retreat across the country.

As Russian soldiers pulled back from Kyiv this month, Mr Semenets followed his earphones on online maps as they were taken across the border into Belarus, ending up near the city of Gomel.

Last week the AirPods – which cost as much as £200 – had reached Belgorod, a city in Russia

Last week the AirPods – which cost as much as £200 – had reached Belgorod, a city in Russia where Putin is assembling troops for an assault on the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine.

Mr Semenets has been posting updates about his AirPods’ journey on his Instagram account after telling how they were looted by Russian ‘orcs’ – the fictional Lord Of The Rings monsters whose name many Ukrainians use to describe the invading troops.

Apple’s Find My app can trace missing devices via Bluetooth or if they connect to the internet.

There have been widespread reports of looting by Russian soldiers in Ukraine. 

On his Instagram, Mr Semenets wrote: ‘Thanks to technology, I know where my AirPods is now. It was looted by Russians orcs from my home in Hostomel.’

Residents returning to Novyi Bykiv, a village 60 miles from Kyiv, after a month of occupation found their homes had been raided of their personal possessions including perfume, jewellery, wine and scooters.

The local school was also looted of most of its computers, the projectors and other electronic equipment.

Earlier this month leaked CCTV showed troops sending washing machines, laptops and e-scooters back home to Russia, with a total of two tonnes of goods reportedly shipped out by 16 soldiers.

In an intercepted call by Ukrainian security services, one Russian soldier was heard being given a shopping lists by relatives who wane a laptop, trainers and clothing.

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