Is Russia’s Attack on Ukraine Cyber Attacks?

cyber attacks


The Russia-Ukraine war is an ongoing conflict that began in February 2014. On the one hand, there are Russia & Pro Russian forces, and on the other hand, there is Ukraine. This ongoing war has taken world politics, the internet & the global market by storm, and many big countries like the US, UK, and Germany are trying to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin to draw back his army from Ukrainian borders. Russia has gathered around 100,000 troops over Ukrainian borders sparking warnings about World War-3.


  • In 1991, Ukraine released itself from the Russian empire, became the Soviet Union, and started forming close ties with the West. 
  • After its independence, there was an internal conflict within the country. The country’s western side wants to integrate with the West, and the Eastern side wants Russia. 
  • The conflict began when Ukraine’s President Victor Yanukovych reached an agreement with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Moscow. There were several protests leading to Russia annexing Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and backing east Ukraine’s separatist rebellion.
  • Hereinafter, Russia attacked Donbas, and over 14,000 people lost their lives.
  • In its security demands, Russia said that it doesn’t want Ukraine to be a member state of NATO and further wants to cease all NATO drills near its borders and withdrawal of NATO troops from central and eastern Europe. It is to be noted that Ukraine’s admission to NATO would require the unanimous approval of the 30 member states. Also, Russia views Ukraine as part of its “sphere of influence,” territory rather than an independent state.

Timeline Of Events

  • Russia gathered over 100000 troops over the Ukraine border: A satellite image that was circulated in November 2021 showed 100000 Russian troops along Ukraine borders.
  • US president warns Russia: In December 2021, American President Joe Biden warns Russia.
  • Russia presents its demands to the West: Russia demands the denial of NATO membership to Ukraine & other Soviet countries. 
  • US & Russian officials meet: On 10 January 2022, the officials have a meeting in Geneva to resolve the issue, but it remains unsolved.
  • US president warned of a likely invasion: On 19 January 2022, President Joe Biden warned Vladimir Putin of grave consequences.
  • NATO put its force on standby: After the meeting in Geneva, NATO placed its troops in stand-in parts of Europe, and the US put 8500 troops on alert.
  • The US presented in response to Russia’s demands: On 26 January 2022, the US responded to Russia’s demands with a written statement stating that NATO has an open door policy.
  • Russia’s security demands are unfulfilled: Two days later, Russian President Vladimir Putin said their security demands have remained unaddressed, but they are ready for diplomatic talks. Furthermore, Ukraine’s President Zelenkskyy warned the West to avoid creating a panic that will negatively affect his country’s economy.
  • G7 nations issued a joint statement: The G7 nations issued a joint statement that Russia will face massive economic and financial consequences if it attacks Ukraine.
  • De-escalation of troops from the border: On 15 February 2022 Russian President announced they would draw back troops from Ukraine.

Cyber Attacks On Ukraine

As tensions between Russia and Ukraine continue to simmer, the websites of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, the army, as well as the interfaces of two major banks were hit by cyber-attacks on Tuesday, 15 February. Ukraine has suffered several cyber attacks on government and non-government websites since January. On 14 January, as reported by the New York Times, Ukraine’s communication intelligence service indicated that “as many as 70 central and regional authority websites were targeted. “Hackers brought down dozens of Ukrainian government websites,” posting messages that read: “Be afraid and expect the worst.” The message taunted its intended audience more specifically, “Ukrainians! All your personal data…have been deleted and are impossible to restore”. The attacks have primarily been of two kinds – defacement of government websites and DDoS attacks (Distributed Denial of Service Attacks – during which hackers flood the servers hosting a website until it becomes overloaded and shuts down). Interpreting the meaning and import of cyber operations is often a highly complex endeavor. The latest series of cyber offensives against Ukraine’s defense websites. It also banks on 15 February came amidst western media reports of a Russian invasion happening as early as 16 February. 

2014-2022: Cyber Attacks as Part of Russia’s War with Ukraine

  • The current attacks make more sense when viewed through the lens of Russia’s cyber offensives in its protracted war against Ukraine since 2014. Moscow has been accused of a string of attacks over the last eight years. It also includes brief power outages in Ukraine in 2015 and 2016.
  • According to a US Government indictment, Russian hackers from GRU Intelligence were behind the cyberattacks that took down the country’s power grids. While the attack in 2015 affected an estimated 2.25 lakh people in Ukraine. The one in 2016 knocked out one-fifth of the capital Kiev’s power supply.
  • June 2017, however, witnessed the most serious attack of its kind in the world in the form of the NotPetya malware attack. It wreaked havoc on systems in Ukraine as well as the US. It also other western countries, causing billions of dollars in financial damages.
  • Members of Russia’s Unit 74455, according to the US Department of Justice, were accused of being behind the NotPetya malware attack. The malware initially targeted Ukraine’s financial, energy, and government sectors but spread indiscriminately, causing severe financial damage.
  • Given the history of attacks, Ukraine says it is better prepared to handle such attacks, which it says are originating in Russia. Ukraine’s intelligence agency, the SBU, said on 16 February it had neutralized “more than 2,200 cyber-attacks on state authorities and critical infrastructure in Ukraine” last year.

Do Cyber Attacks Mean War?

During its 2008 invasion of Georgia, government websites were forced offline by attacks from Russia. When it seized and annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Russia was accused of launching an assortment of cyber-attacks to destabilize communications. It spread confusion while troops overran the region, including the ones in 2015, 2016, and the NotPetya attacks in 2017.

What Does Ukraine Want?

Ukraine is not a member state of NATO, but it aspires to be one. It openly said that it will apply for EU membership in 2024. Before considering NATO membership, it needs to phase out corruption and internal divisions prevalent in the region. The present Ukrainian President was elected on the promises of peace, anti-corruption, and economic renewal in the Donbas region.

In Dec last year, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg rejected Russian demands to revoke a 2008 commitment to Ukraine to become a member one day. He added that when the time came, Russia would not be able to veto Ukraine’s accession.

Also Read: Canada VISA SOP Guidelines For Student



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


40,000 subscribers already enjoy our premium stuff

Subscribe now