Ukraine: massive cyberattack against government sites, the Kremlin reacts

Europe 1 with AFP

Ukrainian government sites were the target of a large-scale cyberattack on Friday. The facts arise in the context of tensions between Ukraine and Russia. The Kremlin rejected the accusations made by the Americans, while the European Union condemned the attack.

Several Ukrainian government sites were the target of a large-scale cyberattack on Friday, an attack not immediately claimed which occurred in the context of heightened tensions between Kiev and Moscow. Ukraine and its Western allies have repeatedly accused Moscow of carrying out computer attacks against their sites and infrastructure, which Russia denies. The sites of ministries, including that of Foreign Affairs and that of Emergency Situations, were inaccessible Friday morning.

The Kremlin on Friday dismissed “gratuitous” US accusations that Russia had “pre-positioned” agents in Ukraine to carry out a sabotage operation meant to serve as a “pretext for a Russian invasion”. “So far, all these statements have been gratuitous and not supported by any evidence,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the official TASS news agency.

The European Union steps up

The European Union condemned the cyberattack on Friday. “We have called an emergency meeting of ambassadors from the political and security committee of the EU to see how we can act and what technical assistance to provide to Ukraine,” said Josep Borrell, who is chairing an informal meeting of ministers of EU Foreign Affairs in Brest. “The attack cannot be attributed, because we have no proof, but we can imagine” who is behind, stressed Josep Borrell again. “This is exactly the kind of thing we fear, this kind of hybrid cyberattacks,” said Swedish Minister Ann Linde. “We have to see who is responsible for it and be very firm in our response,” she insisted.

No “leak of personal data” was observed in the immediate aftermath of the cyberattack against government sites in Ukraine, the Ukrainian intelligence services announced on Friday.

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