‘Fear’: Ukraine suffers cyber attack as Russia moves more troops

In this illustration taken on January 14, 2022, the laptop screen shows a warning message in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish languages ​​that appeared on the official website of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs after the massive cyber attack. REUTERS / Valentyn Ogirenko / Illustration

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  • Kiev says about 70 government sites have been affected by the cyber attack
  • “The war cry is loud,” said the US ambassador
  • Moscow says military action will be taken if the demands are not met
  • NATO says it will sign an Internet cooperation agreement with Kiev

KIEV / MOSCOW, Jan. 14 (Reuters) – Ukraine has been hit by a cyber-attack, with Ukraine hitting government websites with warnings of “fear and expect worse,” while Russia has amassed 100,000 troops along its neighbors’ border and released several pictures. Its forces are moving.

The cyber-attack came just hours after talks between Russia and Western allies ended without any progress, fearing that Moscow could launch a new military offensive against a country it invaded in 2014.

“The slogan of war is loud,” said Michael Carpenter, US ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), at the end of talks on Thursday. read more

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Russia denies plans to attack Ukraine but says it could take unspecified military action if its demands are not met, including a promise by the NATO alliance that Kiev would never agree.

On Friday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia hoped that security talks with the United States would resume, but that it depended on Washington’s response to Moscow’s proposals.

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“We do not explicitly accept the emergence of NATO on our borders, especially considering the current course of the Ukrainian leadership,” he said.

Asked what it meant this week to threaten Moscow with “military-technical action” if talks failed, Lavrov said: “Measures to stabilize military hardware are obvious. We understand what we say when we make decisions with military hardware. We prepare.”

Footage from the Russian Defense Ministry released by the RIA news agency showed armored vehicles and other military hardware being loaded on trains in the Far East of Russia, which Moscow called a research exercise to implement long-range deployments.

“It could be a cover for units moving to Ukraine,” said Rob Lee, a military analyst and colleague at the US-based Foreign Policy Research Institute.

“Expect the worst”

Ukrainian officials are investigating a massive cyber attack that has targeted about 70 Internet sites of government agencies, including the Foreign Ministry, the Cabinet of Ministers and the Security and Security Council.

Although they did not directly accuse Moscow, they made it clear that they suspected Russia. Russia has not commented, but has previously denied that it was behind the cyber attacks against Ukraine.

Ukrainian

“All information about you has been made public. Be afraid and expect the worst. It’s for your past, present and future.”

NATO has announced that it will sign a new agreement with Kyiv within days on closer cooperation in cyber security, including granting Ukraine access to the Western military alliance’s organization for sharing information about malicious software.

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement that NATO cyber experts were already working with Ukrainian authorities to respond to the attack, not far from Brussels headquarters and on the ground in Ukraine.

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Ukraine’s foreign ministry spokesman told Reuters it was too early to say who could be behind the attack but Russia had been behind similar attacks in the past.

The Ukrainian government says it has recovered most of the affected sites and that no personal information has been stolen.

Ukraine’s military intelligence has also accused Moscow of preparing “provocations” against Russian troops, based in the area of ​​secession from neighboring Moldova, which could be used as an excuse to invade Ukraine at a new point in the West.

EU top diplomat Joseph Borel has condemned the cyber-attack, saying the EU’s political and security team and the Internet could look into how to help Kiev: “I can not blame anyone for not having the evidence, but we can imagine.”

The news of the cyber-attack was accompanied by references that echo the long-standing Russian government’s accusations that Ukraine has been attacked by far-right nationalist groups. It also refers to the locations of killings by Ukrainian rebels in Nazi German-occupied Poland, a point of contention between Poland and Ukraine.

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Additional report by Matthias Williams in Kiev, Tom Palmforth in Moscow and Andrew Osborne, Sabine Seapold and John Irish in Brest, France; Written by Mark Travelion and Peter Graf; Editing by Alison Williams and Hugh Lawson

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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