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Moscow: West using Ukraine to launch cyberwar against Russia

A local resident, living in a modular town after her house has been destroyed, sits in a tent for warmth, in Borodyanka, near Kiev on Dec 4, 2022. (DIMITAR DILKOFF / AFP)

MOSCOW/KIEV – The West has been using Ukraine as a launchpad to carry out cyberattacks against Russia and test new cyber warfare technologies, RIA Novosti news agency reported Wednesday, citing Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov.

In an interview with RIA Novosti, Syromolotov said that a vast majority of cyberattacks against Russia were launched from territories of the European Union, NATO member states, as well as Ukraine.

Syromolotov also noted that Russia has been facing an unprecedented level of cyber aggression. He said that in 2022 alone, the number of cyberattacks against Russia increased by 80 percent

"This country (Ukraine) has turned into a foothold for the West to carry out offensive operations and test cyber developments," Syromolotov said, adding that Russian citizens received less spam calls following the destruction of Ukrainian call centers amid Russia's ongoing special military operation.

Syromolotov also noted that Russia has been facing an unprecedented level of cyber aggression. He said that in 2022 alone, the number of cyberattacks against Russia increased by 80 percent.

"In the context of Kiev's actual loss of digital sovereignty, Ukraine's 'cyber troops' are actually a NATO instrument," Syromolotov said.

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At the same time, Russian infrastructure has been effective in countering the vast amount of cyberattacks, Syromolotov said, adding that more than 25,000 cyberattacks targeting government resources and 1,200 attacks on critical infrastructure have been neutralized in 2022. 

Meanwhile,Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the next year will be decisive for Ukraine, the presidential press service reported late Tuesday.

"It must be a crucial year. We understand the risks in the winter, we understand what we have to do in the spring, and therefore we understand what results the entire defense and security sector must demonstrate," Zelensky said in a video address.

The Ukrainian authorities continue to prepare the country's defense and security forces for 2023, Zelensky said.

As to Ukraine's key goals for the near future, Zelensky listed the return of people to their homes, the further rapprochement with key partners, and the opening of new opportunities for Ukraine in the world.

The government will intensify efforts in the coming year to guarantee the strength of the country's banking and financial systems, Zelensky said, adding that Ukraine is already preparing to participate in the 2023 World Economic Forum slated for Jan 16-20 in Davos, Switzerland.