Unlike the military, Russian hackers do not limit their activities to the Ukrainian border and terrorise the whole world. Just like the ruscists, they do not adhere to the laws and customs of war and attack the civilian infrastructure of democratic countries. This is stated in the research “Cyber attacks, artillery, propaganda. Overview of Russian military aggression dimensions”, conducted by the State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine and the experts of the Economic Security Council of Ukraine with the assistance of the Strategic Communications Department of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and TRUMAN company specialists.
Experts emphasised that Russian attacks on the infrastructure of democratic countries are often carried out to psychologically influence the population and undermine the authority of government agencies. As in Ukraine, such attacks may be accompanied by information manipulation.
“Russia has always used hybrid attacks (economic warfare, propaganda campaigns, etc.) to achieve its goals. Unconventional Russian aggression continues not only against Ukraine, such attacks are carried out against all ‘unfriendly’ states. That is, potentially, these attacks create global threats,” the researchers believe.
Cyber attacks are fully in line with Russia’s general military strategy. They are often coordinated with other attacks: conventional on the battlefield, as well as information and psychological and propaganda operations. This was most clearly manifested in the autumn and winter of 2022 when, after a series of cyber attacks on the energy industry, the Russian Federation launched several waves of missile attacks on the energy infrastructure and at the same time launched a propaganda campaign to shift responsibility for the consequences (power outages) to Ukrainian state authorities, local self-government, or a large Ukrainian business.