Ukraine Blames Russian Hackers For Attack On Navy Website

July 12, 2021

Ukraine's Defense Ministry said Russian government hackers attacked the website of the Ukrainian Navy to spread disinformation about the ongoing multinational Sea Breeze military exercises in the Black Sea.

In a July 9 statement, the Defense Ministry said the “entire Kremlin propaganda machine” was involved in the hacking operation, which published false documents and fake news on the Navy’s website related to the Sea Breeze drills.

"The threat has now been eliminated and the Navy's website will be restored in the near future," it said, adding that there have also been unsuccessful denial-of-service attacks (DDoS) on the Defense Ministry portal.

Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russia of being behind a string of cyberattacks, something Moscow denies.

A total of 32 countries, including most Black Sea nations, NATO allies, and partners, are attending the Sea Breeze exercises, which kicked off on June 28 amid rising tensions between Russia and the West following an incident involving Russia and a British warship off the coast of Crimea.

The exercises include 5,000 troops, 32 ships, 40 aircraft, and 18 special operations and dive teams and will last through July 10.

Russia opposes the drills and has said it is monitoring the actions of military forces taking part in the exercises. Late last month, Russia tested its air-defense systems in occupied Crimea.

Moscow seized control of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 after sending in troops and staging a referendum dismissed as illegal by at least 100 countries. Moscow is also backing separatists in a war in eastern Ukraine that has killed more than 13,000 people since April 2014.

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