Addressing "Americans and friends," Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke to a joint session of the US Congress this morning. His general aim was to argue that Ukraine's cause was, substantially, humanity's cause. His specific, immediate goal was to obtain a no-fly zone, or, failing that, shipments of combat aircraft and air defense systems. He also made a case for more sanctions and a complete withdrawal of Western companies from the Russian market. He was warmly received.
There may be a benefit to permitting some US companies to continue their Russian operations. The Washington Post says that one reason Apple, Google, and Cloudflare, to take three tech examples, have maintained a presence in Russia, albeit a reduced one, is that the US Government wants them to stay there. Their services provide Russian citizens at least some access to unfiltered news.
Marina Ovsyannikova, the young producer who crashed the Vremya television news program with an anti-war placard, was in custody for some fourteen hours and was also fined for her action, the Telegraph reports. She could still face prosecution on more serious charges.
Cyber phases of the hybrid war.
Ukraine has arrested an individual (identified only as a "hacker") who was allegedly engaged in helping Russian commanders send instructions to their troops via cellular networks, CNN reports.
Investigation of the attack against Viasat's KA-SAT Internet service continues, Reuters says. It's presumed to have been a Russian operation, and, while technical details on the incident have been sparsely shared, senior Ukrainian cybersecurity official Victor Zhora said, “I believe that’s one of their goals is to destroy providers’ infrastructure and to prevent the Ukrainian armed force to actually communicate with each other."
Zhora also shared his assessment of why Russian cyber operations have been less devastating than was confidently predicted during the run-up to the war. The Washington Post gives Zhora's top three reasons for Russian cyber's failure to show up in overwhelming force:
- "Russian hackers aren’t nimble enough to identify and compromise the most important Ukrainian government and industry targets during fast-moving military operations.
- "Stealthy cyberattacks aren’t that useful in comparison to the damage Russian troops are causing with bombs and missiles.
- "Russian cyber operators are too busy protecting their own digital infrastructure."
That digital infrastructure is itself under attack, mostly at a nuisance level, by hacktivists sympathetic to the Ukrainian cause. Zhora expressed his appreciation for their efforts against the Russian enemy, but he distanced their activities from Ukrainian government control.
The CyberWire's continuing coverage of the unfolding crisis in Ukraine may be found here.