Moscow / Kyiv – Russian authorities have released photographs of some military units withdrawing from the Russia-Ukraine border region and Crimea. While the photographs are being released, there have been cyberattacks on Ukraine’s Defence Ministry and leading banks. But Ukraine has avoided accusing Russia of the attack. Therefore, at the least, a fresh tension has not been created on this issue.
Moreover, the Western agencies and press had made aggressive claims that Russia would invade Ukraine on Wednesday, February 16. The President of Ukraine had affirmed to have received such information as well. However, a day before this alleged invasion, Russia began withdrawing some of its military troops. Russia clarified it is withdrawing its forces from Crimea and the Russia-Ukraine border region as the phase of war exercise has ended. Photographs of this retreat have also been released.
While the Russian withdrawal had begun, there were cyberattacks on the computer networks of Ukraine’s Defence Ministry and leading banks on Tuesday. These attacks were kind of DDoS (distributed denial of service), and it caused the websites of banks, including the Department of Defence, to hang for some time, Ukraine informed. Ukrainian officials said the entity behind the attack was not revealed immediately. Earlier, massive cyberattacks on Ukraine were launched by Russian hackers. Therefore, the possibility of Russian involvement in this just cannot be dismissed.
Earlier, a major cyberattack was launched over Ukraine on January 12. It targeted the websites of various embassies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), and the websites of the Ministry of Education and the State Emergencies Service. Some of these websites had messages in Russian and Polish. It contained information about Ukrainian citizens, and it was also warned to be released on the websites.
Despite this, it draws attention to the fact that Ukraine has not yet accused Russia of cyberattacks this time. Meanwhile, John Sawers, the former chief of British intelligence agency MI6, said that the risk of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was never as severe as being portrayed by some nations. Russia seems to have benefited to some extent after the sequence of events of the past few days, also claimed the British former intelligence chief.
NATO claims no concrete evidence of Russian withdrawal
Brussels – NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg claimed that though Russia claims a military withdrawal, no concrete evidence has been found, and the threat to Europe’s security continues. The two-day NATO summit began in Brussels on Wednesday, with member countries’ defence ministers arriving in Brussels. The United States and Ukraine have taken a cautious stance over Russian withdrawal claims. The US has not yet verified Russia’s claims, said President Joe Biden.
Meanwhile, in the wake of Russia-Ukraine tensions, NATO has signalled the stationing of four battlegroups consisting of 1,000 soldiers each in Eastern Europe. The Russian response to the NATO proposal is likely to sharpen.
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