Missile strikes dwarf Russian cyberattacks as Ukraine recovers from blackouts
Russia has hit Ukrainian cities with missile and drone attacks for much of the past month, targeting civilians and large swaths of the country’s critical infrastructure.
By Monday, 40% of Kyiv residents were left without water and widespread blackouts were reported across the country. On Thursday, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of “energy terrorism” and said some 4.5 million Ukrainian consumers had been temporarily cut off from power supply.
The destruction exemplifies how indiscriminate bombing remains the Kremlin’s preferred tactic eight months into its war against Ukraine. Meanwhile, Moscow’s hacking capabilities continue to play a secondary, rather than central, role in the Kremlin’s efforts to dismantle Ukraine’s critical infrastructure.
“Why burn your cyber capabilities, if you can accomplish the same goals through kinetic attacks?” a senior US official told CNN.
But experts who spoke to CNN suggest there’s probably more to the question of why Russia’s cyberattacks haven’t had a more visible impact on the battlefield.
Effectively combining cyber and kinetic operations “requires a high degree of integrated planning and execution,” argued a US military official who focuses on cyber defense. “The Russians can’t even do that sh*t between their aviation, artillery and ground assault forces.”
The lack of verifiable information on successful cyberattacks during the war complicates the picture.