Matviyenko on cyberwar, nuclear risks, et al.

27 02 2022

Media scholar Svitlana Matviyenko is sharing on-the-ground reports from Ukraine. (Matviyenko is co-author of Cyberwar and Revolution: Digital Subterfuge in Global Capitalism.) Her second dispatch covers cyberwar efforts on both sides, nuclear risks, and living in the midst of military mobilization and bombardment. A couple of excerpts:

A week ago, any cyberattack could make the news, now their volume is skyrocketing, but nobody pays attention. Fedorov announced the formation of a cyber-army. The government and other sites, also, banks are constantly down and up. No panic about it at all. We just wait a bit, and all is working again. This is a new normal. Anonymous are in the game now launching ‘full-scale’ cyberattacks on Russian government websites in retaliation for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The site of the Russian Ministry of Defence is hacked with all private data of the Russia MOD made available for download via Megaupload (this tweet by Anonymous TV is now taken down by Twitter for violating the rules). They “breached and leaked about 200GB of emails from Belarusian weapons manufacturer Tetraedr. This company has provided Vladimir Putin with logistical support in his invasion of Ukraine.” The website of the Chechen Republic, for deploying troops to Ukraine, is down. The Kremlin site is down. And many, many more; the latest, the most spectacular one: “Russian state TV channels have been hacked by Anonymous to broadcast the truth about what happens in Ukraine.”

[. . .]

The possible consequences of a missile strike on the Chernobyl nuclear power plan are dangerous, but the nuclear explosion as such (the reactor is not active, although it still is subject to maintenance) is not seen, thus far, as a highest threat. Instead, “the main danger of a bomb blast near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is that a significant part of the radioactivity is in the form of dust inside the Shelter Object. […] Violation of the NSC integrity will lead to the release of highly active dust into the environment.” A lot of radioactive dust. Also worth remembering, there are four active nuclear power plants in Ukraine containing 15 operating reactors – many of them in the current area of combat.



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