Kyiv Proposes ‘Cyber United Nations’ to Deflect Russian Attacks

As Moscow troops pound Ukraine’s infrastructure and seek to inflict maximum chaos on the ground, Ukraine’s top cybersecurity leader is calling the West to establish a single global organization to help share threat information and prepare for future cyber and conventional attacks.

Yurii Shchyhol, the head of Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection, pointed out in an interview with Politico that as Russia create misery for Ukraine citizens during the winter months by pairing cyberattacks with missile strikes, they need a hub or a venue where they can exchange information with other countries, support each other and interact.

The proposed ‘Cyber United Nations’ – nations united in cyberspace in order to effectively protect the world, both the cyber world and the real one, for the future- is one of Kyiv’s many efforts it hopes hope the global community will pursue.

Shchyhol said that creating one cyberspace shared by countries in the civilized world would almost certainly mean the exclusion of Russia and its allies, emphasizing how great the need is for such a place following a year of constant Russian cyberattacks on Ukrainian critical infrastructure, energy systems, and satellite communications.

He warned that it won’t be long before these cyberattacks become maybe even more powerful than the conventional attacks with consequences on such a big scale that no one should underestimate its effects.

Although Shchyhol said that Ukraine’s partners- the United States above all – tend to agree with Kyiv on finding a space to safely coordinate work on new technologies, the State Department’s Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy’s spokesperson declined to comment on the idea.

A former cyber coordinator for the State Department under both the Obama and Trump administrations, on the other hand, compared the Ukrainian proposal to a big tent group, pointing out it doesn’t really fit to liken something to the United Nations while not including every country.

Christopher Painter, however, agrees that, given the threat, increased cooperation and collective response is absolutely needed.