Ukraine blocks popular Russian-owned social media sites, saying it's a matter of national security

Los Angeles Times

Ukraine's new blocking of popular, Russian-owned social media sites has been met with opposition by human rights groups who consider the move to restrict access to information more in line with authoritarianism than democracy. Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, compared the ban ordered this week by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to censorship by the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin. "When will Ukraine learn that emulating Russia's repression is no way to distinguish itself from Russia," Roth said on Twitter. Sergei Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist who was elected to Ukraine's parliament in 2014, posted on his Facebook page that the new ban had "much more in common with authoritarian regimes than with the struggle against Russian propaganda." Poroshenko this week ordered Ukrainian Internet providers to block Vkontakte and Odnoclassniki.

Upcoming Ukraine elections in the crosshairs of hackers


Ukraine reported a surge in cyber attacks aimed at disrupting the upcoming presidential election, the Government believes that Russian nation-state actors could be responsible for them. The news was reported by Reuters, attackers intensified attacks against the Ukrainian government and political party, according to the experts with the clear intent of disrupting the presidential election scheduled for March. According to Pro-Western President Petro Poroshenko, likely to stand in the elections, declared that Russia will attempt to interfere in the election and has developed a powerful cyber arsenal to do it. "This is not just our take. The Russian meddling to influence Ukraine's elections is well under way," Petro Poroshenko told foreign diplomats.

Offices of Search Engine Yandex Raided in Ukraine

U.S. News

Ukrainian authorities earlier this month blocked access to Yandex as well as to several major Russian social media websites. President Petro Poroshenko said the move was made in response to Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula and continuing interference in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine hit by 6,500 hack attacks, sees Russian 'cyberwar'

The Japan Times

KIEV – Hackers have targeted Ukrainian state institutions about 6,500 times in the past two months, including incidents that showed Russian security services were waging a cyberwar against the country, President Petro Poroshenko said on Thursday. In December, Ukraine suffered attacks on its finance and defense ministries and the State Treasury, which allocates cash to government institutions. A suspected hack also wiped out part of Kiev's power grid, causing a blackout in part of the capital. "Acts of terrorism and sabotage on critical infrastructure facilities remain possible today," Poroshenko said during a meeting of the National Security and Defence Council, according to a statement released by Poroshenko's office. The statement said the president stressed that "the investigation of a number of incidents indicated the complicity directly or indirectly of Russian security services waging a cyberwar against our country."

Investigators raid Ukraine offices of Yandex search site, alleging Russian intel getting user data

The Japan Times

KIEV/MOSCOW – Ukraine's State Security Service (SBU) raided the Kiev and Odessa offices of Russia's top search site Yandex on Monday, accusing the company of illegally collecting Ukrainian users' data and sending it to Russian security agencies. Ukraine imposed sanctions on Yandex and several other Russian Internet firms this month and blocked access to their websites, saying it wanted to guard against cyberthreats. "There are representatives of Ukraine's Security Service in our offices in Kiev and Odessa," Yandex said in a statement, saying its lawyers were willing to help with any investigation. SBU spokeswoman Olena Gitlyanska said on Facebook "investigative actions" were being carried out in connection with a criminal investigation into suspected treason but gave no further details. A Reuters witness at Yandex's Kiev office saw plain-clothes investigators sticking yellow labels onto a number of computers that appeared to have been seized.