The report from the International Telecommunication Union reveals the extent of damage caused by Russia to Ukraine’s communication networks.
Ukraine will need at least $1.79 billion to restore its telecommunications sector to pre-war levels, a United Nations agency said in a report accusing Russia of “completely destroying or seizing ” networks in many parts of the country.
The Geneva-based International Telecommunication Union (ITU)’s sensitive and long-anticipated damage assessment was commissioned in April to assess the extent of destruction of Ukraine’s communications networks as a result of the invasion. Russia strategy in February last year.
The report, covering the first six months of the war, found that communications infrastructure in more than 10 of Ukraine’s 24 regions had suffered significant damage and destruction.
“Since the beginning of military attacks, with the aim of using facilities for his own benefit and needs, the aggressor has either completely destroyed or taken over the regular operation of the infrastructure. public and private terrestrial telecommunications and critical infrastructure in the occupied and war-affected territories of Ukraine,” the report said.
It also alleges that Moscow unilaterally switched Ukraine’s dialing code, fixed by the United Nations agency, to Russian code, and that there were 1,123 cyberattacks targeting Ukraine. An official with the Russian diplomatic mission in Geneva denied the report’s allegations, saying they were designed to divert attention from unspecified “atrocities” committed by Ukraine on its territory. territory occupied by Russia.
Repeated cyber attacks
The Foreign Ministry in Moscow did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Russia has regularly targeted Ukraine with cyberattacks since its annexation of Crimea in 2014. These attacks, targeting government and banking websites, were on the rise before Moscow sent troops in. Ukraine last year. Russia has denied being behind those and other attacks.
The United Nations report, which includes information and data up to August, was quietly posted in a corner of the ITU website in late December. It was noticed by a Reuters news agency spokesman in late December. Friday afternoon after being asked for information.
Western diplomats have privately expressed frustration regarding the delay in the publication of the report.
The EU wrote to then-ITU Secretary General, Houlin Zhao of China, in September calling for its release, a letter seen by Reuters showed. Zhao responded a few days later to say the damage assessment was still underway, the response showed.
The ITU has not commented publicly on the report. When asked about the gap between the reporting period and the publication date, the ITU told Reuters that the report was published on December 23 “after being assessed as complete by management”.
The ITU added that the results of their assessment will help mobilize technical assistance for Ukraine.
The Geneva-based agency, founded in 1865, allocates the global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, and sets standards for artificial intelligence and other new technologies.