“I need ammunition, not a ride”: the Ukrainian cyber war

Munk, T. ORCID: 0000-0003-2356-8806 and Ahmad, J. ORCID: 0000-0003-0556-676X, 2022. “I need ammunition, not a ride”: the Ukrainian cyber war. Comunicação e Sociedade, 42, pp. 221-241. ISSN 1645-2089

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has shown that cyberwarfare is integral to modern military strategies. Although the Russian army has developed cyber capabilities and capacities over the years, Ukraine has quickly created a new and innovative cyber defence that includes public and private actors. Using online communication platforms to reach out to populations, internally and externally, has been instrumental for military success. Inventive thinking has enabled the actors to utilise the online space and develop new computing tactics to defend the country. The intense online presence of Ukrainian President Zelenskyy stands in clear contrast to Russian President Putin. President Zelenskyy is mastering online communication and is speaking directly to the people. Because of his constant use of virtual communication platforms, new public and private resistance movements have formed based on civic activism and a defiant stance against Russian aggression. Various non-governmental groups of hackers, hacktivists and activists have created a structure of resistance, where each has taken on a role in a nodal system depending on skills and engagement levels. This article will focus on how the Ukrainian leadership has been able to carry out a successful speech act that has activated numerous online users internally and externally. This speech act has enabled a new form of online civic activism where online actors fight with the military forces — but mostly without being employed by the state. Within the first 40 days, this activism has proven beneficial to the existing military force to defend Ukraine. The article investigates Ukraine’s role in the David and Goliath fight and how Ukraine’s initiatives have helped develop its cyber defence. The research is based on secondary sources predominately based on grounded theory, where the data collected are critically compared with theoretical content. All data is theoretically sampled and analysed based on the established socio-political approaches deriving from discourse analysis. The timeframe for this research is the first 40 days of the conflict, starting on February 24 2022.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Comunicação e Sociedade
Creators: Munk, T. and Ahmad, J.
Publisher: Universidade do Minho, Centro de estudos de comunicação e sociedade
Date: 16 December 2022
Volume: 42
ISSN: 1645-2089
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 21 Sep 2023 09:03
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2023 09:03
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/49774

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