Yurtayeva calls for action against Russian cyber attacks

December 12, 2023

Russia is using “cyberaggression” as an essential element in its invasion of Ukraine. Cyber attacks have been targeted at critical infrastructure, at Ukrainian government agencies, and have been used to disseminate disinformation about the war effort. 

Addressing the cyber warfare tactics, Kseniya Yurtayeva, an associate professor in the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology at Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs and a visiting scholar at Weiser Diplomacy Center, called on the international community to qualify cyberattacks committed in the course of military aggression as war crimes, and to create enforcement regimens. 

She was speaking at the 55th Annual convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. Some 400 participants from all over the world participated in the convention.  

Yurtayeva referred to the stated position of the International Committee of the Red Cross that supports the view that international humanitarian law applies to cyber operations during armed conflict. She also highlighted recent statements by the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, and the Deputy Chairman of the State Service of Special Communication and Information Protection of Ukraine, Victor Zhora, that cyberattacks on the objects of critical infrastructure as a part of military aggression fall within the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction with no new Geneva Convention required. 

“We need  further development of relevant legal practices that will create deterrence against cyber methods used as a part of modern international confrontations and provide victims of cyberwar attacks with a possibility of redress,” she concluded.

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