On Thursday, Estonia said it had repelled the largest wave of cyberattacks in more than a decade, unleashed shortly after the removal of a Soviet-era tank from a war memorial commemorating the Red Army in Moscow. border with Russia.
The government of Estonia, one of Europe’s strongest supporters of Ukraine in its war with Russia, announced on Tuesday that it would remove all Soviet monuments from public spaces. , describing them as “symbols of Soviet oppression and occupation” that led to “increasingly tense sociability.”
The cyber attacks, claimed by Killnet, a Russian hacker group, began on Wednesday shortly after the Estonian military removed a war memorial on the riverbank separating the Baltic nation from Russia in the city of Narva and began to move its center, a 34th T-Tank, to a museum in the capital Tallinn.
Estonia has a highly digitalized economy and a large population of people with digital skills, and the country has bolstered its cyber defenses after troubles in 2007. Attacks this week, Mr. Ilves said. , “virtually unnoticed”, with sites still fully available “with some short and minor exceptions.”
The Killnet hacker group is nominally independent but always chooses targets in line with the priorities of the Russian state. They said they carried out the cyberattack in retaliation for the removal of Soviet tanks from the memorial, which Moscow has long insisted must be protected.
The same group of hackers claimed a similar but more successful attacks in June on public and private institutions in Lithuania after restrictions have been placed on the transport of goods sanctioned by the European Union to Kaliningrad, a Russian territory on the Baltic Sea, separate from the rest of the country and dependent on Lithuania’s railways and roads for supplies.
Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia have for many years feuded with Russia and their own ethnic Russian communities over their World War II memories and the Soviet Union’s role in defeating Nazi Germany, which Russians remember. came with pride, but the Balts mostly remembered blockading their occupation by the Red Army. The three countries regained their independence in 1991 with the fall of the Soviet Union, which was associated with Hitler from 1939 to 1941 but after that, all the Baltics who criticized Soviet rule were Germany. National Socialist.
Referring to the dismantling of war memorials in Estonia and two other Baltic states, Russian Foreign Ministry last weekin echoes of Russian propaganda against Ukraine, accusing them of being “German neo-Nazis” and warning against “the formation of essentially neo-Nazi states near Russia’s borders.”
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said: “What consequences this leads to, we have seen in Ukraine.