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  • Chris Bratton - Tech Journalist

Ukraine’s youngest Cabinet Minister declared tech as “the best solution against tanks.”

While the whole world is spectating a war between Russia and Ukraine, lives are at stake, and so is the entire country. Citizens migrate to neighbouring ones to keep children safe while men fight the war. In the digital world, only tanks are not war weapons, so is tech. Ukraine’s youngest cabinet minister Mykhalio Fedorov works underground and forms digital artillery.

The 31-year-old minister for digital transformation in Ukraine is fighting an unmatched battle right from the core of a war devastated county. While his friend, the president of Ukraine, is fighting battle above, raising armies, tackling issues with countries, the war with tech is genuinely phenomenal.

We’ve seen the SWIFT ban from Russia and large enterprises dismantling their tech from the country. A recent Tweet from the digital transformation minister directly mentioned SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, saying, “while you try to colonise Mars – Russia tries to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space – Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people! We ask you to provide Ukraine with StarLink stations and to address sane Russians to stand.”

The powerful speech did not take long to get Elon’s attention. He directly replied to Fedorov that “Starlink services is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.”

Mykhailo has been leaning on tech giants for quite some time and is convinced of the ongoings. Putin said they don’t want the European or American army close to their border. According to the events, NATO expanded five times as no written documents said they couldn’t do it. But the move to attack Ukraine from a global superpower is genuinely unexpected and unfortunate. The country is looking for help by asking global leaders to stop the war.

Ukrainian minister is working underground and urging hackers to attack Russian sites. We’ve seen Anonymous taking down thousands of Russian government websites along with the Russian secret service website.

The minister planned to provide most Ukrainian government services in one smartphone. But times have changed, and it is a time of war. So, the concentration moved elsewhere, and the country is defending with the help of global allies. Mykhalio’s favourite weapon - social media is being flooded with posts of requests for support. He published responding letters on social media for the whole world to see.

“State in a smartphone” motto brought Mykhalio to the top as his motive to digitalise the lives of Ukrainian citizens is taken pretty warmly. That project is now on hold as wartime calls for all his tech intelligence and recourses to work together for survival. He urged multinational and global tech giants such as Apple, Google, Twitter, Meta, Microsoft, YouTube, Oracle, Sony, and others to shift business from Russia. And the response came in pretty positive. Along with the ones we mentioned, more are adding to the banning of trade with Russia. His letter posts on social media of the gathered responses are pretty compelling. Even replies from contacted multinational organisations are posted thoroughly.

Telecommunications networks, social media, and other digital platforms provide service to customers directly, which is a massive sector for government revenue. Taking out critical global services now hurts the country’s digital medium. Fedorov directly communicates with his half a million followers across multiple social channels such as Facebook, Telegram, Instagram and Twitter. All of them are getting seamless interaction with the digital minister of Ukraine.

In a report with BBC, he talked about each platform and how important they are. “We are trying to bring the truth to the Russians and make them protest against the war.”

In another post, he said, “Twitter has become an efficient tool that we are using to counter Russian military aggression. It’s our smart and peaceful tool to destroy the Russian economy.” The ministry launch of “IT Army of Ukraine” includes thousands of hackers working as volunteers, and also there is a Telegram group formed for the same purpose, which has around 270,000 members.


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