Ukraine war effort has massive digital support from the West, says Hungarian minister

Drone warfare has sped up military development, and the West is helping Ukraine keep pace

A photographer takes a photo of a sea drone, MAGURA V5, during the presentation of Ukraine's newly created Unmanned Systems Forces in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, June 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

Without the support of the digital superpowers, Ukraine would have capitulated long ago, warned Hungarian State Secretary for Military National Security Management at the Ministry of Defense Zsolt Barthel-Rúzsa. He said the situation in Ukraine highlights the need for the development of cyber defense in Hungary. According to the politician, a big dilemma is to accept the risk of balancing an open digital system with the need for security and cyber defense.

“These debates arise with every development, as there is no combat equipment, missile artillery or vehicle today that is not digitalized,” the state secretary added.

He said it was an open secret that both warring sides in Ukraine are using artificial intelligence. He added that “there are almost 10,000 Ukrainian and Russian drones on both sides in the airspace at any given time, and the losses are of a similar order of magnitude.”

After a while, the protocols and communication frequencies of these devices become known and can be neutralized.

Zsolt Barthel-Rúzsa said: that in armed conflicts, the average time between the deployment of a new device and effective defense against it used to be three to six months, but since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, this time interval has been steadily decreasing.

“In addition to armed support, there are also digital superpowers in the background,” noted the secretary of state, adding that “without them, the Ukrainian forces would have surrendered two years ago.”

He also noted that, from the Ukrainian perspective, the information superiority of the U.S. civilian and military support contributes to their success, as it facilitates flexible decision-making. At the same time, the catch-up adaptation of Russian forces, as well as their successful swarm tactics, should be taken very seriously. There is a virtual “battle of strategic materials” between the opposing sides, he added.

The politician stressed that targets are not only military. Before the outbreak of the war, the Ukrainian leadership, with the help of U.S. tech companies, had uploaded data on government servers to an encrypted data cloud to protect government data.

“As a result, the pre-war Russian cyberattacks on government infrastructure caused only minor, non-significant data loss to the Ukrainians,” Zsolt Barthel-Rúzsa explained.

The Hungarian state secretary said that it was also thanks to this digital assistance that Ukraine was able to protect, for example, its functioning internet network despite the war.

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