Modern warfare includes not only traditional kinetic means, but also cyber warfare. Russian military hackers can be expected to fully target Ukraine’s computer networks, particularly those owned by the national government, utilities, financial institutions, and emergency services. Ukrainians could find themselves locked out of their bank accounts, the power might fail in the middle of the freezing winter, and government computer systems could be crippled. The objective of such hacking would be to demoralize the Ukrainian people and cause them to lose confidence in their government.
Social Media Blackout
Yet another action to expect the week before an attack is a shutdown of Russian social media. Russia’s social networks are a rich vein of useful information inadvertently shared with the rest of the world; some examples might include the girlfriends of Russian sailors complaining about their boyfriends’ last-minute orders, or Russian tankers from the Far East grousing about being shipped thousands of miles across the country. This information is useful for tracking Russian military movements, and Moscow won’t want to give anything away. Moscow will also want to clamp down on social media to control the narrative about friendly casualties.
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