The U.S.-Russia conflict is heating up — in cyberspace

As the war in Ukraine rages, a long-standing battle between Russia and the United States over cyberspace is also heating up, with a top Russian diplomat warning of “catastrophic” consequences if the United States or its allies “provoke” Russia with a cyberattack.

The “information space,” as the Kremlin likes to call it, has been a growing domain of U.S.-Russian conflict, not only in the Ukraine war, but in Russia’s hacking attacks against the presidential campaigns in 2016 and 2020 as well as the congressional elections in 2018. The two countries briefly seemed to be working together for common rules for cyberspace last year, but that cooperation has now exploded.

Andrei Krutskikh, the top cyber expert at the Russian foreign ministry, charged in an interview on Monday with the Russian newspaper Kommersant that the United States had allegedly “unleashed cyber aggression against Russia and its allies.” He claimed that Washington was using Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and “the IT Army created by him to carry out computer attacks against our country as a battering ram.”

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