Ukraine has formally become a member of NATO Cyber Defense, as but the latest example of member nations seeking to bring the country along toward eventual full NATO membership.
“The flag of Ukraine has been officially raised at the headquarters of the Joint Center for Advanced Technologies for NATO Cyber Defense in Tallinn (Estonia), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine reports,” Interfax reports Tuesday.
A message posted by Ukraine’s ministry of foreign affairs said, “Today the National Flag of Ukraine is officially raised at the Headquarters of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence in Tallinn, marking official accession of Ukraine to the CCDCOE.”
It went on to thank the Western nation which sponsored Ukraine’s track to membership in the organization, as well as the government of Estonia which hosts the CCDCOE headquarters.
It was over a year ago that 27 NATO member states first agreed to bestow member status on Ukraine, after its membership was previously blocked by Hungary.
Starting last summer, the US military began admitting that it has been conducting offensive cyber operations in support of Ukraine. A statement last June marked the first ever such acknowledgement, which revealed at the time a deeper Pentagon and US intelligence role in Ukraine against the Russian military than previously thought.
National Security Agency (NSA) and US Cyber Command Director Gen. Paul Nakasone told the UK’s Sky News at that time, “We’ve conducted a series of operations across the full spectrum: offensive, defensive, [and] information operations.” This includes “offensive hacking operations” he said.
All of this suggests that NATO too on an organizational level is involved in such cyber operations targeting Russia. For this reason, the Kremlin is likely to see Ukraine’s membership in the CCDCOE as another example of the Western military alliance building up its infrastructure inside the country.