Skip to content
Edit post

SBU: Russian forces used cyberattack to target Ukraine's 128th brigade

by Rachel Amran and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 4, 2024 6:53 PM 2 min read
Military personnel stay in a dugout as the artillery unit of the 128th Mountain Assault Brigade serves in the Zaporizhzhia direction, southeastern Ukraine, on Aug. 11, 2023. (Ukrinform/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said on April 4 that it uncovered evidence that Russian forces were able to hack into the devices of military personnel in order to guide a missile to strike the 128th Mountain Assault Brigade, killing at least 19 Ukrainian soldiers, in November last year.  

Members of the 128th brigade were gathered for an award ceremony in honor of Artillery Day on Nov. 3, 2023, in the front-line zone of Zaporizhzhia Oblast when a Russian Iskander-M missile struck the group. The Brigade later confirmed that 19 of its soldiers had been killed in the attack.

A preliminary investigation found that reports of Russian reconnaissance drones operating in the area, including an air alert, were ignored. In addition, the soldiers were gathered in the yard of a house, with 10 cars parked outside, which was plainly visible from above.

In the weeks following the attack, Defense Minister Rustem Umerov said that "all rules of disguise were ignored."

President Zelensky promised to implement changes in the armed forces to address negligence, Soviet-era practices, and bureaucracy.

SBU cybersecurity chief Illia Vitiuk said in an interview on April 4 that Russian soldiers send phishing messages to hack the messenger applications of specific military personnel. When they managed to "crack" the device, they got access to messengers and computers through mail.

According to the SBU official, the investigation found that one of the devices on which the Signal messenger was installed received a message about the specific date and place of the formation of servicemen. The Russian missile later struck this exact location.  

Vitiuk also announced that up to 30 soldiers had been killed in the attack, despite official reports that only 19 service members died.

Washington Post: Russia conducts disinformation campaign to undermine Zelensky
The materials have also revealed the Kremlin’s frustration with the lack of success, as opinion polls show that the Ukrainian society remains united and supportive of the leadership amid the ongoing full-scale war with Russia.

News Feed

Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
1:56 AM  (Updated: )

Trump shot at during Pennsylvania rally.

At a rally in Pennsylvania, gunshots were reportedly fired at former U.S. President Donald Trump, prompting security staff to rush him off stage.
10:47 PM

Kremlin spokesman threatens Europe over decision to host US missiles.

"Our country is in the crosshairs of American missiles located in Europe. We've been through all this before," he said in an interview with Russian TV propagandist Pavel Zarubin. "We have enough potential to deter these missiles. But the capitals of these states are potential victims."
9:18 PM

Chief emergency worker among two killed in Kharkiv Oblast.

Half an hour after emergency workers arrived at the scene, Russian troops launched a second attack on the same location, Artem Kostyria, head of the State Emergency Situations Service's branch in Kharkiv Oblast, and police sergeant Oleksiy Koshchii.
5:24 PM

Russian kamikaze drone flies deep inside Belarus, whereabouts unknown.

The Belarusian Hajun monitoring group reported it had flown 250 kilometers "over Gomel and Zhlobyn, entered the Mogilev region, and then the Minsk region." It also said a Belarusian Mi-24 helicopter and Su-30 fighter jet were scrambled to intercept the drone before it "presumably flew to Vitebsk."
3:37 PM

US developing new 'extended-range' missile for Ukraine's Air Force.

The new weapon to be developed is an Extended-Range Attack Munition (ERAM), that aims to be a low-cost, quick to produce air-launched missile with a range of around 460 kilometers. The manufacture of the weapon is intended to begin no later than two years after the awarding of the contract and up to 1,000 are to be produced each year.
3:19 PM

Children's theater goes underground in Kharkiv

In the heart of Kharkiv, Kharkiv Theater for Children and Youth performs in bomb shelters under constant threats of Russian attacks. The Kyiv Independent visited one of the theater's performances in late June to meet the dedicated actors and their no less dedicated audience.
10:46 AM

Poland considers downing Russian missiles over Ukraine, FM says.

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said the problem for Warsaw is that once downed, the debris could pose a threat to Poles and the country's property. "At this stage, this is an idea. What our agreement said is we will explore this idea," he added.

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.