Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister praised Amazon Web Services (AWS)’s role in keeping the country’s vital systems online and operational after the Russian invasion.
Speaking at the recent AWS re:Invent 2022 event in Las Vegas, Mykhailo Fedorov, who also serves as Ukraine’s minister for digital transformation, said that without the company’s support, the country’s digital infrastructure might have been hit even harder .
“Let me be honest… this is priceless,” said Fedorov, “this is the most technologically advanced war in the history of mankind – every day we see how technology can kill. But we also see how technology can help .”
Fedorov noted that state registries and databases are “critical information infrastructure” but were secured via emergency migration to the cloud using AWS systems.
To make this possible, three AWS Snowball devices, designed for the large-scale offline migration of terabytes of data, were flown to the country via Poland.
Liam Maxwell, AWS Director of Government Digital Transformation, explained how in January 2022 “it became increasingly clear that an attack on Ukraine was coming from Russia”.
He noted that the following month, the Ukrainian parliament passed a law allowing government and private sector data to be moved to the cloud, leading AWS to work closely with Ukraine.
“On the day of the invasion, we met the ambassador at the Ukrainian embassy in London and outlined a plan to identify the parts of the state where we could help them,” Maxwell noted. “That included things like the population register, ownership of land and real estate, tax payment data, education data. That laid the groundwork for a strategic move to help the Ukrainian government and protect their digital infrastructure.”
To solidify the relationship between AWS and Ukraine, Fedorov and Maxwell signed a “memorandum of understanding” with AWS, promising a further “commitment to continue working together.”
“AWS helped us in the very first days of the large-scale invasion,” Fedorov noted. “AWS leadership made a decision that saved [the] Ukrainian government and Ukrainian economy. The solution to store Ukrainian databases and state registers was cloud migration.”
“AWS has been one of the biggest contributors to the Ukrainians’ victory by providing the Ukrainian government with access and resources for migration to the cloud.”
“What we like most about this collaboration with cloud companies is that Russian missiles can’t destroy the cloud.”