As Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, NJ officials warn of potential for cyberattacks
Ukraine’s president says that he believes that the Russian army will storm the capital city of Kyiv Saturday morning, local time.
Hundreds of people have already been killed across the country on both sides, following the second day of a full-scale Russian invasion.
Ukraine is fighting back as Russia faces economic consequences for its invasion, including U.S. sanctions personally directed at Russian President Vladimir Putin. This is the first time that this has happened.
“He’s going all in. And he’s making the gamble he’s going to do well in this, definitely in the short time,” says Professor Wojtek Wolfe, of Rutgers University.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy literally took to the streets to rally support as Russian troops and tank columns closed in on Ukraine’s capital. Zelenskyy says that the Russians have selected him as Target No. 1 as the war seeks to topple his government.
“I have to say, the Ukrainians are really putting up a fight and so they may succeed in repelling the Russians to some extent,” says New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone.
LIVE UPDATES: The latest developments on the Russia-Ukraine Crisis
Pallone says that sanctions ordered by President Joe Biden will take their toll on Russia. But he says that the sanctions will not likely have an effect on the war.
“The best thing we can do - and that we have been doing - are these very severe sanctions. Now will the sanctions prevent Kyiv from, and the government from, being toppled in the next few days? Probably not,” Pallone says.
Biden says that he is not sending American troops to fight in Ukraine. But officials are issuing warnings that American companies or assets could get hit by a cyberattack.
“We don’t know and we’re not aware of and we’re not monitoring any specific threat to New Jersey,” says Laurie Doran, director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.
Doran says that New Jersey residents should be vigilant for potential ransomware from Russian hackers.
“Since the situation overseas right now is kind of at a flashpoint, we thought that we would want to let people know just to be prepared,” Doran says.
“Wars are really decided over the long term and I think what everyone is really concerned about, including Putin, is how to keep this localized,” says Wolfe.
Even before the U.S. announced sanctions against Putin, the European Union and United Kingdom moved to freeze the monetary assets of Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.