The vice prime minister of Ukraine has praised the role of Amazon Web Services (AWS) in helping keep the country’s vital systems online and operational following the Russian invasion.
Speaking at the recent AWS re:Invent 2022 event in Las Vegas, Mykhailo Fedorov, who also acts as the Ukrainian minister for digital transformation, said that without the company’s support, the nation’s digital infrastructure may have been in even direr straits.
“Let me be honest…this is priceless,” Fedorov said, “This is the most technologically advanced war in human history – every day we see how technologies can kill. But we also see how technology can help.”
Fedorov noted that the likes of state registers and databases are “critical information infrastructure,” but were safeguarded via emergency cloud migration using AWS systems.
To enable this, three AWS Snowball devices, designed for the large-scale offline migration of terabytes of data, were flown in to the country via Poland.
Liam Maxwell, AWS Director of Government Digital Transformation, explained how in January 2022, “it was increasingly clear there was going to be an attack on Ukraine from Russia”.
He noted that the following month, Ukraine’s parliament passed a law allowing government and private sector data to move to the cloud, which saw AWS start working closely with Ukraine.
“On the day of the invasion we met the ambassador at the Ukranian embassy in London and we sketched out a plan of how to identify the parts of the State that we could help them back up,” noted Maxwell. “That included things like the population register, land and property ownership, tax payment records, education records. That laid the groundwork to build a strategic move to help the Ukrainian government and safeguard their digital infrastructure.”
To cement the relationship between AWS and Ukraine, Fedorov and Maxwell signed a “memorandum of understanding” with AWS, with the promise of a further “commitment to continue to work together.”
“AWS helped us in the very first days of the full-scale invasion,” Fedorov noted. “AWS leadership made a decision that saved [the] Ukrainian government and Ukrainian economy. The solution to save Ukrainian databases and state registers was cloud migration,”
“AWS made one of the biggest contributions to Ukrainians’ victory by providing the Ukrainian government with access and resources for migration to the cloud.”
“What we like the most about this partnership with cloud companies is that Russian missiles can’t destroy the cloud.”