Russian hackers target Ukrainian media as Ukrainian forces withdraw from Avdiivka

Russian hackers targeted several prominent Ukrainian media outlets on Sunday and spread misinformation about the Ukrainian withdrawal from the Donetsk region city of Avdiivka, the State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine has said in a statement.

Ukraine’s Computer Emergency Response Team launched an investigation following attacks on outlets Ukrainska Pravda,, Apostrof and Telegraf, which the statement called a continuation of “Russia’s information war against our country”.

The hackers posted now-deleted news items on the affected outlets’ websites and social media claiming that Russia had defeated “elite Ukrainian Army divisions” at Avdiivka and that, having lost over 1,500 soldiers, Ukrainian forces were “fleeing in panic, abandoning equipment and wounded troops,” Apostrof reported.

Ukraine’s Center for Countering Disinformation called on readers “not to succumb to such enemy provocations” and to trust only official Ukrainian military sources.

The attacks came after Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi announced the Ukrainian Army’s withdrawal from Avdiivka on Saturday “to avoid encirclement and preserve the lives and health of servicemen,” as well as to “move to defence on more favourable lines”.

Russian state media has since celebrated what it called the “liberation” of Avdiivka, which had been a frontline city since 2014, as the Russian Army’s most significant breakthrough since it captured the nearby city of Bakhmut in May.

Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.