The Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine praised the role of Amazon Web Services (AWS) in helping to keep 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 of Digital Transformation, said that without the company's support, the country's digital infrastructure could have been in a state yet more difficult.
"Let me be honest...it's priceless," Fedorov said. “This is the most technologically advanced war in human history – 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 protected through an emergency migration to the cloud using AWS systems.
To do this, three AWS Snowball appliances, designed for large-scale offline migration of terabytes of data, arrived in the country via Poland.
Liam Maxwell, Director of Government Digital Transformation at AWS, explained that by January 2022, “it was becoming increasingly clear that 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 be transferred to the cloud, allowing AWS to begin working closely with Ukraine.
“On the day of the invasion, we met with the Ambassador at the Ukrainian Embassy in London and outlined a plan on how to identify parts of the state that we could help them save,” Maxwell said. “This included items such as population registration, land and real estate ownership, tax payment records, education records. This laid the foundation for a strategic initiative to help the Ukrainian government and protect its digital infrastructure.
To cement the relationship between AWS and Ukraine, Fedorov and Maxwell signed a "memorandum of understanding" with AWS, promising a new "commitment to continue working together."
“AWS helped us in the early days of the full-scale invasion,” Fedorov said. “AWS management made a decision that saved [the] Ukrainian government and Ukrainian economy. The solution to save Ukrainian state databases and records was migration to the cloud.”
"AWS made one of the biggest contributions to Ukraine's victory by providing the Ukrainian government with access and resources for cloud migration."
"What we like best about this partnership with cloud companies is that Russian missiles can't destroy the cloud."