Interview with Yury Vyhodets, head of the Cyber Police Department of the National Police of Ukraine, police colonel

Yuriy Vykhodets – Head of the Cyber Police Department of the National Police of Ukraine, police colonel.

Interview with Yury Vyhodets, head of the Cyber Police Department of the National Police of Ukraine, police colonel

– How did the duties of the Cyber Police change with the start of the  full-scale invasion of Ukraine? How did this affect your strategy? What are the main priorities identified?

After the full-scale invasion by  russia on the territory of independent sovereign Ukraine, and until now, the Cyber Police Department is working on the implementation of joint defense strategies of Ukraine. Under the coordination of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, we work on the elimination and prevention of cyber attacks, as well as help in the fight against the occupiers in the media and information spheres. We transformed the main tasks of the Cyber Police during the war, shifting the focus to:

  • opposition to pro-russian hacker groups trying to attack the information resources of the state bodies of Ukraine;
  • prevention of DDoS attacks on the private and public sectors, training of responsible people in the best practices in this area;
  • detection and response to anti-Ukrainian propaganda on the Internet coordinated by russian-controlled mass media, as well as bots in social networks;
  • search and identification of collaborators and other criminals on the part of the military or other people who support the war;
  • development of systems and mechanisms for quick and complete collection of information from open sources about military or other mercenaries from illegally armed organizations from  r
  • Identification and preservation of digital evidence obtained from technical devices used to commit crimes.

Also, we are studying satellite images, which, together with the measures listed above, allow us to additionally identify and record unique corroborating facts of criminal activity by russians with reference to the geocoordinates of locations  where crimes were committed.

Even before the start of the  large-scale war, we had developed a transformation strategy up until 2025 and set the following strategic goals for the Cyber Police Department:

  1. Launch and effectively develop an integration site – an ecosystem of a safe space.
  2. Systematically improve and develop the legislative standards in the field of cyber security.
  3. Create a secure infrastructure for work with sensitive data.
  4. Implement proactive behavior in cyberspace at the system level.
  5. Provide a new level of service provision and build a service infrastructure for interaction with active cyberspace users.
  6. Implement a new system of training personnel in cyber security together with educational partners.
  7. Build effective interaction with key international partners.
  8. Increase the image of the Cyber Police in Ukraine and the world.
  9. To ensure effective management of the structure through a process approach.

I want to say that with the new stage of the russian invasion, we did not change our own vision – CYBER POLICE – AN INFLUENTIAL SUBJECT OF CYBER SPACE IN UKRAINE, INTEGRATED INTO THE GLOBAL ECOSYSTEM FOR COMBATING CYBERCRIMES, but we worked on adapting our  specified goals. For example, we adapted goal #1 and implemented it in cooperation with civil society, created an integration platform for countering russian aggression – the StopRussia MRIYA project. We understand the importance of personnel training, which is why even in difficult times in 2022, we organized retraining and certification of the necessary specialists with  the Odesa State University of Internal Affairs- who created a state-of-the-art program for training cyber police officers together with the National Crime Agency (NCA, UK) and the OSCE.

The main tasks of the Cyber Police remained relevant, but due to the full-scale military invasion by  russia, some areas of work were intensified, and new directions  also appeared, we:

  • began to work more systematically with organized forms of cybercrime, as well as combating cybercrime against critical infrastructure objects
  • organized “CYBERCENTER” – an IT hub that united the best specialists in the information field.
  • took the fight against crimes related to virtual assets (cryptocurrencies) to a new level.

– How did Cyber Police partnerships develop and how effective were they during martial law?

 We communicate extensively with both local and international stakeholders. We thank all those who helped us in the realization of the set goals, which  helped in the protection of Ukraine. Yes, we received humanitarian aid from the Embassy of of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland  in Ukraine in the form of technical equipment, we receive targeted aid from the OSCE, the USA, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the EU Advisory Mission in Ukraine. By the way, the Global Cyber Cooperative Center (GC3), as an integrator and communicator, plays an important role here.

Can you give an example of an implemented strategic decision in ecosystem interaction during the war?

The “StopRussia MRIYA” project definitely deserves special attention here. This is a project that started as an initiative to counter drug communities in Telegram. It was launched back in 2016. The main role in the community, both at the beginning of its life and after the change of vectors of activity, after the full-scale invasion of russia on the territory of Ukraine, is played by caring, proactive citizens, mostly Ukrainians.

Interview with Yury Vyhodets, head of the Cyber Police Department of the National Police of Ukraine, police colonel

In the main Telegram channel “stoprussiachannel”, online tasks are provided daily for subscribers who are ready to give an effective fight back to the enemy in the information space. The main mission of our cyber army is to send complaints about subversive and propaganda resources that are coordinated by russia and spread disinformation on the territory of Ukraine. More than half a million participants have already joined the project.п

We also developed the MRIYA.SOCIAL website, where you can familiarize yourself with the project’s achievements and main goals. We also publish tips and advice on how to avoid becoming a victim of online scams, how to protect yourself from phishing and cyber hygiene tips, each post gets an average of 70,000 views.

Thanks to the “MRIA” project, we blocked more than 23,000 malicious resources, blocked more than 38,000 links, and discovered more than 97,000 hostile resources, which are trying to spread russian propaganda and disinformation

Within the same project, several other interesting and important initiatives have already been implemented:

  1. Bot “MRIA” – collects information about hostile resources, and also sends a link to submit complaints at the user’s request.
  2. Bot “People’s Avenger” – collects information about the movement of enemy equipment, the location of unexploded shells, as well as other important information
  3. “MRIA” services perform automatic blocking, and help send complaints about hostile resources in automated mode
  4. Volunteers and designers created the online game “Cats at Arms” and unique NFTs as part of project popularization. This gives people the opportunity to distract themselves from the war and destroy the enemies, together with “cats” from the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
  5. The ScamFari project, where everyone can report cryptocurrency wallets used for fraud or fundraising to support the russian army or other illegal entities.

Today, the Internet has become a battlefield, where the victory of Ukraine is possible only with joint work and mutual trust.


*   Detailed information about the project-ecosystem “MRIYA”, news, tasks and important messages can be found at the following links: