Earlier this year, China and Russia declared their friendship has “no limits” as they strengthened their alliance. Some experts have stated that Russia actually delayed their invasion of Ukraine so it would not interfere with the Beijing Olympics. Now, the two countries are echoing the same warning to the United States when it comes to their support of Ukraine in cyber warfare. Russia has launched a massive cyber campaign against Ukraine. Although attacks have increased during Russia’s invasion, Ukraine has been defending itself from Russian cyber operations for years. The United States has publicly stated they will support Ukraine by arming the country and helping them defend against cyber-attacks, although they have promised not to directly engage Russian forces. China and Russia are now questioning the actions of the United States and warning them of potential consequences. In a foreign affairs briefing, deputy director of the Foreign Ministry Zhao Lijian stated, “The US needs to explain to the international community how these ‘hacking operations’ are consistent with its professed position of not engaging directly in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.” Zhao also alluded to the idea that these actions could eventually lead to a kinetic or nuclear conflict with the United States. The day after the comments were made by Zhao, the director of the Department of International Information Security of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia said, “Militarization of the information space by the West and attempts to turn it into an arena of interstate confrontation have greatly increased the threat of a direct military clash with unpredictable consequences.” Although China has never condemned the invasion of Ukraine, they have been relatively quiet publicly until now. It is no surprise China supports Russia and is watching closely to gather intelligence on U.S. cyber capabilities as they are deployed in support of the Ukraine.
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