President Biden will talk about Ukraine and Russia. : NPR


President Biden heads to the Oval Office of the White House after leaving Marine One on Thursday in Washington.

Patrick Semansky/AP


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Patrick Semansky/AP

President Biden will talk about Ukraine and Russia. : NPR

President Biden heads to the Oval Office of the White House after leaving Marine One on Thursday in Washington.

Patrick Semansky/AP

The Russian government is believed to be responsible for recent denial of service attacks on Ukraine’s Defense Ministry and state-owned banks, the White House said on Friday.

Anne Neuberger, head of cyber issues at the White House National Security Council, said the Biden administration is concerned that Russia is “prepositioning” itself for a cyberattack on Ukraine alongside its military preparations on the Ukrainian border and saw “worrying signs,” including the DDOS attack.

She told reporters the attack had limited impact, but was consistent with setting the stage for further cyberattacks. She said it was unusual to assign blame for the attack so quickly, but said the administration felt it was important to “exposing” the activity.

Biden was due to comment on the ongoing tensions at 4 p.m. ET.

Watch Biden’s remarks live here:

The White House has said a Russian invasion of Ukraine could come at any time.

If that happens, the White House is threatening Russia with what it says are the toughest economic sanctions on record, but that package is unlikely to include measures to remove Russia from the known international banking system. under the SWIFT name.

“That probably won’t be the case if you see SWIFT in the initial rollout package,” said Daleep Singh, who works on national security and economic issues at the National Security Council and the National Economic Council.

Singh said the initial sanctions would include “tough measures” that would not have the “ripple effects” of the SWIFT proposal, and would be applied “in parallel” with allies and partners.

NPR’s Roberta Rampton contributed reporting.


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