Street Artist MTO ‘From Russia with Love’, Kiev, Ukraine 2016

French artist MTO paints a huge mural titled ‘From Russia with Love’ in the Pechersk district, Kiev’s centre for Art United Us. MTO describes his mural as an interpretation of the Love/Hate relationship between Russia and Ukraine.

The digital love-cannonball sent from Moscow (Russia) to Kiev (Ukraine) is based on the cyber hack of Ukraine’s power grid leaving more than 230,000 residents in the dark on 23rd December 2015.

The hackers who struck the power centers in Ukraine were skilled and planned their assault over many months. The attacks began with a spear-phishing campaign that delivered emails to IT staff and system administrators responsible for distributing electricity throughout Ukraine, with a malicious Word document attached called BlackEnergy. This allowed the hackers to gain entrance through the ‘back door’, to which they continued into the networks that controlled the grid. This was a highly sophisticated and planned attack.

Ukraine’s intelligence has said that Russia is behind the attack due strained relations between the two nations since Russia gained Crimea territory in 2014. After ownership the Crimean authorities began nationalising Ukrainian-owned energy companies angering Ukrainian owners. Before the cyber attack on Ukraine’s power supply, pro-Ukrainian activists physically attacked Crimea substations, leaving two million Crimean residents without power, as well as a Russian naval base. Leaving to suggest the subsequent blackouts in Ukraine were retaliation for the attack on the Crimean substations.

MTO paints the digital heart cannonball to acknowledge the cyber attack. Check out his mural below…

Check back at a later date for more murals coming from Kiev for Art United Us…



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