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UKRAINE

Italy prepares to close airspace to Russian planes

Italy said on Sunday it would close its airspace to Russia flights, joining other European countries in ramping up sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

Italy prepares to close airspace to Russian planes
The Russian presidential plane Iljuschin Il-96. More EU countries are moving to ban Russian aircraft from its airspace. (Photo by ALESSANDRO DELLA VALLE / POOL / AFP)

“Italy is closing its airspace to Russia,” a government spokesman said in a brief statement, shortly after other European countries such as Germany, Sweden and Denmark announced similar measures.

The measure starts from 3pm Italy time on Sunday, Palazzo Chigi confirmed.

Italy joins other European countries in stepping up sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

SwedenDenmark, Germany, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Luxembourg, Belgium and Poland have closed their airspace to Russian flights, forcing westbound Russian planes to make enormous diversions.

EXPLAINED: How Italy could be impacted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Swedish EU Minister Hans Dahlgren said that beyond individual European countries shutting off their airspace to Russian aircraft, closing the whole of European airspace is on the table.

EU leaders will meet again later today to discuss the latest package of sanctions against Russia.

Member comments

  1. Sidebar: The aircraft in the photo is a Russian made Ilyushin Il-96, which is an older aircraft mostly used in Cuba now.

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UKRAINE

Pro-Kremlin hackers launch another attack on official Italian sites

The Russia-linked hacker collective Killnet is engaged in an ongoing attack on Italian institutional websites, the second in two weeks, according to media reports.

Pro-Kremlin hackers launch another attack on official Italian sites

The attack, which began on Thursday evening and was still in progress as of Friday early afternoon, was reportedly confirmed by Italy’s Postal Police who are investigating the matter.

Among the fifty or so institutions targeted are Italy’s Superior Council of the Judiciary, its Customs Agency, and its foreign affairs, education, and cultural heritage ministries, according to the newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.

READ ALSO: Italy’s cybersecurity agency warns against use of Russian software

Killnet claimed the attack in a Telegram message, instructing its members to “fire on all fronts” in order to “liquidate the Italian information structure” – but to leave its healthcare system untouched.

On Friday shortly before 1pm Italian time, Italy’s embassy in London tweeted that the websites of the country’s foreign ministry and all its embassies had been hit and were out of action.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs website and consular applications at this location have been affected by a cyber attack,” the tweet reads.

“We apologize to users for inconveniences and delays in the processing of paperwork.”

Just last week, Killnet launched a separate cyberattack on the official Italian websites including those of Italy’s defence ministry and senate.

READ ALSO: Pro-Russia hackers target Italian official websites

On that occasion the issue was resolved within the space of hours, with senate President Elisabetta Alberti Casellati tweeting that no damage had ultimately been done.

In both cases, DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks were used, which involves overloading a site’s servers by flooding it with requests but does not compromise its infrastructure.

Killnet targeted Romanian government websites last month, citing Romania’s support for Ukraine in the war against Russia, according to the country’s national cybersecurity agency.

Romania’s intelligence service said the group has also targeted official websites of the United States, Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia and NATO.

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