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Ukraine's defence ministry says website hit by cyber attack

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine’s defence ministry said on Tuesday its website was down due to cyber attacks that appeared aimed at disrupting it giving updates on the pro-Russian separatist conflict in eastern regions.

“The purpose of the attacks was to prevent Ukraine’s defence ministry from being able to inform the public,” spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk said.

The website was regularly targeted by denial-of-service attacks, but not all managed to affect its operations, he said.

Ukraine’s Finance Ministry and State Treasury websites were attacked last week, with the Finance Ministry blaming hackers seeking to discredit the government’s reform drive.

Motuzyanyk said it was not clear who was responsible for the latest attack, but the situation was now under control.

At the end of 2015, Ukraine’s State Security Service said Russia was responsible for a cyber attack on its power grid that left part of western Ukraine temporarily without electricity.

Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Robin Pomeroy