Ukraine awards Microsoft and AWS peace prize for cloud services & digital support

Source: DCD News / Raftel

"AWS literally saved our digital infrastructure," minister says amid Russia invasion

The government of Ukraine has awarded Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) peace prizes for providing critical cloud and digital services during Russia's unprovoked invasion.

Ukraine awarded Google the same prize in May, but did not disclose why.

"Big tech support Ukraine," Ukraine's vice prime minister and digital transformation minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, said. "Microsoft delegation has been awarded today with 'Peace Prize' from the President of Ukraine Zelenskyy. We are grateful to have you on the light side of digital. Microsoft stands for truth and for peace."

Microsoft previously claimed that it had helped shift 16 Ukrainian government ministries to the cloud, as well as a number of Ukrainian corporations. The company said in May that it had spent over $100 million in providing technology support to the Ukrainian government, including on cyber security. It has also developed an artificial intelligence system to log the time and date of Russian bombings to be used in future war crimes investigations.

"It's important to ensure that we create the foundation to do what was done after World War Two, at a place like Nuremberg," Microsoft president Brad Smith said in May.

“That's why we're providing the technology platform free of charge."

Amazon Web Services has also helped transfer data out of Ukraine, and onto its cloud platform.

"One more Peace Prize by Zelenskyy comes to AWS Cloud," Fedorov said. "Amazon AWS literally saved our digital infrastructure — state registries and critical databases migrated to AWS cloud environment. Ready to cooperate on gov tech solutions and reform judicial sphere radically."

Last month, AWS shared some of what it was doing to help Ukraine. The company said that it met with Ukrainian officials on February 24, the day of the invasion.

AWS Snowball devices - ruggedized compute and storage hardware for data transfer - were then brought into Ukraine. Huge quantities of data were then moved to AWS data centers outside the country.

By June, the company said it was still adding over 10 petabytes of data migrating from 27 Ukrainian ministries, 18 Ukrainian universities, the largest remote learning K–12 school, and dozens of other private sector companies. There are 61 government data migrations to AWS underway, with more expected to come.

Ukraine’s largest private bank, PrivatBank, also moved to Amazon Web Services. 270 applications and four petabytes of client data residing on 3,500 Ukraine-based servers were moved to AWS in less than 45 days. The company said that it planned to stick with AWS once the war is over.