Author Biography

Austen D. Givens is Associate Professor of Cybersecurity at Utica University and editor at the International Journal of Cybersecurity Intelligence and Cybercrime.

Max Gorbachevsky is Professor of Practice in Cybersecurity at Utica University.

Anita C. Biernat is a cybersecurity student at Utica University.



Subject Area Keywords

Cybersecurity, Defense policy, Intelligence analysis, Intelligence studies/education, International security, Russia, War studies


As Russian military forces surged across the Ukrainian border in February 2022, cybersecurity analysts shared predictions about the ways in which the Russian government would use cyberattacks to thwart Ukrainian defenses. Some government agencies and private sector organizations forecast that the Russians would launch a blitz of devastating electronic attacks against Ukrainian critical infrastructure targets, such as electrical power plants and air traffic control networks, crippling the country. While Russian cyberattacks have played a role in the conflict, their effects to date have been significantly less than what some analysts anticipated. But why? This article examines how analysts’ most extreme predictions about Russia’s use of cyberattacks in Ukraine missed the mark, links these findings to the literatures on military and intelligence forecasting, and offers recommendations for additional research.


The authors gratefully acknowledge Anthony Spanakos and participants at the Northeastern Political Science Association's 54th annual conference for their comments and suggestions on earlier drafts of this article. We also thank M.B. for editorial assistance and our anonymous reviewers for their helpful feedback.